What I Don't Understand About the COVID-19 Response

I am confused beyond all comprehension. As usual… I just don’t understand what exactly it is that I am supposed to be doing right now.

And, no, this isn’t an existential crisis thing… this time. I’m talking about the topic of the month: Coronavirus.

And what the hell we’re supposed to be doing about it!

Here’s where I am so far:

What if this was just “the flu?” And I put that in quotes for two reasons.

A). there is no THE flu. There’s tons of flu strains out there. They evolve, grow, mutate, whatever the word is. My mom just recently had flu B. My dad was sick before her, but never got tested. And I, having received my flu shot this winter have not contracted any flu.

B). this is a hypothetical situation where I am substituting one illness we know a lot about for one that we keep freaking out about everyday for a different reason because not even the health professionals can give us clear answers. But “the flu” seems to be one of the closest illnesses to compare to, with the second closest being, like, the common cold, I guess…

So, what if this was just the flu? Or rather, what if YOU had the flu? How would that look?

Well, for starters WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS YOU FILTHY PIG! But on a more respectable note, please, for the love of all that is pure in the world remember to wash your damn hands. This is probably the most important step in every thing there is. If you have touched anything outside your house, wash your hands before doing anything else. Don’t touch your face, scratch your ear, pick your nose, eat anything, pat a child on the head, shake someone’s hand, or go anywhere near my food until you have washed your hands. You will more easily pick up a pathogen by touching a surface some sick person had touched or sneezed on, than actually being sneezed on. And you will never know it. You will know you have been sneezed on and can beat that person sensibly. 😉 But you will never know you have touched a dirty counter or shopping cart or door handle until you wind up spending all night in the bathroom.

And that’s how to keep yourself safe from pathogens out there. Wash your hands, stay away from sick people and places with sick people, use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands, but then wash your hands once you get the opportunity.

But once you’re already sick? Stay away from me I have a big stick and I know how to swing for the fences. 😉 As a matter of fact, stay away from everyone. Just lock yourself in your house and binge that TV show you’ve always wanted to watch. But just stay away. If you are sick, you can get others sick too. So leave people alone. Society will welcome you back when you no longer look like a Picaso painting that was sneezed on by a Yeti. Everything will be fine…

Except…

This is where I get confused. We need to limit our contact with others when we are sick. I get it. You get it. The media gets it. The world gets it. But no one told the schools. No one told my boss. No one told the people who seem to think it’s a good idea to just go out to a restaurant and have a meal and some drinks because it’s just allergies I’m sure it will pass tomorrow… If you throw up at school then you can come home… you can take the day off, but I’ll need to see a doctor’s note…

See, we say “social isolation” but then we get upset that we can’t work because we need money. Or we get upset at the restaurants and stores because we need to buy things. Or we get upset at our bosses because they won’t pay us for not working? Then the government says “close all the bars” and people freak out because they can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s day. The schools close and parents want to know if they’ll get a reimbursement on tuition. College kids can’t enjoy spring break. Students won’t get to walk the stage at graduation. It only affects old people so just quarantine them and let us live our lives.

It reminds me of winter storms. A huge winter storm blows through the area. The streets are covered in snow and ice. Sidewalks are covered in snow as fast as they can be shoveled. The snow plows just can’t keep up, even with the main roads. Schools, daycares, and some other places like dance studios and senior community centers close for the day. But your boss just says “see ya at work”…. I’m sorry, what? The authorities are telling people not to leave their houses or do any traveling except in cases of emergencies, and you want me to come to the department store, why, so people can still go shopping? Do department stores and restaurants and gas stations really NEED to be open right now? Can’t we just wait for the storm to die down and the roads to be cleared?! Everyone says, ” it’s dangerous out there, be careful” but then willingly goes out into the dangerous storm because “gotta pay dem bills!?”

😶

When you have the flu you’re also told only to leave the house if there’s an emergency or you NEED something. Going to the movies doesn’t count as a need. Food, cleaning supplies, health care: those count as needs. Go get your stuff and get back home (partially so you don’t infect other people, but also so you can rest and get better you silly billy).

But now, here we are, dealing with something that we understand so little the information changes daily (and that’s not an exaggeration) and people are just going to work because other people expect them to be open………..

Is fast food really that important to society that it would break out into anarchy should Taco Bell close for a while? Do we really need ALL the Dollar Generals open right now? I’m beginning to think people are missing a very, very, very important key piece of information:

It only takes one.

Just one person to go to work sick, who doesn’t know they’re sick, and they could infect every customer that drives through their pick-up line. Or that one customer who could infect the workers who would then infect all their customers. This is why schools, churches, and restaurant seating have been closed (at least here in Illinois). To reduce the amount of exposure we have with other people. Yet, hundreds of cars a day drive through an ice cream shop, who then go home to their families, or even other drive throughs. It only takes one person in that chain – no, not chain, it’s more like a lightning strike that stretches out over the community, branching as it reaches across the clouds. From one person to the next until the whole city is infected. And guess what? It’s already happened.

In Europe it’s happened. China is finally beginning to get over it. But here in ‘Merica college kids are more concerned about spring break woo hoo than the safety of society as a whole. People HAVE to get their tools and croissants and burgers and ice cream and toilet paper and diapers and fruit roll ups and snickers bars….

JUST STAY HOME!

The sooner the whole of society is put into lockdown, the faster this virus will die out. With no one new to infect the virus will literally be starved to death. And then we can all get on with our lives. What is so freakin’ difficult to understand about that?

Oh yeah, greed is a thing.

-Diggs out

P.S. – If everything closes people can’t work. If people can’t work they don’t get paid. If they don’t get paid they can’t pay bills and buy food. If they can’t pay bills they will get penalties and have to pay more and if they can’t buy food they and their children will starve. Yeah. I get it. It’s almost as if we rely way too heavily on CEOs making billions a year who could literally care less what happens to us. I suggest everyone go watch Disney’s Newsies. It’s on Disney+, Digital Download, and DVD if you can still find a store that’s open.

P.P.S. – so… should I go to work or not?

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