Monday, March 30th, 2020
The Butcher’s Bill 11:00 AM, PDT (only a momentary snapshot)
Cases: 725,300 Deaths: 36,900
Cases: 158,400 Deaths: 2,919
It’s National Doctor’s Day today. They should make 2020 National Doctor’s Year; and nurses, lab techs, researchers, janitors, hospital and doctors office and healthcare workers in general, first responders, truckers, delivery drivers, plumbers, carpenters, mechanics and anyone else who keeps our shit functioning, cashiers, stock clerks, transit workers, daycare providers, foodbank workers, those helping the homeless, teachers trying to keep their students engaged, factory workers, farmers, ranchers and other food producers, therapists helping those who are having trouble dealing with these difficult times and of course toilet paper manufacturers. If I’ve left someone out I apologize for the omission.
Today, Wuhan is getting back in business again with the reopening of 11 shopping malls including one of Wuhan’s fanciest, Wuhan International Plaza. The shopping hours are limited to between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Restaurants and theaters in Wuhan are still dark. If Wuhan can have a light at the end of the tunnel then so can we. The question is when.
It’s still an emotional rollercoaster for me. One minute optimistic and then a few hours later wondering if I let my guard down during an errand. Did I forget to wash my hands, did I get too close to someone? And I can’t seem to get rid of the dryness in my throat which has been on and off for at least two weeks. I keep telling myself that it’s really in my head and not my throat. During a conversation with my best friend she tells me that she sometimes feels the phantom throat tickle.
During my walk with Lexi I see a number of people wearing masks. The CDC has issued guidelines stating that if you aren’t sick you don’t need a mask but there’s push back on that from others in the medical field. In my little Facebook circle there are friends and family advising everyone to mask up but given the current situation I see that, at this point in time and with a dire shortage of masks, as inexcusable. Healthcare workers and first responders and others who are having to do their jobs in the general population are begging for masks. Every mask worn by someone out for a stroll is a mask denied a nurse. Maybe the efficacy of masks for all can be discussed once there are enough masks for all. Till then maintain distance, watch where you go, sanitize surfaces and wash your hands.
Today, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C have issued mandatory stay at home orders bringing the total to 30. The remainder are leaving it up to county and city officials. I understand the whole state’s rights thing but it seems to me that this slapdash course of action and inaction is going to dim the light at the end of America’s covid tunnel. It’s a time to be glad I’m living in California where the governor took swift action.
Living in California doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone in the state is a rational adult. Last night in Oakland there was not one but two sideshows that attracted up to 450 people standing side by side. (A sideshow according to Wikipedia is “an informal demonstration of automotive stunts now often held in vacant lots, public intersections and sections of freeways”. Participants literally block off streets and perform the stunts in front of packed crowds). The police made arrests and impounded 14 cars which will hopefully be dismantled for spare parts and what’s left over melted down.
It’s been a nice day for a walk. On a day like today I would normally sit on a bench by the bayshore and read or just enjoy the sun and scenery. I don’t use public benches now. If I want to sit or lay something down I find a suitable rock or log.
Day’s end and I have a brief telemed conversation with my doctor over an issue not related to coronavirus. She tells me that she and the other PCP’s are relying on phone and email consults as much as possible. She encourages me to use the advice line if I need to and not to worry if I’m ever instructed to go to emergency as they are segregating respiratory patients from others.
If you haven’t thanked a doctor, nurse or anyone else on the list at the top of this post please think about doing so.