And Another Thing
By Gail Hodson Shirk
How You Caught Coronavirus, Or Not
I admit right off, in some circles, I am considered a hypochondriac; those circles being my family and people who have known me a long time. To be accurate, and fair to myself, hypochondria is defined as: a person who is abnormally anxious about their health. Honestly, in this day and age, who isn’t?
Interestingly, if you asked my current doctor about me, you would very likely get an entirely different take on this. All my physicians have struggled over the years to compel me to crawl out of the denial in which I comfortably dwell, and take some of my health issues seriously. But, that story is for another day.
For this day’s post, I want to discuss the state of how we are doing with this most inconvenient Coronavirus, if many of us have had it, and whom can we believe? I don’t think I am the only person in the US who is frustrated by daily conflicting numbers, symptoms, expectations, and future projections. I read news practically 24/7, from sources around the globe, and I can say emphatically, rarely do these sources state the same thing.
Just a few minutes ago, I read a breakdown on a number of New Yorkers who contracted the Coronavirus, and were hospitalized. Out of the total, two-thirds of the New Yorkers were admitted from their homes, a “shocking” statistic that defies social distancing logic, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
The curious conclusion was reached in a three-day survey of patients hospitalized with the virus, conducted this week. Cuomo said, “Sixty-six percent of the people were at home, which is shocking to us.” The same survey found that 46 percent were unemployed, and 37 percent retired. “So, that says they’re not working, they’re not traveling,” said Cuomo. “These people were literally at home.”
Now, I bring this to my home, and make it personal. I have been dealing with Coronavirus symptoms, and even though I continue to minimize how I feel, the reality is I have not felt good, at all. Am I in full blown hypochondria, or am I in full blown denial? My ultimate test for such things is that I am still alive, which is a good thing! I always give myself a little wiggle room, and a deadline (very bad term) for getting well, or at least better. I have some time left on that schedule, so I’m not too worried, yet.
What does concern me is how I believed I followed all the rules and procedures for avoiding this illness:
- Self isolated
- No contact with anyone
- Any deliveries sit until germs die
Now that looks to me as though I should be safe from anything and everything. Then I read about the hospitalized New Yorkers. It sounds as if they were as careful as I have been. And yet, there they are, and here I am.
Then, as I pondered this, it came to me. I would bet anything the New Yorkers have been just as naive as I. Yes, I followed what I read was appropriate behavior, but I didn’t give much thought to other variables.
I have used Uber Eats considerably, and did not order from just one restaurant. I have personal shoppers buy my groceries through Instacart, and my prescriptions are delivered through Scriptdrop. While I was feeling so safe and snug here in my apartment, people have come and gone, touching everything I’ve purchased since the middle of March.
Unfortunately, I am drawing the conclusion that social distancing is a valid strategy, but unless one dwells in a bubble, not a trustworthy guarantee to prevent contamination. Contact with others seems to be inevitable, even when one is trying to avoid it. And we haven’t begun to discuss those who feel the courtesy of keeping their germs to themselves is not applicable to their lifestyles.
My confidence in what we have been instructed is beginning to waiver, I am not sure numbers we’ve been watching everyday are valid, and I don’t feel good. But all that aside, apart from a miraculous vaccine popping up overnight, I am still a true believer, and will continue following the instructions I’ve been given. I don’t see any alternatives, and the fact remains, I am a hypochondriac, and I might just need a cookie to feel better. Peanut butter would be nice. And some ice cold milk.
Photo courtesy of istock.com)