I’ve taken a cautious, fatalistic attitude about COVID-19, the coronavirus that’s sweeping the
world media. I think the media have way overhyped the danger to the average American, and Americans have way overreacted. But finally, belatedly, after several weeks of ignorant speculation and panic inducement, news outlets have started talking with knowledgeable medical personnel — doctors, nurses, officials from the CDC, etc.
Personally, as a retiree, my only real exposure to others is a weekly trip to the grocery store, where I’ve always been careful not to touch my face. And once I’m home, I always wash my hands thoroughly. After all, I’m almost 77 years old, and flu and pneumonia are things I try hard to avoid. Either could be extremely serious and possibly fatal, even though I have no notable underlying conditions. I don’t see the coronavirus as being much different. I’m old; any serious disease could take me out.
I do wash my hands more often now — while singing Happy Birthday twice. I don’t wear a mask because it won’t protect me from the virus and it would be annoying as hell. Of course I’ll wear one (if I can find one) if I get sick, to protect others. Besides, there are others who need those masks, like health care workers, construction workers, etc. (A local story showed some construction workers jackhammering some concrete and having to inhale the dust because their boss couldn’t find masks for them anywhere in the Denver metro.)
Hand sanitizer? Sure, I’d use it if I were in situations where I needed it, but I don’t recall the last time that happened. I have a little purse-size bottle I can carry, but there’s always soap and water at home and in any public restroom. And no, I haven’t and wouldn’t join the rush to buy dozens of bottles of the stuff.
If I think I’ve caught the virus, I’ll call my doctor and follow her instructions. I won’t go to any emergency room or clinic without first letting them know I’m coming so they can properly prepare.
Handshakes? I can’t remember my last one but will try to avoid them in the future. Fist bump, elbow bump, knuckle bump, head nod, peace sign. All work just as well.
Frankly, my biggest worry is a possible shortage of prescription drugs because many of them, or their ingredients, come from China. Take away my glaucoma drops and then we’ll talk about panic.