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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Update, From (sort of) Introvert Paradise

A follow-up, of sorts, to THIS posting.

I hope anyone reading this is doing well, given the circumstances.  I say this knowing full well that things are going to get worse before they get better.  I also know that's the epitome of negativity, but when it comes to a serious business such as this, well, valuing facts is more important than any kind of spin, positive or otherwise.

Just how bad will it get?  Here's an interesting and informative article on that very subject.

As for myself and my wife, well, we're in good shape.  Fortunately, we began making preparations since mid-February, so we have more than enough of the essentials to last a while, including cat food.  Granted that there will very likely be some inconveniences coming up...for everyone...but sometimes being inconvenienced is better than being sick (or worse).  We're both working on behavior changes as well, including being careful what we touch and avoiding large crowds.  We even have hand sanitizer in our cars so that we can even disinfect a bit after being out.

By the way, there's a lot of misinformation about the use of hand sanitizer out there.  For example, I was in a store checkout line and the 50's-ish woman in front of me was loudly proclaiming that hand sanitizer only killed bacteria.  While washing your hands is the best defense against picking up a virus, hand sanitizer can help.  Just ask the Mayo Clinic.

Changing behavior is difficult.  I am notorious for touching my face and rubbing my eyes.  That's something I am working on changing.  It's not easy, but I try to remind myself of just utterly ridiculous it would be for me to get sick because of a compulsion. When it comes to times like this, sometimes the little things are big things.

An area where I am admittedly at something of an advantage is social distancing.  I don't really enjoy socializing all that much, and in fact, the places were I spend most of my time (my home and work offices) are decidedly low-traffic affairs.  In fact, my work office is at the end of a hallway, and the nearest office that's regularly used is a good 20 feet away.  For once in my life, appearing to be anti-social is actually an advantage (of sorts).  With Spring nearly here, I've also started doing some yard-work, which I both enjoy and which is about one of the seemingly lowest risk endeavors out there these days.

Granted, I do have worries:
  • I worry about parents who have to face children being home from school without any child-care arrangements available.
  • I worry about the healthcare workers we depend on...especially now...who will be at a far greater risk of infection than the rest of us.  
  • I worry about people who truly live paycheck-to-paycheck that may struggle with basic necessities as this drags on.
  • I worry about the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions who will suffer the most from this outbreak.
I'll do my best to help where I can.

Lastly, we should also think about what happens after this outbreak.  There could be enormous good resulting from all of this...such as a national realization that healthcare is a fundamental right, and that there should be a universal standard of sorts for sick-time.  No one should be forced to go to work and possibly infect others purely on the basis of personal finances.  I also hope that this re-focuses our national attention away from lying politicians and sensational media and towards rational decision-making grounded in both compassion and a healthy respect for what science teaching us.  

Be careful out there.  Don't take unnecessary chances.  Make rational decisions.  Rely on a preponderance of the evidence, not what some talking head on TV reads from a teleprompter or what some social media Russian Bot posts on-line.  Question those would have you believe that everything is okay or that this is the end of the world as we know it (the truth is somewhere in the middle; in fact, let's hope that the word does change).
Lastly, and most importantly in my mind, be kind.  Simply be kind.  Help people.  Show compassion.  Reject anger and those who push a blame-agenda.

To end on a more positive note, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. George Harrison.

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