Are you worried about COVID-19?
Am I worried about COVID-19? Yes and no. Do I want to get sick? No. Am I expecting to get sick? No. Will the world end if I do get sick? No. Am I worried about my family getting sick? Yes. No. I mean, if it happens it happens. We’ll take care of each other just like we would if one of us caught the flu. At this point it’s spreading fast enough that it’s just a matter of time before someone you know gets it. That is not the same as saying everyone you know will get it. There are about 6.9 million of us here in Massachusetts. We ain’t all getting it.
The CDC has a good website with lots of up to date information. Unfortunately they are a Federal agency and that means they are subject to the fascist ball of orange goo. Cheeto has actually put his lap dog Mike Pence in charge of the response so expect prayer groups to be the official US policy.
I’m going to get my information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thank you very much. Yes, I know that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is getting it’s information from the CDC but give me a break, okay? We’ve had to suffer through almost four years of that fascist prick and I don’t think I can take anymore, so I am a full-on States Rights Masshole. Deal with it.
Anyway, this is what my beloved state has to say as far as prevention:
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
The same page has a section on treatment but I’m not going to share that. Suffice to say there is no specific treatment. Stay home and do all the things you do when you have the flu.
There is a good page giving various statistics within the state so far. It gets updated every day at 4:00 PM (next update is about two hours and fifteen minutes from now) so any numbers I share are from 4:00 PM yesterday.
Currently Massachusetts has one confirmed case (a UMass Boston student who went on a trip to Wuhan) and 27 presumptive positive cases. I’m interested in checking back at 4:00 to see how much that has changed.
There have been 719 quarantines in Massachusetts. 249 people are currently under quarantine, and 470 have already completed it. When I read the news earlier I was under the impression that there were 719 current instances in the state. Again, I am curious to know how that grows today.
719 quarantines… sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? What if I told you there were more than 6.9 million people in Massachusetts? Does it still sound like a lot? Nope. Wuhan Province (is province the right word?) in China has about 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Sounds like a huge number. There are more than 11 million people in Wuhan. Does it still sound like a lot?
Note: In the 10 minutes or so since I pasted the prevention suggestions into this document I have come to realize that I CONSTANTLY touch my face. My mouth, my nose, my eyes… CONSTANTLY. Oh good. I’ve also coughed a few times, but that’s mostly because I ate a piece of granola and it went down the wrong pipe. The people sitting around me in the office don’t know that though. Please don’t come at me with pitch forks or any shit like that.
The suggestion states that we should wash our hands for 20 seconds. The memory mnemonic for that is to sing happy birthday twice. Earlier today I was washing my hands and I was singing happy birthday and I used the following lyrics:
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear COVID,
Happy Birthday to you.
I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that no, I’m not worried. Even if I was worried, I wouldn’t panic. It’s okay to be nervous, just keep your head and wash your hands.
Again, Wash Your Damn Hands.
Hang in their folks. At it’s worst this isn’t going to end civilization. It isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse.
Speaking of which, in last night’s The Walking Dead (no spoilers!) the Whisperers behaved in a way that felt, to me at least, to be wildly out of character. They were using pretty complex tools, which seems like something a cult based on behaving like animals wouldn’t really be down with. I can’t remember if they did anything like that in the comic. I know they used blades when they fought, but I can’t recall anything more complicated than that.
In closing: Wash your hands.