I told myself I wasn’t going to write about COVID-19. Everybody from the President to the man on the street is obsessed with it; even a few of the car commercials and fast-food ads I’ve seen in the past few days have tossed something in there about it, and in the news it’s 24/7 coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus. But on day 3 of Oregon’s official lockdown, writing about it is the only thing there is to do, it seems. So here goes.
It’s so quiet in town that nothing is moving unless it’s headed to Walmart for the last gallon of milk and loaf of bread. You can’t get toilet paper anywhere and it’s making me very nervous, as we have only about a week and a half’s worth. People are ill everywhere…three of them in my own family. Ben especially has been really sick (and yes, he’s been tested and does NOT have the virus); he’s dealing with influenza B and pneumonia, which are bad enough. Shelley has what sounds like bronchitis, and we have a family friend staying with us because she lives with her mother, who won’t let her come home until she is well again. Clint and I are almost indecently healthy, but then we both have immune systems that could fight off the squirrels in the backyard.
~sigh~ We missed our much-anticipated cruise vacation, which was a major disappointment. Right now I’m supposed to be on Lido deck, floating around somewhere in the Pacific and touring the Mexican Riviera. Carnival cancelled all cruises just days before we were supposed to board, but of course if we’d all shown up at the terminal with Ben and Shelley hacking up a lung, we would have been turned away anyway, and then we would have been stuck in L.A. I can think of a lot of places I’d rather be. And even if we’d been able to get on the ship, who knows whether there was some other poor unfortunate soul who actually had COVID-19 and got us all quarantined aboard for at least 14 days. So maybe we’re better off at home after all.
Speaking of home, that’s where we’ve been since the governor of our state issued stay-at-home orders, AKA lockdown. We can’t go anywhere except to stores, pharmacies, or doctors (and even going to the clinic is dicey). Oh yes, there’s also the liquor and cannabis stores and takeout places, but there is no shopping in indoor OR outdoor malls, no sit-down restaurants or bars, no movie theaters, no large gatherings of any kind. We don’t even get to watch the Olympics this year, for which I don’t blame anyone–nobody wants to endanger the athletes or the people attending. And there doesn’t seem to be any end to it, because no one knows yet how many more people will get sick with this thing.
Yep, it’s getting really weird out there. Almost post-apocalyptic, to be honest. I’ve seen a lot of movies like Contagion and The Stand, the latter of which is a Stephen King novel about what happens when a lethal germ that’s been created in a top-secret lab gets loose, wiping out 99% of the world’s population. Now, hoarding TP and sheltering in place are nowhere near as bad as the cluster-fuck described in this story, but we’re also doing dumb things that make matters worse. Just the other day I saw some of the neighbors outside in their yard with something like five or six kids on bikes racing around the property and a few adults who were obviously NOT social distancing. This isn’t 1965 when mothers whose kids had mumps or chickenpox would get together so all their kids would be exposed to the disease, get sick, and be done with it for life. (I remember these “parties” well, but strangely enough I never got either illness. I was too busy getting strep throat and bronchitis.) Why would anyone let half a dozen kids congregate and possibly spread infection with a sometimes-deadly virus? That’s more like playing Russian roulette.
In the meantime, we’re all a little stir-crazy. We haven’t had any arguments–yet–but we know we have to walk lightly because who KNOWS when all this will be over. It sure doesn’t look good right now.