I’m not an alarmist. I’m not an extremist. I’m a woman of great faith who also believes in science. As I’ve watched this whole Covid 19 thing unfold abroad and in the United States, I’m saddened and frustrated by those who refuse to listen closely to the experts and instead blow it off, thereby blowing it up. I won’t get into statistics because they change every day, thus far for the worse. Things are potentially dire but don’t have to be if we turn on our brains and turn off our pundit-bred loyalties and use some common sense. I take my cues from the people who have spent decades of their lives addressing these kinds of issues: the WHO (World Health Organization), the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Politicians with degrees in business, economics, or law are not experts and should defer their fiscal and legal biases for the common health of humanity. We can debate policy and economic recovery later. Put the dang fire out before you start building a new house on the ashes of the old.
All that said, what’s happening in my household and within the sphere of my influence?
What’s changed: No more Church services or activities, my husband is working from home, my daughter cannot attend her seminary class, and the dojo where I spend most afternoons is closed. We’re self-quarantining because my husband was in King County, Seattle at the time of the breakout, and my daughter is showing prolonged symptoms of a dry, exhausting cough. No testing available locally means the doctor is still trying antibiotics and monitoring via phone conversations. With everyone home in the evenings instead of off at our usual activities, we’ve been watching more movies (my daughter in her room) and getting more laundry folded. Also, I’m sleeping in more because I know I’ll still have enough hours in the day to get everything done because “everything” is less than it was before.
What stayed the same: Since I write from home, that remains the same, though it’s a little harder to focus with my husband and daughter home 100% of the time. Still, he has an in-home office and keeps regular hours, and my daughter has been confined to her room for her illness, so I don’t have major excuses. We already have daily religious activities at home like family prayer and scripture study, and if anything, I’ve been able to increase my time spent in gospel study. We already had a decent supply of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, so my Fred Meyer “clickit” orders are not of the panic-purchase variety, and I’ve only been out twice since this all started to get a regular load of fresh groceries.
Meanwhile, a number of my friends have confirmed (or doctor presumptive positive) Covid 19 cases in their families. My father might even be one of them, but he’s in a care facility that’s on lock down. He is in end-of-life stages now, not expected to live many days longer. No test to confirm, but at this point, it hardly matters. We cannot be with him because of the pandemic. This is heart-breaking for our whole family.
I asked in my writer’s group, Clean Indie Reads, what they were seeing on the ground. Since it’s an international group, it was quite eye-opening to see the different scenes playing out around the globe with varying degrees of panic and preparedness. Can’t say I’m pleased with how things were handled here in the U.S., largely because of the “Oh, it’s just a flu” attitude that delayed implementation of diagnostics and containment.
As an introvert, I’m taking the isolation in stride, but it’ll be very interesting to see the long-term effects of the increasing closures and fatalities on the public psyche. I am grateful for the internet and cell phone services that allow us to be connected to our loved ones.
How has your life changed in the last few weeks due to the Coronavirus?