There haven’t been any Corona (COVID-19) cases in Connecticut yet, but I have been watching the news. It’s coming no doubt, but what it will look like when it gets here is anyone’s guess. One day I think it will be the apocalypse, other days, it looks like it will barely be noticeable. Some people say it is the pandemic germ we’ve been worried about since the Spanish flu killed 500 million people worldwide back in 1919. Others say it is just another though more severe version of the common cold. The people it will most likely kill are the elderly. The problem with that is sometimes I look around at everyone else and realize I am the oldest in the room. It’s like the old poker saying “When you are sitting at the table and you are looking around to see who is the fish (the bad player the others are angling to catch), and you don’t see him, then the fish is you.” I’m 61, and while I consider myself in good shape, I am coming off a month or longer bout with a respiratory infection that knocked me down hard.
Each day the number of cases grows, but are these just the people who get sick enough to go to the hospital and get tested or are they everyone who has the disease? Some say there are far more out there who have it and don’t even know than those who are dying.
I was talking to a doctor at the hospital today as we were planning to drill for the worse. He described us as being in the green zone. Maybe in a few weeks we will be in the red zone. We will be coming to work with a stethoscope, an ID badge and a sidearm. Maybe we’ll have to fight our way through the roadblocks and fires. I don’t know.
Here are some of the things I have done to prepare. I am only drinking water and green tea. I have cut out dairy and bread. I am trying to work out every day, but not too hard. I just spent $35 on a natural daily supplement that will boost my immune system or so this other doctor told me with the key ingredient being zinc. He says he and his girlfriend both take it and they never get sick. (The fact that he is old and has a girlfriend lends credence to me of its effectiveness.) Every time I go to the store I add a few extra items to my basket, sani-wipes, dried beans, protein bars, Gatorade, batteries. I am putting them in a giant plastic bin I bought at Home Depot for $8.95. It is three quarters full already.
I am flying on a commercial jet next week and am worried that I am going to have a coughing fit. I have a bad chronic cough. I get phlegm on the back of my throat and once I cough it off I am fine, but people always ask me if I am okay. Now they may simply ask me to leave the plane. I have an elaborate plan to take decongestants and cough suppressants and not eat anything that may produce excess mucus or set me off like sometimes spicy food or ice cream does. I am considering having my doctor write me a note. To whom it may concern, my patient doesn’t have Corona. He coughs like this all the time.
Tonight I have to go online and take our company’s Corona training. I am sure it will be about washing our hands and sanitizing everything. I have been working hard on the hand washing. Instead of 20 seconds, I am doing 30, but then I catch myself touching the bathroom door handle or the elevator button, and then reaching to itch my nose. Whoops! Gotta cut that out.
I admit I have a small paranoia doomsday region in my brain. After 9/11 I thought there were terrorist cells in every city and town, just waiting to take us down. When Ebola was raging in Africa and then the unfortunate gentlemen showed up at a hospital in Texas with it, I feared the worst. After 9/11 I bought a hot tub for my tiny backyard so I could enjoy my final days. Now, I have been thinking about for some time spending $189 to buy Rosetta Stone’s all language lifetime access so I can both improve my Spanish and learn Vietnamese so I can converse with the woman on Park Street who makes me two Ba Minh sandwiches “toasted, no spicy” each time I walk in the back door of her market. I haven’t spent the money because if the end is near, I feel I won’t be getting my money’s worth as far as the lifetime usage.
Will I wake up one morning and see Corona’s infrared light on my chest? I hope not. In the meantime though I am making certain to appreciate the beautiful weather, spend quality time with my children, and try not stress too much about the future.
Peace and health to all.
And wash your hands. 20 seconds, please.