What are we doing?! Covid-19

Now, initially I was not going to make a blog post about this but there are several things that have caused me to question actions and precautions that are presented to us in the face of this global pandemic. As my Grandma would have said ” I have held my tongue long enough. ” Which generally meant she was about to tell you like it is and you better buckle up. None of the current generations have seen anything like this in our lifetimes, there is only a few generations that have seen something like this on such a large scale. The last true pandemic was the spanish flu in 1918.

Via wikipedia: The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; colloquially known as the Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus, with the second being the swine flu in 2009.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

With that being said, Swine Flu was bad, but not on the scale that everything was being closed down and people were being forced to quarantine in their homes. With the Spanish Flu however, there were often camps set up to quarantine those who were affected, isolation hospitals put in place, and other steps that were taken to help reduce further spread. So the scale of the two “pandemics” is drastically different. Swine flu affected a lot of people including some of my own family, but it still was not as drastic as the numbers the Spanish flu created in its wake.

What are we looking at now? Well, like I said, none of the current generations have ever seen anything like this in their lifetime. We have never experienced something on such a large global scale that threatens the world’s population like Covid-19 is doing. Covid-19 or the Coronavirus as it is also called is virus that is causing a lot of panic worldwide. A lot of the panic is coming from over reporting in the beginning of the outbreak, which fueled into mass hysteria. The hysteria then fueled panic buying into the general public world wide, which has now created shortages of your everyday items. Which to many is absolutely mind boggling. I personally, understand that people are scared and when that happens they do not tend to think rationally. But to watch as the items fly off the shelves in such a rapid manner is disheartening to say the least.

For example, those of us who are not thrown into a panic are now faced with limited if no supplies of groceries or toiletries for that matter for our own families. I went out of the house two days ago to get some things for my family, we were low on toilet paper but not out as of yet, so I thought it would be a good time to get some. We went to four different stores that day and all were out. Signs were put up in the store limiting people to the amount they could purchase, most said “Limit 2 paper products per customer.” I thought ..’Well I guess it’s a good thing we are not completely out.” We continued to shop around and went to look for meat, canned goods, and other groceries. To our surprise most of the stores looked like this picture below.

They were out of bottled water, toiletries, meat, bread, dairy and several other items… But it was not just one store! Aldi, Kroger, Big Lots, Publix are all dwindling down on the amount of supplies that they have on all things. It is really sad to see this happening all over the place and it is not just here in Georgia. Places all over the world are experiencing the same things. People are panicking and not thinking as rationally as they should. Sure it is good to prep, it’s good to take precautions for you and your families, but you also have to keep in mind those around us who cannot fend for themselves so easily. Elderly people cannot always get to the stores as easily as we able-bodied people can, nor can those who are confined to their homes for other medical reasons. Not to mention that, children, who cannot shop, rely on us as parents to provide them with the essentials for daily life.

The media has a lot to do with this panic buying and mentality that is going on around us, when they first started reporting on Covid-19 it was an epidemic and has since turned into a global pandemic. The reports were coming in daily and at times hourly feeding into the frenzie around us. Weekly and Daily reports are fine, to a certain extent, but hourly reports can cause unneeded panic for the masses. So where does that leave us now?

Well, we are currently in a national state of emergency, where we as a nation, are basically on lock down. Schools are closing, events are being canceled, health departments are closing, restaurants who have drive ins are opting to close their dining areas, things are getting more serious and scary for a lot of people, by the day. There is some truth in the reports but a lot of the articles I have been reading over the past month are heavily laced with contradictory “facts” and statements. Some of the information is as follows:

Is it spread person to person? Yes, it is, to an extent. There are some who have been tested positive that have not been around another person who has had it.

Is it community based? Yes and no.

Is it airborne? Yes, for several hours after a person has expelled a cough into the air it is.

Can it live on surfaces? Yes it can, but it can be killed with household cleaners. Then you have this information right behind it.

study out this week finds that the virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. “This virus has the capability for remaining viable for days,” says study author, James Lloyd-Smith, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who researches how pathogens emerge.

Should you avoid large crowds? Yes, the CDC says avoid anything over 50 people. While other information says events containing 250 people or more are currently banned.

The general gist of all of this is, simply, it is highly contagious. The infection rate is higher than the average cold or flu, and the exact mortality rate is still very unknown. Because of the mutations, the rates of the infection to death vatio, and many other different factors that come into play. The main question for many is this; what are we to do? Many people have answered… that what they are going to do is panic. Panic comes in many forms,such as over stocking & buying things, which in turn can also lead to people “anticipating the supply and demand influx”. Which then turns into price gouging, scams, and people left wondering where does it all end.

I read an article about one prime example of the price gouging the other day, where a guy bought out two states worth of hand sanitizer and masks…. He then, in turn, tried to sell the items way above cost, on Amazon and Ebay. This is not what we should be doing! This is not how people should react. The good news was when the companies he was selling under found about it, they shut it down and banned his accounts. The bad news, this is not the only case of this type of behavior I have seen. Even in local community facebook groups people are being banned from groups for doing this exact same thing.

What does this lead to you might be wondering, why is this of concern? Well, today an article was posted of instance where people have been calling into 911 looking for toilet paper! I kid you not! Never in a million years did I think I would read an article about people calling Emergency services for toilet paper……. but as you can see below, it happened.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – People in Oregon are being asked not to call 911 if they’ve run out of toilet paper.

Over the past week, hordes of shoppers flooded stores across the nation looking to stockpile the household staple. Not only has this put a squeeze on retailers, but apparently police as well.

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance,” The Newport Police Department wrote on Facebook.

The agency offered a tongue-in-cheek list of alternatives for those in need of their “favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue.”

“[T]here are always alternatives to toilet paper. Grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now,” the message read. “Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use. Mother Earth News magazine will tell you how to make your own wipes using fifteen different leaves. When all else fails, you have magazine pages. Start saving those catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycle bin. be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.”

https://www.wfla.com/community/health/coronavirus/police-dont-call-911-if-you-run-out-of-toilet-paper/?fbclid=IwAR0gUVI5t1j7oATiZdD95154qqRMcD3I3mk5o5UtpNYYOW85HwLu0OLpTZY

This leaves many of us feeling as though, the world has simply gone mad. Feeling helpless in the fact that our food supply is dwindling thus leading into other causes for concern. Such as a rise in crime and shortage of supplies that could potentially reduce the spread of infect. Not to mention the rise in “confirmed cases/presumed cases”, which they are not labeling differently anymore, but have instead have decided to lump all the numbers together. All of these things combined fuels the questions we have and the panic that many are feeling.

However, there is another piece of good news in all this madness, some stores have taken advice from the community and are allowing hours for seniors/elderly to come in and shop on their own or with assistance if needed. If more of the stores around the world would follow suit in this it would help out so many. We can only hope that they will!

Woolworths will open its doors exclusively to the elderly and people with disabilities for a dedicated shopping hour, after panic buying due to the coronavirus stripped shelves of essentials items.

Most of its supermarkets across the nation will open to the vulnerable only from 7am to 8am, beginning on Tuesday.

https://7news.com.au/news/health/woolies-to-hold-elderly-only-shopping-hour-c-746629

So, what can you do personally to help?

You can make a conscious decision not to “buy into” everything you read. “Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.” What we are hearing and reading needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

You can be aware of others around you; who might need that third pack of toilet paper more than you do. They may need that fourth pack of water that you are clinging to, and for the love… do not offer to give it to them over the cost value. Do not be that person who makes us lose faith in humanity.

Instead, take that extra pack to the nursing home. the shelters, or even to an elderly neighbor’s home who might be having issues getting their basic supplies.

Offer to help a needy family get some food for their kids, offer to order it from Instacart, Grubhub, DoorDash, or Amazon… if you, yourself do not want to venture out into the crowds.

Let us all be part of the solution in getting through this in one piece and not part of the problem, let us not feed 100% into the mass panic, and let us come together as communities, even if we cannot assemble in public within large droves. Use your heart and your head to guide you through this time. No one knows where this is all headed, no one has all the answers, but we can keep our humanity in all of it. Let us not lose sight of what makes us truly human.

Until next time,

U.M.

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