Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Year of the Coronavirus

Hello!  It's been quite a while... I started this blog back in 2013 and I am realizing that it is in serious need of a face lift.  I will work on that in the meantime, but let's talk about 2020.  This year has started off with an interesting series of events, which has led to the world's current state.  We are currently under quarantine due to a global pandemic.  Non-essential employees are not allowed to work and 6.6 million employees have filed for unemployment.  I am currently one of the essential employees, since I work in healthcare.  However, the front liners are doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists, hospital staff, etc.  As of right now, most employees have been working from home and are trying to hold the laboratories together to avoid further contamination of this virus we call COVID-19, or Coronavirus.

The origins of COVID-19 are still unknown and researchers are working restlessly to find an antidote.  People have predicted that the virus originated from Wuhan, China.  However, other sources have come to wonder if this is accurate.  I personally don't think it originated from China, but that's another story to tell.  The virus is non-discriminatory, so it attacks anyone who is in close proximity with another person who has been infected (sounds like some T-Virus stuff from the Umbrella Corporation, right?) and will have an incubation state of 14 days.  There are symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.  Symptomatic patients develop a high fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and can be lethal because it attacks the respiratory system.  Asymptomatic patients may be walking around and infecting others without even knowing they are positive.  So... due to the rapid spread, the world has shut down and advised the entire population of humans to quarantine themselves at home and wait it out.  Hospitals have been overbooked with unprecedented numbers of patients and laboratories have been working together to run PCR testing in order to develop a rapid response for patients.

So, what has Coronavirus led to?  Let's see...

  • Panic buying over random items like toilet paper, household cleaning items, and paper towels
  • A significant increase in racism against the Asian/ Asian American community... random people on the streets are hurting Asians or blaming the spread of Coronavirus on them - especially since Trump called the virus the "Chinese Virus"
  • People all over the world are dying - especially the elderly
  • Travel bans and border closing, which means an economic crisis due to the shortage of goods
  • Lack of PPE in hospitals to protect healthcare workers from being infected and taking the virus home to their families
  • Increased fear of sickness and death
  • Many people began implementing the practice of proper hygiene and hand washing (though, I don't know why they didn't do this before... it makes you wonder) 
  • Families being notified of the passing of their loved ones and not being able to retrieve the body or see them in the hospital because of fears of being infected
  • Daily activities have been halted and people have retreated to their homes indefinitely, unless it is to go to the stores to buy essential products
  • All department stores, malls, and restaurants have been shut down, unless you order online for take out or delivery
  • Many employees are left unemployed and are wondering how to survive without pay
  • Government tries to create a stimulus package to bail out the country from possible economic crumble
The list goes on.  I thought a new decade would bring change, but I didn't know the change would come straight out of the Book of Revelations.  In these times, I have seen and read many different stories and articles on Facebook, of which I've dubbed to be fake news.  However, one thing does remain constant... people feel entitled.  I say this because regardless of what the government tells their people to stop the spread, people still go outside due to cabin fever, they feel they can hurt others based on their irrational fears instead of actual facts, and they lie to nurses and doctors to get things done their way, which shows selfishness.  It's so sad to see who people actually become in times of crisis.  Healthcare workers are striving to work day in and out to protect and help others, and lying to them about where you've been or what you've been exposed to due to your own irrational fears of having the virus doesn't help anyone.  It's surreal.

During these times, I've been able to reflect a bit on what is important and what isn't.  I've become closer to my family and those around me.  I saw my mom for the first time in a month yesterday and I had to give her an air hug, since I had to be six feet away from her.  My mother is immunocompromised due to an autoimmune disease, so it is heartbreaking for me to not be able to hug her.  My dad offered me his elbow because I wasn't able to hug him either.  My sister is a nurse and has been exposed to the virus because her patient coded on her and passed away while she was doing chest compressions to try to save him (he coughed in her face, even with a mask), so she has shelled herself up in a hotel because she is afraid to come home since she lives with my mom.  My brother works at a pharmacy so he's dealing with patients daily, and you don't know who is sick and who is healthy.  He's also afraid of bringing the virus home to my parents.  My siblings and I have made arrangements for them to live away from home for a bit, and my parents face the reality that my brother and sister will have to grow up quickly (they're not happy).  This is the world we live in.

I miss human interactions with others.  I miss going out and hanging out with my friends.  I miss dinner date nights and laughing.  I miss hugs from people I love and care about.  Among all the things I miss?  I miss my freedom.  You don't realize how much you take for granted when you have it, but when things are gone, you end up thinking about what really matters.  I'll save that for the next post. 

Let's see what this new world will bring once this is over... 

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