I wish my title was an homage to Aladdin, but it is actually an nod to an epidemic hitting our planet called the Coronavirus or COVID-19 (link to the Aladdin song in case you need a pick me up!).
Over the last few weeks, a deadly virus began sweeping quickly through China, and spread to many European countries and the United States. It’s too hard for me to write how many cases because it keeps changing, but here’s a link to CNN’s live update.
I want to focus this blog post on the sociological and psychologist ramifications of an outbreak, though, and less on the medical components, which are namely low grade fever, deep dry cough, and the like. People are panicking. There has been a run on hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and milk. Why? My belief is that it is something that is within our control. If we can’t control where and when the virus strikes, we can control that we have ample toilet paper or milk, lest we forget that milk eventually spoils. And does everyone drink milk these days, anyhow? I already had plenty of toilet paper and tissues at home, so I didn’t worry about that. What I did worry about was making sure I have enough cat food in case I get sick and am quarantined and enough food in my freezer. I also went out and bought a thermometer to see if I have a fever at any point. It’s a good thing to have on hand anyhow. Of course the only one left cost $45 but fortunately I used FSA money to cover the costs.
People tend to panic when things are out of their control and there is a level of unknown. Because there has been such a polarizing political climate, I’ve seen people blaming the President or other politicians on social media for the epidemic. Listen I am not a particular fan of our President but I also need to remember that this is technically an unchartered territory for all leaders. Would I prefer if there was someone who was less of a narcissist in charge? Yes. Am I concerned that this will be 100% politically-motivated? No. At some point, I have to believe in our leadership and that good choices will be made in order to keep people alive. End of story. I heard a snip-it on the news this morning where the President tried to sugarcoat the fact that our stock market has crashed. It’s his defense mechanism. Anyone who follows the news and the market knows why it has crashed. And we also need to have faith that it will rebound. Do I wish he’d be more transparent about it? Yes. But I have to rely on my own wherewithal here and see through his bullshit.
I wasn’t planning on getting into politics here, but my point is more so that politicians need to rally together at a time like this. Fine, I know it is an election year so let our candidates shine and show us what they got (I’m looking at you, Joe Biden!).
Ok, back to the social stuff. Please do me a solid and don’t just read headlines or click bate. Take the time to listen to the experts, who are frankly not necessarily your friends or family. Look for reputable sources, like the CDC, to get your information. I’ve also been listening to the New York Times’s podcast, The Daily, which seems to give thoughtful information. I also tend to trust my physician friends. Anyhow, those are my thoughts. More on this, I am sure!