Just for the record, I am in total Support of the #CancelEverything and #SocialDistancingWorks movements… which I was already participating in unknowingly and just realized yesterday that more people are self-quarantine-ing themselves and their families, which is super smart. I wondered if it was mandated, but found out it was only suggested, but again… smart. The rest are just my personal thoughts on the whole thing and my personal story… I am not an expert, obviously, but have included links to the resources I’ve been influenced by.
If you are anything like me or the rest of the world probably, you are cooped up in your home and on the brink of panic while also telling yourself everything is fine.
You’re reading conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and having thoughts about population control and world domination and think maybe Dean Koontz predicted this entire thing way back in 1981, calling it the Wuhan-400, among other predictors throughout the years.
You think it’s odd that somehow kids have an immunity to it but can pass it without any symptoms, which leads you to believe the conspiracy theories even more so you’re giving the side-eye to your loved ones and part-time littles and telling them NO MOUTH KISSES!!! GO WASH YOUR HANDS!!! KEEP YOUR BOOGER FINGERS AWAY FROM ME!!! Which, of course, makes you the asshole.
You’re still upset that last week at the dentist, said dentist FORGOT to replace his face mask at the end of your oral surgery and you could feel his breath literally going INTO YOUR MOUTH AND OPEN WOUNDS and obviously you couldn’t say anything because you know, THE DENTIST HAS SOME TORTURE DEVICE ON YOUR JAW TO KEEP IT OPEN. So you’re f*cked basically…
Cough, sniff… IS THAT A SORE THROAT?!?! WAIT, AM I HOT? DO I HAVE A FEVER? No, this is just allergies… why is my nose burning? There’s something in the air, it’s GOT to be allergies. WHY IS MY NOSE RUNNING?!??! I’m healthy and strong and besides, I’m in the below-risk category… I won’t die… BUT I DON’T WANT TO SUFFERRRRRRRRR…. calm down, it’s just allergies.
WAIT… ARE YOU SNIFFLING!??! Don’t touch me… WASH YOUR HANDS! DON’T BREATHE ON ME!
You wonder why everyone is panicking and stocking up on food and toilet paper (like how much do you really neeeeeed?!??!?!) and then you see toilet paper being sold privately on Offer Up for $50-$10,000 a roll – because MERICA (how sad).
You wonder why anyone in their right mind is traveling on a plane or boat right now when you don’t even want to leave the house… like are they searching for the virus? Are they TRYING TO GET IT?!?!
My mind is in complete chaos at the moment, as I’m sure yours is too… unless you’re in the group of random few people who are acting like they’re immune to it or think it’s not real or that it’s created by the government or whatever other form of denial they are using to stay ignorantly uniformed. Those are most likely the people who are getting on airplanes right now, and I can’t even with them. Sorry, not sorry.
But also I get it, I didn’t want to hear about it for a while either because honestly, it was on my mind all the time and I didn’t want to give in to fear and panic (she says as she holds her breath when someone is talking so close to her face she can feel their breath and smell their insides – PERSONAL SPACE PLEASE), but I think we’re beyond that point now, aren’t we? This thing is definitely real, whether man-made or not, and if we don’t take precautionary measures to keep it at bay, it could very quickly overwhelm the entire nation, just as it did in other countries.
Strangely though, there seems to be a very lackadaisical approach to the virus up here on the mountain, not by everyone of course, but by many.
Over the last few months I’ve asked three different people who work in the health care industry, nurses, docs, etc. if they were worried about the CV since they’re constantly in a hospital setting and all three have said no, not one bit, and argued that the flu kills more people a year than this will. Now, of course, this was over the last few months and not in the last week, which may have changed their opinion slightly, since the number of cases have grown in the US, they found a case in the local San Bernardino County, schools are now closed and events are cancelled and today the governor of California has suggested, but not mandated that restaurants cut their occupancy in half and all bars should completely close as well, which obviously affects the business I am in, because well, I own a bar… but I do think the media is promoting this in a way that scares us more than it informs us, and that’s not helpful.
I also think self-quarantine is the smartest thing we all can do and have been thinking that closing the bar is the smartest thing to do as well. Being in a small community up in the mountains has its benefits, making it slightly safer than living in a bigger city because well, there are just far fewer people and we’re not in the height of our travel/tourist season. However, if just ONE PERSON catches it up here, it could mean the entire mountain could become infected as well, and that could happen QUICK!
As far as the quarantine, I pretty much live this way anyway, so actually it’s not a big deal to me at all. I work from home except for Thursday nights when I host Karaoke at Dogwood (which I cancelled last week due to microphone germs) and I really only leave the house when I have to run errands like go to the post office, bank, market or the vet or to stop by Dogwood for something and/or to go and visit my mom – which I feel like I can’t do now (sadness). I refuse to go down the mountain if I don’t have to (because why? lol) and honestly, I’ve lived this way for years and love it. It’s clear that I’m a homebody but also, I’m so used to working from home and have a million creative things I can do in the meantime to keep me busy. Any excuse to stay home I am here for!
The only difference now is that we have the girls. And other than the silent terror inside me knowing that they could be carrying the virus unknowingly and give it to us, life is pretty much the same. The weather is cold and rainy and probably will snow, so it feels like a typical winter shut-in and I don’t mind it at all.
However, I do have constant worries and concerns about Dogwood and staying open and if/when we should close. We will find out tomorrow if we will be forced to close, otherwise it’s our decision. I just want to make the smart choice for our business and our employees and the community – and well, THE WORLD AT LARGE.
So until we know more, we’ll be hiding out, like the dogs, under the cabinets, because it’s warm and cozy under there… until the power goes out and there’s a storm and it’s 20 degrees and we have no heater and WE RUN OUT OF FOOD AND HAVE NO TOILET PAPER… then I guess it will really be time to panic… but I can only panic about one thing at a time… and I guess that’s sane advice for anyone, right?
Here’s some good advice from a nurse on Twitter (Yvette Marshall Page – though I found this info via facebook, not sure the source, but the advice seems legit – take it for what it is.) if you should get the virus: I know we’re all tired of hearing/talking about it, but one thing I HAVEN’T really seen going around is advice for what happens if you DO get coronavirus (many of us will), we’re only seeing advice for how to try to AVOID it. So as your friendly neighborhood RN, a wee thread:
Things you should actually buy ahead of time (Erm, not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is?): Kleenex, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in 325 mg tablets, Ibuprofen (Advil) in 200 mg tablets, Mucinex, Robitussin or DayQuil/NyQuil, whatever your cough medicine of choice is.
If you don’t have a humidifier, that would also be a good thing to get. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam). Also a good time to make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.
If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if it is.
You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it’s coming.
For symptom management, use the meds I mentioned. For a fever over 101, alternate Tylenol and Advil (though I read that anti-inflammatory meds could aggravate symptoms)so you’re taking a dose of one or the other every 3 hours. Use both cough suppressants and expectorants (most cough meds have both). Drink a ton, hydrate hydrate. Rest lots.
If you’re sick, you should not be leaving your house except to go to the doctor, and if you do, wear a mask (regular is fine, you don’t need an N95). You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE ER unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high and unmanaged with meds.
90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds. We don’t want to clog the ERs unless you’re actually in distress. The hospital beds will be used for people who actively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.
If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your PCP or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick. They might have plans to get you admitted and bypass the ER entirely.
One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days, no one under 18 has died, and almost no kids have required hospitalization (unless they have a lung disease like CF).
Just use pediatric dosing of the same meds.
“EVERYTHING WE DO BEFORE A PANDEMIC WILL SEEM ALARMIST. EVERYTHING WE DO AFTER WILL SEEM INADEQUATE”
* Fantastic article: COVID-19 Update 3/14/2020. A Message From Concerned Physicians from where I pulled the above quote. It also has a great list at the end detailing the precautionary steps we all should be taking.
* This is good advice from Kristen Braly and sort of how a lot of us are feeling right now.