It’s that time again. 1. Time apparently for me to have sniffles and sneezing fits and start freaking out that I’ve picked up germs off some gross mouthbreathers in my building, and 2. Time to round up the latest developments in pandemic news.
Since the last time I posted an update, something terrible has happened. Two different people have been confirmed to have coronavirus reinfections, with genetically distinct strains. There are a couple of other reports with less data. (Hong Kong, Reno, Belgium, and the Netherlands are the locations involved).
In a sense, this is a moot point, because coronavirus is not the only contagious virus that can infect and kill humans. It’s not even the only epidemic going on right now. Ignore any arguments about how deadly COVID-19 may or may not be, because the point is that we need to get our act together about pandemic response.
Okay, mask refuser, what are you saying? That zero viruses can kill humans? What if it’s Ebola next time, would you wear a mask then??
If the answer is No, then get away from me, you’re not entitled to be in my social sphere. I doubt you’d enjoy hanging out with me much anyway.
If the answer is Yes, then how do you distinguish between which pathogens deserve mask protection and which don’t? Fatality reports? Okay cool. From which sources? What’s your cutoff line, will you write it down for me? What if it was a newly emerging pathogen and nobody knew how deadly it was yet - would that make you more or less likely to wear a mask?
It’s so exciting that you’ll discuss this with me. Believe me, I encourage your skepticism and contrarian nature. I just want to amplify it and clarify it a bit.
I still think everyone is focusing on the wrong stuff. Based on my experience, the point is not that COVID-19 can kill you, or your spouse, or your kids, or your parents, or your neighbor, or your pastor, or maybe your cat. The point is that nobody wants to be that sick!
I dunno about you, but I don’t have six weeks of paid sick time. If I’d had my job when I got COVID, I would have had to go on temporary disability and fill out a bunch of paperwork. That almost happened when I got bacterial pneumonia in July, and I was only sick for half as long that time. Do you have temporary disability insurance? Do you enjoy working when you’re so sick you have to lean on the wall?
It feels terrible, it’s expensive, and it does weird things to your body. I think the PSAs should focus more on the aesthetic stuff. It gave me acne, it gives a lot of people purple blotches on their toes, it can cause pinkeye, and now it turns out it can even make your hair fall out. So yeah. Get a mild case of COVID and you might never wear open-toed shoes again, et cetera.
Let’s see, what else have we got for updates?
There’s a new strain that is 10x more contagious.
Coronavirus is airborne and it’s more likely to spread through air conditioning and ventilation systems than by surface contamination on phones, keyboards, door handles, or toilets.
But then it can also spread through bathroom plumbing.
And on planes.
The saddest thing I think I ever heard was the Brazilian woman who isolated for the first eight months of her pregnancy. Then her coworkers threw her a baby shower. ...One of them was an asymptomatic carrier. The mommy-to-be contracted COVID-19 and wound up in the hospital. They managed to get the baby out before she died. The End.
The way you get COVID is not that you see it running toward you over your shoulder and you start sprinting. You can’t steer to the side when it veers into your lane. You don’t get to aim your handgun at it as it breaks through your front door. The way you get COVID is from hanging out with people you like and trust at a fun, casual social gathering with great drinks and snacks, while wearing a cute outfit.
Happened to me. Hope it doesn’t happen to you.
There is some good news in all this. First of all, my good friend who got a severe case of COVID-19 is finally back at work! She was out for over three months. I was crushed for her and so scared that she would never make it back. She is several years younger than me and does dance and martial arts. Or at least she did. I still worry.
Some other comparatively good news: Reinfection may be real, but by this point, with 26 million cases worldwide, we probably would have heard of it happening more often if it were very common.
There may be a cheaper, faster, easier test available soon. It’s an antigen test, like a pregnancy test. Think if it was easy to get a test that cost $1 that you could carry in your wallet. You could buy them by the box and give them out as party favors. Just have your guests do the test out on the sidewalk or in their car before they planned to come in.
I still think we’re going to lose at least a quarter million Americans to COVID-19 before the end of the year, and it sucks. I just profoundly object. None of this had to happen. It’s also appalling how many of these preventable deaths were people with medical training, which is exactly the kind of tactic a terrorist would use. ...If terrorists killed a quarter million Americans, we’d be out in the streets chanting for revenge. “Nuke ‘em into a glass parking lot.” Let’s channel all that innate rage and retribution toward this nasty, human-hating, godless, unAmerican loser known as the coronavirus.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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