Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Corona Chronicles: Chapter 7

May 9

While driving around today I saw not one but two vans parked on corners, with people selling -- no, not flowers for Mothers' Day -- no, not fruits or vegetables...

Masks. They were hocking cloth masks.

My first thought was, Really? 

My second thought was, What took them so long?

May 13

The big deal these days (and by these days, I guess I mean "the past two weeks") has been certain people chomping at the bit to get the country opened again. For "normalcy" to resume. Some argue that by keeping us in our homes, we're being denied our freedoms. "We did what you said for two months! Now let us out!"

If I wear sunscreen every day in June and July, but decide in August that wearing sunscreen for two months is enough... guess what? I'm going to get a raging sunburn (or worse) when I stop wearing sunscreen in August.

If I'm given an antibiotic for an infection, and the doctor tells me to take it for 10 days, but I stop after 4 days because I'm starting to feel better... and that infection comes raging back because I didn't give the antibiotic enough time... who's fault is that?

With the Corona virus, we have a similar situation, but also different. See, if I stop wearing sunscreen, stop taking my prescribed antibiotic, etc., I'm only putting myself at risk. But with this virus, if go out and start mingling in a "normal" fashion, it's not just myself who I'm putting in danger. It's everyone. Because I may be asymptomatic and not know it.

It's crazy, but I'm STILL hearing people say that the virus isn't a big deal. I'm reminded of the story of the 10 plagues of Egypt from back in the day. Locusts and frogs and hail, and everybody kept on suffering, partly due to the pharaoh, who was like, "Nope. Not going to let my slaves go free." Only the final plague, which killed the pharaoh's son, was enough to (temporarily) convince him.

Is that what it will take for people to take it seriously? For every person to have at least one loved one succumb to the virus? That's horrible. And yet...

These are the stats as of this minute, today as I'm writing this on 5/13:

Here's the link, if you want to see the latest numbers:

That's just in America.

May 14

I can't believe all the arguing that's going on regarding masks. Should people wear them, or shouldn't they? Do they help prevent the spread of disease, or are they totally useless? Do they give people a false sense of security? What about those people that wear the masks incorrectly... should they be shamed?

These days, I wear a mask if I'm going to be around people. If I'm just going on a walk with my mom, I usually don't. (We rarely encounter anyone else on our walks.) The rest of the time, yes. And whether or not wearing masks can prevent germs from getting in or out, I don't know. What I do know is that wearing a masks helps me do one very important thing... it keeps my hands away from my face.

I can't even tell you how often I touch my face. I usually don't even realize I'm doing it. I'll be chatting with someone online and suddenly become aware that I'm gnawing on one of my nails.  I rub my eyes. I play with my lips. I can't count how many times I've been watching a movie on my laptop, caught my reflection in the screen, and been like, "Why is my finger pressed to my lips?" But there it is.

So when I wear a mask, it reminds me not to touch my face -- at least until I get home and can wash my hands first. I even keep the mask on in the car after I've run an errand, because, oh yes, I will absolutely hold the steering wheel with one hand and scratch my nose with the other. I know this, because it has happened.

And if I'm not touching my face in public, guess what else I'm not doing? I'm not spreading my facey germs around via my hands.

So yeah. I wear a mask. And I wish other people would, too. Because it's a little thing we can all do.

And yes, masks fog up my glasses. So it goes.

May 17

Sometimes when May rolls around, I have flashbacks to May, 2012, and the hardships in the months that came afterward. This year, especially, things feel a little too familiar... not being able to travel (because back then I had to stick close to home to receive treatments 5 days a week)... not being able to eat in restaurants (physically, I could... but not being able to taste much of anything for two months kind of negated all pleasures in that.)

And then I have to laugh, because there were so many other things about that summer that... well, I can sit here and be grateful that I'm not living through those things right now. The burned skin, the sore throats, the smell of that radiation beam, that sickening stuff I had to drink before my CAT scan, the mouth soreness, the inability to fully close my eyes (hello, shampoo!)

So I can't go to restaurants right now. Okay. So I can't travel right now. That is a bummer. We had to cancel our Canada trip that was to take place next month. We were so looking forward to it. My mom and I hadn't been able to travel together in years, because my grandma needed caring for.

But I've been through this before. Sort of. I mean, I can maybe say I've been through... worse?

And someday this will all be over (I hope?) and then... yeah. Everything just has to be put off, postponed. It makes me sad, but it also seems silly to be sad?

HELLO, my emotions.

No comments: