Oft-times I ‘bury my head in the sand’. I’m not quiet about this – I make no apologies for it. This is my thing. I avoid information and futz about in my own world, making pleasant thoughts and activities my norm, keeping out the clutter of (insert paranoia/drama/unknown reality here) what’s happening in the world at large.
It’s a cognitive bias of my own making, and I’m quite aware of that. It is also conducive to my mental health, as I am overly devout at researching information from multiple online sources once my attention is piqued. My work over the years has included the thorough research of regulations as they apply to workplaces in order to assist in compliance. I have some history in this arena – while not a professional, I am experienced.
And so we arrive at the global announcement of pandemic.
Awareness seeped in to my consciousness in early January. I poked around a bit, just enough to see the initial news reports and rebuffs, the blame and blame shift, and then the acknowledgements.
In February, I began a more thorough approach to my information gathering. I’ve read news media, government regulations, pubmed reports over several years, and radiology and autopsy reports, genetic structuring, zoonotic diseases, RNA and ACE2 proteins.
I consider myself educated enough for my own satisfaction, but likely missing details for a thorough discourse of the whole situation.
**Strong Disclaimer: I am not an authority on any medical, political, protocol or other issue **
Thus said, I am straddling the fence on what to say, how to act, shows of empathy, assistance to needy, and generally how to feel about those who I feel are making extreme errors in judgement calls.
So what I’ve decided to address here is the basics, a focus on being a prepared individual in any given circumstance, and how an overarching practice of empathy and sound rationalizations and judgement could be the world’s best approach.
Borders do not define or confine the situation currently in play.
The standard protocols of ‘herd immunity’ are for known virus strains, and this is an unknown – reports show that recovered patients have relapsed and become ill again (some instances, not all).
This virus originated with bats, a specific bat, in a specific area. But the transfer from bat to (variable) to human was unknown when I last checked. Similar to MERs or SARs, the bats host the virus and transfer. How that transfer occurs is also unknown, but it is possible that it is via guano, making a possible case for a fungal virus. How do you treat fungi in the lungs? Not easily, and certainly not viably if your lungs are already damaged.
Children do not appear to succumb to the virus. However, they may be carriers, shedding virus cells while toddling around appearing to be well – or negative for the strain.
Social and Geographic
The media, both social and news, have bordered on the ridiculous in the downplay of attention on the new virus. Ridicule for preparations, ridicule for regulations, ridicule for responses, ridicule for origination – what does ridicule solve?? When has ridicule been the overall answer to a problem?? Does verbal lashing at people you cannot see face to face make one feel like a better person??
I challenge every person to focus instead on empathy, on a bigger picture than what you feel, or what you think, or what you may be afraid of. I challenge you to focus on how to wake up every day and resolve to do the best you can today. On whatever level you need to improve — except improving your tongue-lashing and witty cutting remarks. Leave those behind and level up, make your voice a mature and informed one. Make your actions reflect what you might profess as your personal code of ethics, and be the decent human beings we all have the ability to be.
Regulations and Preparations
With national declarations being made, education and self-regulating are a good approach to ensuring your personal comfort.
Seriously, would you rather limit your personal encounters to avoid contracting or spreading the virus (or the flu, since that’s being touted as a more pressing disaster)? Or would you prefer going about as normal and awaiting the Command to Cease and Desist? Be aware that the declaration has made such a command an imminent reaction, should the peoples not comply on their own.
With any oncoming storm, any perceived large situation, it is always wise to prepare. Some people are naturals at this – having been extremely poor, I have been known to take a depression-era styled approach to keeping my family supplied. I’ve had bare cupboards, bare refrigerator, been on a substandard and college style diet while raising a child. I know duress. Those in this situation may run out at an alarm situation and purchase items in abundance and without a cohesive plan. Have you walked in their shoes? No? Then shut up about how they act.
Back to prepare – as you are able, continue to purchase a few extra items at each trip to the market. Get yourself prepared to isolate. The storm is coming. Panic will only put you in stress mode, making your immune system more susceptible to anything floating around – you don’t need the flu while you’re preparing for COVID-19. Be safe, be calm, be logical. What will you and your family eat? Don’t purchase what you hate. There’s no need to spend your bare resources on things that will not be used. Breathe. Make a list. Make a plan. Do it now and not later.
Think about the people around you, your family members and those unable to access resources. Make a plan to assist them. Talk to them and see what they may have already planned. Communicate and calmly determine what needs to be done and what does not.
There may be a need to isolate and self-care for up to 30 days. Know your resources, calculate your needs, and plan.
Be a decent human being
Stop bashing what others think, feel, say and do. Unity in caring for personal needs should be your focus, not what others are or are not doing. Accept that we are not all going to think, feel, act the same – but we are all living beings.
Prepare for changes. Be flexible enough to change some things, to know when you are still under your own self-regulating scope, and when that scope will shift. Know that the scope may shift.
Breathe. Find your calm. There is no need for stress-inducing panic, your body needs to be strong to handle the changes.
Peace out, y’all!