People Panicking

I went to Meijer, the local grocery store, today. They are out of milk. I am 52 years old and this is the first time ever I have seen that. But they did have the unsweetened soy milk I like and are often out of. The corona virus is freaking people out.

Here is the reality: We don’t know what we are dealing with until everyone is tested. Period. And testing today is not a guarantee that tomorrow will not have a positive result.

Here is what I have heard: 80% of people that get the virus will either not get sick or will get sick and recover fully, 15% will get sick and not fully recover (they will have after-effects), and 5% will die. Note the fact that 95% will not die.

We are not China. We cannot shut down Seattle or Boston. America does not work like that. So what can we do?

Here is what has to happen: 1) Everyone must be tested, 2) Those who test positive must be isolated from vulnerable populations (like the elderly and those with serious medical issues already), and 3) Everyone needs to up their immune system. Anything less and we are simply delusional in our response.

The problem is this thing called “the latency period.” The latency period is when a person contracts a virus and before they get symptoms and meanwhile they are spreading the virus everywhere. If you see someone coughing and hacking, you will keep your distance. The sick people are not the primary problem; the healthy people with the virus are. Shutting down the schools and municipalities while not testing everyone only postpones the inevitable and solves nothing. Life will go on for the majority of us. Stocking up on milk and toilet paper only accomplishes so much.

I work at a Goodwill second-hand store. We cater to a lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. I cannot state that I do not have the virus. How would I know? Neither I nor anyone else I know has been tested. I believe that if I got the virus, I would get sick and fully recover. I am less certain of the store’s customer base.

And I have a brother that drives a city bus for a living. He is dealing with the same vulnerable population, in close quarters, forty hours a week. He has heart disease and probably cirrhosis. He smokes and drinks. If he gets the virus (and it is truly hard to imagine him not doing so), he is a goner. I have no doubt about it.

What about people with asthma and COPD? Imagine waking up, not feeling great, using your inhaler, feeling better and going about your day as normal. How are these people supposed to know if anything more than normal is amiss? I am prone to colds. If my nose runs, I will probably not think, “OMG. I bet I have the corona virus.”

You can only socially distance yourself so much. Even the Unabomber had to go to town occasionally to get supplies. Let’s get real, take the necessary steps, and take care of ourselves and each other as safely as possible.



About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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