It has been nearly 4 weeks since my state went under “strict” social distancing in response to the global Covid-91 pandemic and I am sick of it.
- My pool is closed. I haven’t been able to swim daily for a month.
- Grocery stores still have shortages of meat, chicken and toilet paper.
- Retail business, offices and schools are closed.
- Hospitals, doctors and dentists are only treating emergency
The news is dominated by pandemic coverage with daily death tolls and infection counts by country, state, city and region. Stats, numbers and models are presented as if they are facts, rather than guesses ranging from scientific to totally made up clickbait.
I miss having a life centered on something besides fear, anxiety and frustration of the pending peak and subsequent 2nd and 3rd waves.
So I have stopped following the pandemic closely. I am focusing on what I can control.
Being immersed in daily death tallies, political arguments and challenges throughout the globe bring me no joy.
Nor does it bring answers or security.
I’m convinced of a few things:
The news reports say this is a devastating pandemic. And yet, I know only one person who has been infected and his symptoms were mild. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has been hospitalized.
People are dying. Hospitalized are reported to be overwhelmed. But when I read actual accounts from front line doctors and nurses, many describe abnormally high but manageable volumes of critical care patients. There are glaring exceptions in hot spots throughout the world and of course these are plastered all over the news to scare us into staying tuned in.
Most of the reported people dying are older, with underlying health problems. Some are middle aged. Occasionally the news reports a young, perfectly healthy victim — these are given top priority because of the scare factor.
Believe me, I understand how a single death can feel like a tragedy. My wife dying rocked my entire world. It changed me forever. I empathize with everyone who loses a a loved one.
In a month, we’ve had about 10,000 people die in the US. That’s 10,000 families who will never be the same.
And yet, death is not a tragedy. Death is a part of life. So are pandemics, accidents and disasters.
I get the feeling that our mitigation efforts are driven by a fantasy that we can postpone the inevitable – getting this virus.
We are deluded if we think isolation will prevent infection after we stop isolating.
After we get through this first wave, then what?
When people go back to work and socializing, what keeps the second wave from being bad?
Supposedly, testing and containment of infected individuals will be our solution until a vaccine is developed.
We don’t even have enough tests to determine if even 1% of our population today who have symptoms are infected. Nor have we developed an effective coronavirus vaccine despite having coronavirus epidemics for over 10 years.
The US is large, our population is huge and compliance to strict lockdowns is varied.
How can we possibly imagine testing millions of people regularly, then identifying and quarantining contagious ones before they infect others – especially when we are told this virus spreads before symptoms are felt? The idea that we take temperatures to identify possible sick people is helpful, but misses the asymptomatic carriers and the presymtomatic people.
Let’s face it. We are going to get exposed. Some of us will get infected. Some will suffer. Some will die.
That is life.
In some ways, I hope I get the virus soon and it runs its course with me. Either I’ll get better or I won’t. I’m prepared for either.
Then I can move forward with life instead of hiding from it behind closed doors, wearing marginally effective homemade masks, doing extensive hand washing and avoiding others — all of which I suspect are of limited effectiveness.
If I suspect this, how many others in our population of 330 million do too?
I have a feeling that our social distancing is going to end soon out of frustration from the general public.
We’ll see if I’m right or if, as usual, my ability to predict the future is really poor.