In 1978, Stephen King published the post-apocalyptic novel, The Stand. Although it is fiction, there are disturbing similarities to our pandemic. There are big differences; King’s Captain Trip flu kills 98% of the world population and the set-up is there. Good vs. Evil
I don’t intend to go on about a fictional disaster. Our own is frightening enough and in the new reality, I have learned some things. I touch my face a lot. I don’t wash my hands for 20 seconds or scrub them sufficiently. I’m learning. My last years of substitute teaching had me sneezing and coughing into my elbow so I’m okay there. Never before, have I wiped down groceries with a bleach solution. I have now. My whole kitchen and bathroom got wiped down and cleaned with the bleach solution. And yet…
I find myself checking for symptoms. A week ago, I bit my tongue hard. Of course it hurt and the pain radiated to my throat. (I know, this is a bit dramatic.) My God. I have the virus. Even though I knew it didn’t help, I gargled with salt for a couple of nights. O, and my tongue healed and my throat wasn’t sore any longer. Twinge in my head? what? Is that the covid?? I don’t get headaches. Then there’s the coughing. Yes, I cough. I’m old and I take meds for hypertension so I cough. But is this cough dry??? I could go on but that’s sufficient. I was descending into hypochondria.
Ridiculous worry. Last night, the Premier did nothing to allay fears. The models and predictions, especially the worst case scenario are dire. I take comfort in knowing he is not an epidemiologist and that we don’t need to progress up the curve. We can flatten it.
Stephen King wrote a prescient novel of a terrible pandemic. It was fiction and by simple things, we can avoid the fate of the victims of the flu, Captain Trip. Wash our hands, physical distancing, stay home. It’s hard because we aren’t used to restrictions. It’s time to ignore minor inconveniences. I have to remember there are all kinds of people who go out to work every day, possibly putting their lives on the line. Thank you. Those of us who have to shelter in place have it easy.