Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person for 500 miles in any direction who believes there is still a pandemic going on. But then I remember that I have readers on other continents, or possibly in other timelines created by the trans-dimensional portals that keep popping open.
If you live on the other end of a wormhole, can you come get me and bring me back with you??
Anyway, I have a vested interest in knowing as much as possible about this coronavirus outbreak, and not just because I’ve been an epidemiology nerd since I was 15. Chances are, for a non-medical person, I’ve read more about this thing than most people. Consider this your chance to spare yourself hours of reading pre-prints and research abstracts.
One of the most interesting things about this pandemic is that it’s giving science a chance to make great forward strides. (At the cost of mass suffering, death, and economic devastation on every level from individual to business to national). Conjectures from the H1N1 outbreak a century ago, and SARS more recently, were just guesses. Now we have what looks to be a lengthy stream of uninterrupted data.
That should be helpful because it appears far too many people are immune to the concept of social proof. They have no intention of adjusting their behavior, even to save themselves. It’s what we should expect from humans who take everything personally, including suggestions to wear a seatbelt or a motorcycle helmet, avoid smoking, save for retirement, or not eat Tide Pods.
What do you mean, save myself from the prospect of future harm? NO!
Oh, what now, you want me to change my behavior for the sake of others? Did I stutter?
I am now thinking of these defiant sorts as “data donors.” Bummer of a way to make history.
Personally I only need one skimpy little reason to adjust my own behavior. If it will help me or help someone else, sure, why not try it for an experiment. I prefer not to tie my identity to any particular behavior. I can do this because my sense of personal autonomy is deep-seated and I know I have nothing to prove to myself or others.
I do what I want - including whatever it takes to avoid getting COVID-19 again.
I celebrate my freedom and personal liberty - to not be sick with COVID-19 again.
I demonstrate my ability to do whatever I want all the time - by doing whatever I want, while not having COVID-19 a second time. I found that its physical and mental effects seriously interfered with my enjoyment of even basic activities, like speaking to my family or watching a movie.
We continue to stay home - which is something of a moot point because we are still on mandatory WFH on a 9/80 schedule. Four nights a week, all we have time for is to work, eat dinner, work out, and get ready for bed.
We continue to see our quaranteam buddy, QT, a few times a month. We’ve been helping her move, which has meant alternate weekends, and that’s slightly more often than before. Her new place is twice the size of ours, and it has a yard, so it’s a pretty fair trade for hauling furniture up a flight of stairs. She is struggling with the fallout of disagreeing with her closest friends on coronavirus science. Not a single one of them is distancing at all, and one of them is basically a human misinformation station.
The way people react to crisis changes how we see them, and how they see us. It’s hard sometimes.
We have a series of three-day weekends coming up, and I’m thinking about scheduling the big plasma donation. Consensus seems to be that convalescent plasma does help, although it’s still considered an experimental treatment a century after it was first attempted. Maybe we can help. Maybe I can finally find out my blood type. Maybe we can get some answers as to why I got sick and my hubby didn’t.
It’s good to remember that while things are dire and people are acting crazy, we are learning. We have a chance to start packing all this information into pop culture, where it can eventually become common knowledge. This will be useful when the next pandemic comes down the pike - and it’s also good to remember that that could happen any time. Stay alert, stay ten feet apart, and keep your masks on. Let’s all try to make it to next year.
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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