So I was at the doctor for my third (and thankfully last) knee injection when the order came out from the Governor. Like other states, we are all supposed to “stay at home” except for certain essential activities. More on that later.
The trip to the doctor was a bit surreal. Get to the clinic and I’m greeted by a nurse in a mask with some kind of thermal sensor/thermometer pointed at my forehead. She went through this quick list of questions – do you have fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing, been around anyone known to have the beer virus. To be honest, she sounded a little bored with the whole thing.
But they clearly cancelled all but “essential” visits. I guess I qualified because the course of injections is one per week for three weeks and you can’t start over. Well, you could but I’d be out another $800 or so for a new set of injections. The waiting room was empty. When I checked out, they had signs on their computers telling people not to lean over. Guess you don’t want someone all up in your face if you don’t know for sure whether they are virus free.
I figured that the announcement touched off another round of panic buying even though it was made abundantly clear that grocery stores would remain open. Whether they have anything on the shelves is another question. But they’ll be open for business.
Can I just take a brief time out here to thank anyone and everyone associated with food distribution in this country? I’ll be honest, I’ve grumbled a bit when I’m trying to get my shopping cart through an aisle and someone is restocking the shelves. But those people (and many others) are doing what they can to keep stuff on the shelves and I imagine they aren’t getting enough credit for that.
We are pretty well stocked except for the yogurt and milk that my wife can’t live without. Since she’s still working, we won’t go shopping until Saturday. Since the order is in effect starting tomorrow, I hope the major panic is done by then.
I’ll be honest here that while I’m still on the side that this is serious and caution is needed, there is a growing part of me that really thinks this is something of an over reaction. And I understand the scariness of an exponential increase. Assume cases double every so often. It starts out small – 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512. But then the numbers get real scary – 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, 32768, 65536, 131072.
Problem is again that no single country has reached 100000 cases (yet). So the question is whether the exponential growth continues forever or if it would naturally start to level off even without “social distancing”. I mean our history with truly scary global pandemics is kind of limited so who really knows what is going to happen. I guess my other problem is what triggers these orders? How did we truly know that the current status quo wasn’t working and we needed to take it up several notches?
Take our state which still has a relatively low number of cases. It is not a shock that the majority are in my county and the “ring” counties because that’s where most of the people are. Many of the smaller, rural counties don’t have a single case. So do we need a state wide shutdown or just shut down the bigger cities. I don’t know.
In the end this is a trade off. Yes, it is likely that more people would die without this and it is highly probable that it could overload our medical system. But the whole shut down and stay at home is going to come with its own costs. Can we be sure that this is truly the right path to take. I just can’t help but have questions.
Anyway, back to “essential” stuff. Grocery stores and drug stores are obvious. I was a little worried about our pet store but it says that businesses that provide food for animals will remain open. Could be that they meant food for livestock but I think our store remains open. Gas stations and hardware stores as well. Plus any store associated with shipping so our UPS stores are open. Laundry services which I didn’t think about but probably makes sense. Restaurants can be open but only for pick up, carry out and delivery. Businesses that sell supplies to work from home so I guess Staples will be open.
Actually, I’m not sure what will actually be closed. I know our malls were closed a long time ago. I guess they closed down the hair and nail places. Not sure about auto dealers. Auto repair was on the list but I guess if your car got wrecked and you needed to buy another one, that’d be “essential”. They claim educational institutions are “essential” but they’ve all been closed long ago.
The list of “essential” things you can leave the house for include shopping for anything “essential”. Or if you work at an essential place and can’t work from home. They have kept the state parks open and allowed that you can go there for outdoor exercise provided you keep the appropriate distancing. And going someplace to walk your dog is acceptable. Which means I just take Rocco with me everywhere I go and I should be fine.
I am tuning in to watch the studio’s virtual group class. It isn’t anything more than basic stuff but it is at least a connection to a more “normal” life.
Also, did my home workout today. Tried to adapt to what little equipment I have. Then I read something that too much exercise can be as bad as no exercise. Makes some sense. If you wear yourself out, you can suppress your immune system and be more vulnerable. But 3 times a week or so is the goal so I’ll shoot for that.
So live just keeps changing as people in power react. For self help, I am limiting my consumption of news and I’ve tried to get off the internet by 9 each night to spend some time reading and unwinding. Also, every time I see a headline that says “experts say”, I just skip the article. You tell me who the experts are so I can check their credentials, then maybe I’ll pay attention. But I’m done reading what random “experts” have to say.
Well I guess that’s all for tonight. Hope you all stay safe and healthy. Right now, it feels like this isn’t going to end but I still believe we will get through this.