Coronavirus - COVID-19
It’s come to this. A nation-wide “stay at home” call to help prevent the spread of Novel-Coronavirus-2019 (COVID19). Welcome to 2020 everyone. There were jokes going around about the next 100-year plague (because of the 1919 Spanish Flu), and it turned out to only be a year late, but still got the whole world in a panic. It started in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, and quickly spread because several agencies took their time reporting accurately with the rest of the world about the issue they were dealing with.
With a 2-3% mortality rate, a lot of people have not taken COVID19 seriously. At first, the virus seemed to focus on elderly (65+), but it has evolved and now anyone could be infected and die from it. Most people have recovered quickly, but it’s a gamble since medical staff have been overwhelmed with the amount of people needing care. There are people who have died because doctors are busy with COVID, for example a lady had a heart attack but wasn’t able to be seen because the hospital was swamped, and she died because of it. With states bidding against each other for supplies, medical staff nation-wide has been forced to decide which patient gets help and supplies and who doesn’t have a chance to survive. This is a terrible decision to have to make; after all, they got into medicine to help people live, not let die simply because their office ran out of supplies.
Speaking of supplies, I couldn’t talk about this pandemic and not include the response from citizens. The populous have lost their minds. Not only with people hoarding, but worse, others trying to make a mint off the panic. For example, people buying pallets of toilet paper and then selling each roll for $5 or packages of TP for up to $100. It doesn’t stop at TP, but tissue paper, hand sanitizer, laundry supplies, paper towels, anything people use regularly. This is not limited to the US; in Australia, there were talks about printing blank pages in the newspaper for people to use because supply was so low. Personally, I think this is an unspeakably evil and pure action of greed; history will show plenty of people think otherwise and have come together. People really do show their true colors if given a chance. When this all started, we didn’t want to be part of the problem, so we didn’t immediately go out and “stock up” and thought it would pass quick enough. When we did need to re-up supplies, at first, I confidently went online to get more, but found there was none to buy; seriously, nothing online until the next month. We went out to stores across the whole town and found nothing on shelves; we went Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and various grocery stores and heard even gas stations have been cleared out. I met other shoppers looking for the same necessity all over. I had conversations with those people about how crazy “that we had to search for TP” and talked about eventually finding other solutions, like using washcloths for TP much like a reusable diaper. I would like you to a moment to appreciate what it takes for complete strangers to talk to one another about using warm washcloth as TP and reuse it, and you will understand the desperation we were all in, and even perhaps you were finding yourself in too, because this was worldwide. To have one of these conversations is stranger than reality, but it happened in multiple stores, with multiple strangers; surreal to say the least. Thankfully, supplies started showing up readily and the tables have turns on the hoarders. Now that people have found a stable supply of such necessities, these hoarders are trying to return the “in demand” items, only to find out the stores will not allow returns on hoarded items. Perfect.
Traveling for pleasure is non-existent, even around our native countries, and I say native countries because again, a “stay home” memorandum is happening across the world. In my state, governors have been quarantining anyone for 14 days if they cross state lines to limit spread of the virus. The only people allowed to operate as normal are called “essential workers”. People are conflicted about if they are essential workers; they can work and get normal pay, but many are in direct contact with the public and potential infection. Obviously medical staff are essential, but they are now strapped for basic equipment like n39 masks, enough beds for patients, and enough time to get to patients before they die. To date (4/7/2020) 82,133 people have died from COVID19 and it’s expected to spike over the next 2 weeks.
Traveling for pleasure is non-existent, even around our native countries, and I say native countries because again, a “stay home” memorandum is happening across the world. In my state, governors have been quarantining anyone for 14 days if they cross state lines to limit spread of the virus. The only people allowed to operate as normal are called “essential workers”. People are conflicted about if they are essential workers. Being an essential worker means they can work and get normal pay, but many are in direct contact with the public and potential infection. Obviously medical staff are essential, but they are now strapped for basic equipment like N95 masks, enough beds for patients, and enough time to get to patients before they die. To date (4/7/2020) 82,133 people have died from COVID19 and it’s expected to spike over the next 2 weeks.
The US was one of the later areas to be affected by the virus, and our government was classic to be slow with any preventive action, even though they watch Wuhan closely, as said by military personnel. The government finally released a website and sent out information cards (see below) to help get people on the same page with an action to help prevent the spread. Each state has been able to suggest, to its residents, what to do; many have gotten on-board with the “stay home” order to try to minimize the spread or “flatten the curve”, a widely used expression on all the news outlets. Some states have been much slower to act. Every couple of weeks we get updates what to do.
This is the first time I’ve seen the whole country or world respond to anything as a whole unit. Global warming that is also scientifically supported, people just laugh at. However, when it comes to COVID19, people are listening to the scientists, aka “smart people”, on what we should be doing to prevent it. Perhaps, this is what we needed to get people on board to listen to people they should have been listening to the whole time. What is the silver lining you ask? Excellent question; at least the world has experienced the least amount of pollution in history. There are countries that have seen the sky a color they have never seen before, blue. The masses seem to be taking science seriously, at least for now. Our state of Montana is still on a “stay home” order until late April. We shall see what happens in that time. Until this is all over, be safe, and be courteous of your fellow human beings.