By my estimation, the last time I left the house for anything that wasn’t picking up groceries was two weeks ago today, when I went to the doctor to investigate some chronic pain. It feels like months ago, with all that is happening around the world now because of Coronavirus. Since then, I’ve made three trips out of the house — twice to pick up groceries, and one more to pick up some food, which was thankfully delivered to curbside without having to leave the car or interact with anyone other than a restaurant employee who was wearing plastic gloves and very carefully distancing.
I originally created this blog to have a place where I could write about progressive politics as well as my love of old music, but it’s hard to think about music at a time like this. I’ve always had mild issues with anxiety, but the last few years have seen a pretty dramatic uptick in that department. The current Coronavirus pandemic has taken it to a whole new level.
My primary concern is for the overall impact on the population at large over something like this. The estimates that between 40% and 75% of Americans could get the Coronavirus without proper restrictions is terrifying. If just 1% of infected die at those rates, we would be looking at a minimum of 1.3 million people dead, just in the United States. That’s roughly the number of American lives lost in all major conflicts combined. And that’s the low end estimate.
On a more personal level, I worry about my family. I have an aunt on one side and an uncle on the other who are both going through cancer treatments. I have another aunt with breathing issues. Another who, last I knew, smoked cigarettes. My mom has a persistent cough even without any kind of virus, and she works at a grocery store. They are all at extreme risk from this virus, and that’s if there is even a hospital bed available for them if they do end up with the virus.
Then there’s the fact that perhaps for the first time in my life, I really don’t want to die. I am in my early 30s, with no history of breathing issues, but I do have high blood pressure and had surgery three months ago. I may not be in the highest of high risk categories, but that doesn’t mean I’m safe. The reality is that no one is, and I’m not sure how I would handle losing another family member.
I’m trying to focus on going day to day, and taking the small victories where I can get them. I’m grateful that my wife and I both work from home, so our admittedly meager living isn’t compromised by the virus. I’m grateful that I’ve managed to stick to taking my anxiety medication at my regular once a day, four or five times a week, although I fight the urge to do more every day right now. And for once, I’m glad we live in the middle of nowhere, where our chances of getting it are a little lower. But I’d be lying if I pretended this all gave me any significant comfort.
Please, listen to the recommendations of health organizations like the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, rather than the ramblings of the insane man in the White House. He has shown he cares more about the economy than anyone’s life. Economies can be repaired, but a life lost will never come back.
Photo Credit: Dobrislava via Wikimedia Commons