Coronavirus Effects and the Human Connection
As a blogger, albeit part time, I am acutely aware that many of you are looking for information on Coronavirus and how it effects humans. Based on the title, if you're here, you may feel misled. However, this article is more on how Covid19 has effected us beyond the pandemic itself. I'm more interested in, as a society, how it affects us all as a whole. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts here! As the cheesy commercials say, "We're all in this together!"
Should you be looking for effects of Coronavirus on the human body, click here!
I'd rather medical professionals inform on that topic.
The Long Pause
Before I get going on this, I want to thank all of the long time readers of my articles. I have been way too busy with my day job to sit down and scribble out an article, let alone the 150+/- articles that I ought to have written in the last eight months or so. I also re-discovered love of SimCity Built It (article hopefully coming soon) in which I partake in my off-time. So, well, writing has been low on my list of things to do. There, I said it. Besides, I'm not much of a writer anyway. The number of times my articles have been read, and what some people tell me begs to differ, but all I can say is, there are meds for that, people. Y'all are cray cray.
Yet, this morning, I'm sitting here remembering all the stuff I have dealt with these past few weeks and I figure, what the heck! Let's embark on a written journey. Or fiasco. Whatever.
The Covid 19 Virus as a Dirty Word
I recently wrote an article for my day job (we are required to write one article a month, in addition to our regular duties), but during the Coronavirus we were upped to two per month. Whoop-dee doo! So, I opted to write three for them. The bonus article was on Covid19, of course. What I attempted to show was that we, as a small business, were going out of our way to "social distance, " and were observing the recommended "Covid 19 protocols." Of course I also inserted a little humor here and there, and a tiny bit of sentimentality.
The aim of that article was, really, to take a little bit of the sting out of the pandemic, at least in peoples minds, and sort of force a long term reckoning of what we were dealing with, in terms of the "crisis," and how it may be perceived decades from now. Did we as a society behave silly with the shut downs of so many businesses? The closed bars, restaurants, casinos, parks, all that, was it an overreaction? Or was it wise-as-an -owl? That article was not published. For one, it was not asked for, and two, Covid is, apparently, a dirty word. No one wants to associate the word Coronavirus with their entity, it seems. That makes sense. Then again, taking a positive view at that time, in the early stages, was a no-harm-no-foul proposition.
The Early Days of Coronavirus
In the first weeks of the Coronavirus spurred shut down - and "stay at home" order here in California (a surprisingly huge number of people obeyed it!) - the fear was high, and the roads were virtually empty. Only "Essential Personnel" were to be out and about. My day job concluded that we were essential personnel, and we reported to work. That is save for one person who's fear far outweighed the call to action. I loved the commute! What normally took 60 to 90 minutes was now a 33 minute drive!
I noted in my travels (my day job is not a topic for here, but suffice it to say I drive a lot!) that, with children out of school by government order, and a huge number of parents apparently getting much needed, but unexpected, vacation time, a huge uplift of general moral swept the area. Kids and their parents were out and about, on bikes, walking, jogging, sharing much needed quality time. The reality had not quite set in for many of these adults, all they knew is that, dog-gone-it, they were home, they were going to throw on their weekend wear, and it was going to be a really long weekend. Like a month, or more!
Overall, people took it well, it seemed. That down time apparently yielded a sense of well being and, well, brotherhood? What it reminded me of was September 11th, 2001, the general feeling of community. A quasi-bonding occurred, but it was not to stay that way.
The Slow Change
Whomever they are, "they" say that hindsight is 20/20. As for myself, I don't really look at hinds. And I don't know about you, but my hind has no eyes. But I digress...
Looking back now, back a couple months, it should have been readily apparent how the whole "Stay At Home In Fear of the boogieman named Coronavirus" show would turn out. The indicators were there.
As I mentioned above, there was a lot of family time, home time, idle time. However, there was also a loss of income, at least in the short term, and there was fear. Also, oddly enough, weird buying habits materialized, as well as isolated bad behavior.
One thing that did not materialize, despite what I predicted, was a huge leap in crime. Everyone wearing masks into businesses that carry cash? Loss of income? But it did not seem that robberies increased. Weird! Remember when it was generally frowned upon to walk into a bank wearing a mask? Now there were signs making you wear face coverings!
Weird Buying Habits during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Okay, we're, like, 2 months into this thing, and what gives with the continuing toilet paper shortages?!? The media reported it and helped to make it it a reality! Right now maybe I'm contributing to this insanity by talking about it. Sorry!
Going way back, remember when President Reagan banned his staff from using the word "recession" because, by using the word, it contributed to the unease investors in the marketplace? After all, fear and optimism are major driving forces when it comes to stocks and commodities. So, his minions used the word 'banana' in place of 'recession'. It was hysterical to watch Reagan's press secretary state "Reports of a banana are incorrect, and we feel that no banana is to occur in the near future..."
Here's another example of group panic: December 1973, Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show erroneously mentioned a toilet paper shortage base on a report he read from Japan. 20 million viewers caused an actual shortage, which Carson apologized for shortly thereafter.
Guys, here's the long and short of it: Coronavirus affects the OTHER end of the body!!!!! So cut it out already! And, no, I'm not about to refer to toilet paper as bananas. That would be weird.
More on Covid-19 Purchases
Beer. Lots and lots of beer purchases, but strangely, not much sold in the way of Corona beer. So a quick shout out to the dummies (you know who you are) who avoided Corona beer because of the name causing them to stop production. Coronavirus refers to the corona that surrounds the body of the virus. It has nothing to do with beer! Nor does it have anything to do with the city of Corona, California!
I chuckled a bit when I saw folks loading up on the Modelo beer in place of Corona. Shmucks. I'm thinking people loaded up on beer because they viewed the stay at home order as a week, maybe two, tops, so yeah, Party Time!
Ramen. This is a little more sensible, because it's cheap - work pay could be scarce - and it keeps for a long time. This is a basically a "Provisioning the Home" win. But all of it? You had to buy every single package? Same for Pasta, a logical choice, but man does not live by noodles alone.
The lunch meat sections were wiped out, and I saw meat department butchers were standing behind the counter chanting, "Keep moving. All we got is air to sell you. Keep moving..."
And through all this the fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items like Vitamin C, Cold-eeze, and items like that remain untouched.
Any time I am out and about I notice the occasional jerk, be it a pedestrian blocking traffic because they can, or a slow driver who, for the first time in their life has power over others. "Dagnabbit, this here is a two lane road with no passing and I'm agonna make all 100 of you behind me 5 minutes later because I can. I has the power." That's 500 minutes lost in productivity, family time, whatever, for thise folks behind the ninny. 8.33 HOURS of lost time, because some ignoramus has a power trip. there's also the numbskull who tailgates everyone, no matter the speed the person in front is travelling, or the one who passes illegally, causing accidents and near misses. However, these have always been a "few and far between" sorts of behaviors, the exceptions, not the norm. Yet, as soon as the Covid restrictions began to be relaxed, people started joining those who ignored the order in the first place in the larger world. that's when I notice a large shift in "IJDGAFF" behavior. I Just Don't Give A Flying Fork, that is.
This is not new
In the grocery store, "Get outta my way," on the highways, "I'm taking this lane regardless of the fact that my car and yours cannot share the same space at the same time". You have all seen this stuff before. It happens each and every holiday season. Black Friday it really seems to start, with people trampling each other to buy more of what they don't need a day after being "thankful" for what they already have. Throughout that season people will run you down to get a parking space 20 feet closer to the doors of the store than they would otherwise have parked in. All the while they are singing "Joy to the world" and patting themselves on the backs for a fine parking spot. Humanity is a hot mess.
Maybe it's the masks?
Perhaps the surgical style masks we have all been forced to wear in public is to blame? Maybe re-breathing carbon dioxide has created a peculiar sort of brain damage among the populace? Maybe it's the stark realization, and revulsion at the thought that we all, all 350 million of us, willingly - and so very easily - surrendered our liberties in the name of what amounts to, basically, a really bad flu. That isn't to take anything away at all from those who did lose loved ones to Covid, but folks, viruses that can kill have been with us since time immemorial, and will always be. As a matter of fact, each of us carries, in our genes sequences, bits and pieces of virus inserted DNA. No? Read this.
The flu itself can, and does, kill people. As a matter of fact, it frequently kills the same people the Coronavirus is targeting, the elderly, and the immune compromised. However, the number of yearly Flu deaths pales in comparison to the percentages, and overall tally, of those Covid has killed so far.
Being a fan of history (but hated it in school!), I remember reading up on the Spanish Influenza pandemic, which was 100 years ago. It got rolling in 1918, and by 1919 was so very widespread, actually killing 50,000,000 of the 500,000,000 people it infected. That's a 10% mortality rate! Covid19 has not hit anywhere near that at present! As of right now, there are 1.36 million confirmed cases in the United States, of which 80,539 have died. That's a 5.9% death rate, which in and of itself scary high!
By the way, Spanish Influenza is unfairly attributed to Spain, it did not originate there. Oh, and for those of you in Hemet, Influenza and the flu are the same thing. "I had the flu, heeeyuk, thank goodness it wan't influenza!" I actually heard this once in Hemet.
Another thing: Spanish flu, at first, mostly made people feel icky. It was not a killer. The it morphed, adapted, changed, and the whole game changed.
Will Things Get Better?
I think the bad behavior I'm seeing out there in the larger world has really short legs. With the threat of the Coronavirus waning, beaches, and other public places opening back up, I think we'll see a lot more civilized behavior. People are scared. Their routines are broken. The kids are underfoot. They have to arrange day care. none of the above excuses acting like a cretin, but it helps make sense of it. And you know what else? Some of us are not going to tolerate the bad behavior any longer.
Oh, and those surgical style masks, they are hot and make your nose itch! May they return to the hell they came from!
Historically a good time for Coronavirus!
If you look back in history, there have been few better times for a pandemic, be in Coronavirus, Spanish flu, the black plague, what have you. Our medical professionals are at the height of medical knowledge. And sure, traveling from place to place is way quicker than at any time in our history, which spreads disease. On the flip side, never has it been so easy to socially isolate! Okay, maybe when there were cavemen, and one could go their whole lives seeing only other people from their tribes, sure. However, with Netflix, Hulu, internet banking, cell phones, grocery deliveries, GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, social networks, the internet as a whole, and the ability to share information unbelievably fast, we are better prepared for a pandemic than ever, in terms of social distancing.
We are also ripe to have the wits scared out of us to the point of surrendering our freedoms with nary a fight.
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