When we lived in Tampa, a hurricane was forecast. The usual buildup preceded its arrival: shopping for essential supplies, securing potential projectiles, monitoring evacuation orders. We were aware of the predictions about the storm’s timing, path and strength but planned to shelter in place. My husband’s impending deployment took precedence over the weather. When we walked on Bayshore Boulevard, we marveled at the cognitive dissonance: blue skies and calm waters as far as we could see while offshore, a tempest was building and bearing down. It was easy to think the forecast was a hoax or a joke until the storm slammed in days later with prophesied fury. We survived that hurricane, as well as the next three that season, better prepared with each occurrence.
If you don’t know anyone directly affected, it’s easy to underestimate COVID. What public health emergency? Some states that thought they escaped have now become hotbeds of coronavirus. It’s become a chronic condition as well as a crisis, with no finish line in sight. Instead of moving out to sea so we can begin the clean-up phase and get on with life, the storm lingers and menaces.
We are so done with it, even though it’s not done with us. So now what? Here are three suggestions:
Be Cautious: The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Stay home if possible. Keep a safe distance around people outside your household. Wash you hands often.
Be Considerate: The main way that the virus spreads is through the air. Wearing cloth face coverings in public helps slow the viral spread. Because of the long incubation period, some people may have the virus and not know it, which allows them to transmit disease to others. Masks provide a barrier between my potentially dangerous exhalations and your potentially hazardous inhalations.
Be Civic-minded: Masks are a critical preventive measure, but that safeguard has become a political lightning-rod. You may consider it a difficult trade-off — your civil liberties or others’ safety. Consider the consequences. Your mask-refusal may compromise the health of store and restaurant employees. Balance freedom and responsibility, rights and obligations, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and POOP (Protection Of Other People). Don’t become an unintentional COVID serial killer. Like a smile, a mask says “I care about you.”
One specific way to help is to consider volunteering for a research study. Fill out the survey to see if you qualify and if there’s a study close to where you live. https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/what-to-expect-volunteer/
At the beginning of July, we traveled to the Tampa area to visit our son and his family who are stationed there. After we had made our plans, Florida’s COVID cases surged. The early lull became a surge as the virus began spreading faster. Now, Florida’s hospital ICUs are nearing capacity as COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise. The situation continues evolving, even though it looks like blue skies and calm waters. Mother nature trumps human nature.
© Joan S Grey, 10 JUL 2020 ∞
IndexCardCure™: In for the long haul