by Curt Kovener
We like to scare each other. Whether from the pulpit or the politician, conjuring up the boogieman is what they often do to encourage us to follow their way.
Currently we have some pretty bad stuff heading to us and the pulpiteers and especially the politicos are doing their best to be reassuring about the COVID-19 form of Coronavirus when they really don’t know much about it.
This is a new virus for which no treatment or vaccine to prevent exists. It has been likened to the 1918 flu epidemic that killed millions. (There’s some more that that boogieman we like to forecast.) But, remember, a hundred years ago there were none of the vaccines and treatments we now take for granted today.
When it comes to disease, my thinking is that we should ignore the pontificating preachers and pandering politicians and pay attention to the people in the medical field who know the science.
As of this writing on Friday the 13th (hmm…didn’t mean to scare you with that) no Coronavirus cases have been reported in Jackson and Scott County or anywhere else in southern Indiana. But it is in Central Indiana and northern Kentucky, so it is only a matter of time until it visits our community.
What should you do to prepare? First, DON’T go buy cases of toilet paper. This virus doesn’t cause diarrhea. It is a respiratory virus.
If you have a fever, cough and shortness of breath, first call your medical provider and let them know of your symptoms. Then follow their instructions. Do not go to the hospital ER or doctor unannounced and spread your disease within your community.
And remember what our mothers told us when we were grubby little kids: “Wash your hands!” And with soap and water and for 20 seconds. Sing ‘Happy Birthday” to yourself (even though it might not be) two times and that should be sufficient.
Carry a hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse for those times in-between hand washing. And after you open a door or handle money (there is a reason it is called filthy lucre).
If you can push a door open, use your elbow or shoulder. To pull a door open use your little finger and look for dirt and wear patterns on the handle and pull it where everyone else is not. Then use sanitizer.
Staying away from crowds helps to prevent the spread of the disease. But if you did go to church or went out to eat, maybe showing some self-restraint and self-quarantining would be for the better good of our community. But after that weekend crowd gathering experience, if you start coughing, feeling feverish and have some trouble breathing, please refer to the instructions above in paragraph 7.
While we are told by medical professional not to touch our mouth, nose or eyes, when I think of that guidance, one of those facial parts itches or tickles.
Here in the wilderness, Becky and I can easily self-quarantine. Though, when you live in the forest with molds, pollens and dust there are constant allergies. And sometimes we make ourselves paranoid with a runny nose or a dry cough.
Since we both work, we do have to leave our quarantine occasionally. So if we meet, please do not be offended if I keep my distance from you or don’t shake your hand opting for a fist or elbow bump. And take no umbrage if during or immediately after our conversation I bring out the hand sanitizer. I’m not calling you a leper or unclean, I am just following the scientific medical community’s recommendations.
Just like the worries over Y2K in 1999, polio, measles, H1N1 flu virus, SARS, MERSA, and Ebola scares, it’ll all be OK.
Remember the universal truth: This, too, shall pass.
But in the meantime, wash your hands, use sanitizer, and avoid crowds. Stay healthy.