It’s scary what’s happening around the world with this Coronavirus pandemic. It doesn’t seem that America is handling things well at all. Not nearly enough tests are available, the entire pandemic response team no longer exists (thanks, Trump), many people can’t afford to get tested or treated, and of course there are the constant lies from our own government about COVID-19. There’s also just a lot of misinformation being spread around, as there always is in a crisis like this, but that makes things even worse than they need to be. Misinformation ranges from nutty conspiracy theories all the way to “it’s not as big a deal as the media makes it sound.” It certainly is a big deal, but we can’t believe everything we hear either. It’s best to stick with trusted sources like the CDC or WHO for pertinent information about this pandemic.
I haven’t seen any toilet paper fights yet (except on video), but it is hard to find in the stores! I should be okay though. What is the deal with toilet paper anyway? I hear bidet sales are up, and America may finally be catching onto an idea that is both more sanitary and better for the environment than toilet paper. I’ve stocked up on a lot of rice, beans, spaghetti and peanut butter. Not exactly exciting, but they are nutritious and will last a long time without taking up a lot of space.
I’m not under quarantine yet, but it’s likely my workplace will close soon too, as it’s “nonessential” work. My son self quarantined: he was here a couple of weeks ago, and on his last day felt a tickle in the back of his throat. When at the airport, he coughed and they wouldn’t let him board the plane! He was okay after that, and managed to get a flight the next day, but decided to quarantine himself after that for two weeks. I’m trying not to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills should we go under lockdown or should my workplace close.
Like everyone else, I’m trying to practice social distancing (not too hard for an introvert like me!) and a lot of handwashing and using hand sanitizer. I’m also attempting to avoid eating out, and learn to like cooking.
I wonder what’s going to happen. The trajectory doesn’t look promising; there are no signs that it’s going to “flatten out” here in the USA. I don’t want to speak of my fears of what could happen and put that out there. I’m just taking things one day at a time, and trying to remain calm. It’s incredible how we can be an advanced society one day, and revert back to Black Plague like conditions mere days later, scrounging for food and toilet paper.
I’m impressed with Italy, which has been very hard hit due to its elderly population and a lot of tourism (which has now stopped, of course). People are dying so fast that families can’t even hold funerals for their loved ones. And yet, Italians still know how to find joy, even though the situation there must be terrifying. I’m sure most of us have seen the video of people singing out their apartment windows in the midst of mandatory, nationwide lockdown.
I think when all this is over, we are going to learn some hard lessons and change the way we live. We will relearn such old fashioned concepts as community and being good neighbors to each other. We will learn to appreciate the simple things again. Most important, we may come to value empathy, compassion, and service to others again, over the greed and selfishness we have come to lionize in recent decades, and with any luck, this will spill over to our government, if we don’t become a dictatorship first.