Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus Diary Day 16: March 28, 2020


Stay the Hell Home

Last night, Italy reported 900 deaths in a 24-hour period due to COVID-19, bringing the country’s total deaths to over 10,000. The total number of worldwide deaths is 30,419. My heart aches.

By now, we all know people with Coronavirus. Some are asymptomatic, and we don’t know who they are. Others have the exact symptoms but can’t get tested for a variety of reasons. Still others have had reasons to get tested – symptoms, known exposure, jobs in healthcare – and they are confirmed positive.

I have two friends who tested positive recently. Both are in their early 50s. One has suffered mild symptoms, including the loss of taste and smell, an occasional cough, and a fever that comes and goes. He had known exposure, so he was tested. The other has been sick since the second week of March with fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, aches and pains, and constant fatigue. She had to beg and plead with a handful of doctors before they finally tested her a few days ago.

Ryan knows a young person with Coronavirus. In fact, people aged 20 – 29 have the highest number of confirmed cases in my county right now.

Social distancing is still the only real weapon we have against Coronavirus. When I hear people say they’re interacting with friends and neighbors, but only rarely, and they try to keep a respectful distance from one another, I absolutely cringe. It’s bad enough we need to shop for food every so often. Why would you voluntarily put yourself in the company of others when you don’t have to?

The Hubs is doing this right now. He misses his best bud so much that they have decided to get together in his best bud’s garage. They’ve agreed to touch nothing and to stand the full 6 feet apart. They are pouring their own wine into their own glasses, and they are limiting their time together to 2 beverages. I’ll admit, it sounds completely reasonable and… safe. But guys, you have Zoom and Skype and FaceTime and WhatsApp. Why do you need to see each other in the flesh? Look, I can’t tell The Hubs what to do, yanno? He’s 53 years old, for crying out loud. He’s a smart, responsible human who fully understands what is currently happening in our world, and I need to trust that he will make good decisions during this little garage reception.

But if I tell you all 6 days from now that I have Coronavirus, I will point fingers.

Can we talk for a minute about Dr. Rachel Levine? I live in Pennsylvania, and we get government briefings most afternoons, just like all the other states in America do. Dr. Levine is the Secretary of Health in my state. I first saw her last week when she was talking about the virus on television. She’s highly experienced, educated, articulate, and intelligent. When I listen to her, I feel safe and comfortable, even if I shouldn’t.

According to the PA Department of Health website:

“Dr. Levine is currently the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. She is also the President-Elect of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, with her term beginning on September 26, 2019. Dr. Levine joined the Wolf administration in January 2015 as the Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and served from 2015-2017. She was named Acting Secretary of Health in July 2017 and confirmed as Secretary of Health in March 2018.”

Dr. Levine is also the first transgender person appointed to a Pennsylvania Governor’s cabinet. I’m sorry I didn’t know anything about her before last week, but I’m super happy that I know about her now. If you didn’t know anything about Dr. Levine before 1 minute ago, well now you do. And you should be happy too.

You know what doesn’t make me happy? A Wawa employee has confirmed Coronavirus. Wawa is a Philadelphia anchor. We can’t just start closing up all the Wawas willy-nilly, can we? I mean, are convenience stores really life sustaining businesses? Probably not, folks, but I’m willing to hear your arguments.

Anyway, Happy Saturday and stay the fuck home.

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