Tag Archives: public health issues

A few thoughts on the current world situation…. #stayhome #flattenthecurve

It’s been at least a week since #stayhome started trending everywhere in the U.S. I was actually a little ahead of the curve because I started self isolating the moment I heard about the nursing home patients in Washington. I knew, instinctively, that was just the beginning.

Am I psychic?

Not even a little. Just infection wise.

I became a registered nurse during the infant age of AIDS. Back when pneumocystis carini pneumonia( PCP)  was rapidly making its way through the gay male population of New York – where I worked and lived – I was a nursing student in Bellevue Hospital in NYC. During my intensive care rotation, I was assigned to, and  took care of, a young, comatose, black man. The nurse in charge told me that the health department was seeing an uptick in this new strange pneumonia infecting and killing young, gay men. The patient wasn’t in isolation at the time because the medical establishment thought the disease wasn’t transmissible. No one knew what AIDS was yet. Conventional wisdom dictated that you couldn’t catch pneumonia from another person. You can catch the bacteria or virus organism that may affect your respiratory system, but just being in contact with someone who has pneumonia doesn’t mean you will get it. Even still, precautions were taken when caring for the young man and we wore gloves while touching him.

Not gowns. Not masks. Not respirators.

Just gloves.

I remember so vividly thinking at the time the we should have–if not for our own safety, but for that young man’s– been better protected. He was already immunocompromised. What if the staff carried something to him? We could have been making his condition even worse. ICU’s are a hotbed of germs and invisible pathogens. When you are caring for someone in a coma you come in very close contact. Even a common cold could have killed him if one of us breathed over him and sneezed, or coughed.

Flash forward 40 years ( and doesn’t that blow my mind!!! 40 years since I was in nursing school) to this moment in time. As with  PCP, Covid 19 came out of no where and is now decimating people all over the world. And this time we know for a fact that if we are carriers of the virus we can infect and potentially kill people.

Read that again. If we have the virus, even if we are not symptomatic, we can potentially kill people we come in contact with.

Why, then, are there still individuals walking around without a care in the world? Why, then, are the Gen X’s still on spring break, crowding into bars? Traveling in packs? Why are people in retirement communities still going to bingo and rumba lessons? And for God’s sake, why aren’t all schools – all levels, including college – still not closed?

Have we truly become a nation of people who don’t care about others? Care about how our actions affect other people, those who are already compromised due to chronic health issues, or homeless, or have no access to adequate health care?

I don’t think we have – at least I hope we haven’t. All indications to the contrary aside, I truly believe we are a nation who cares.

So if you fall in the category of people who I think care about others, first, bless you. Then, if you are not an essential member of the work force – nurse, doctor, EMT, fireman, grocery story worker, pharmacist – then stay the hell home. If you don’t care about infecting others, then care about being infected yourself. This is the one time in your life it will be okay to be a hermit.

This is a practice the medical experts tell us will surely flatten the curve of new cases developing, which will in turn get us out of the situation faster and hopefully with less people afflicted and/or dead.

Listen to the experts. Not your next door neighbor or your son’s girlfriend’s mother who owns a nail salon and says that the virus won’t get to them. Hey, they wash their hands, they tell you. Often. Don’t listen to political pundits who tell you everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about. They just want your vote so they can stay in their cushy jobs.

Ignore these people.

LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS. The Public Health doctors and scientists and researchers who have as their purpose in life the health and well being of the population.

Take this time to take a beat and do what is recommended by the people in the know. This will pass. If we take precautions and listen and do as we are told, it will pass quicker and with less loss of life, erosion of our economy, and destruction of our lifestyle.

Life as we’ve known it will return to normal if we listen to the people who know best. Don’t be a self righteous, ignorant dick and think you are the one person in the world this will not touch. Because it will.

 

 

 

 

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Are you self isolating because of Covid 19? I’m a recluse, so here are some tips for survival

Panic, it appears, has infected the globe.

While I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to take all these precautions against spreading and/or catching the corona virus, most people are not used to being isolated in their home, unable to go outside to do anything for a minimum of 14 days JUST IN CASE they have the virus. Most people are social beings and need to be around others to talk, interact, bitch and gossip.

I’m not like most people. I self isolate routinely.

I could use the excuse it’s because I have a solitary career, being a writer and all, but that’s only half of it. I like being alone. I truly do.

So because I am used to being sequestered in the house, where sometimes a week can go by and I have only left it once to grocery shop and care for my parents, I know how to survive the long days where you may feel as if you are the only person on the planet. Here are a few tips so you don’t go crazy.

  1. even if you are not leaving the house, get up and take a shower and get dressed every day. This is your norm, isn’t it? Even when you go on vacay you still do this. Do it now. (Full disclosure here: sometimes I don’t do this until about 5 in the evening when I know hubby will be home in a few hours! )
  2. if you are working from home, work. Don’t watch TV, play a video game, or binge watch sixteen seasons of MASH on Netflix. Do what you’re supposed to be doing. Believe me, it helps off set depression and keeps you on schedule mentally and physically.
  3. make your bed. The desire to crawl back into it during the day is lessened if it’s already make. And don’t grab you laptop and work in you bed. The bed is for sleeping, recreational…sports, and making babies. Not for WORK.
  4. get some exercise. If you can walk outside even for a little while and you can avoid crowds, do it. I have a home gym so I get to exercise everyday no matter what the weather. If you live someplace with a gym on premises, or even have  a home gym like I do, utilize it.
  5. Take a lunch break. You do when you’re at the office, or wherever you work, right? This is the one time you can watch tv if you want. When I take a lunch break I typically watch THE VIEW on ABC and walk on my treadmill for an hour. I combine a break with exercise. Works for me.
  6. if you are truly isolating or working at home because YOU MAY have come in contact with Covid 19, you can still interact and talk with people via Skype, Face time, or any of the other phone/computer apps where you can actually SEE people you are talking to. My daughter’s company has made them all work at home until the end of March and we have had “lunch” together a few times via facetime. She’s eating, I’m eating, and we’re talking and planning.
  7. eat on schedule. DON’T GRAZE or snack. When  you have to get back into work clothes after doing this for a few weeks you will be pissed at the weight gain you could have prevented.
  8. if you no longer work but are isolating at home, my number one thing to do to drive off the boredom is READ. This, I feel, is why e-devices were invented. Even if you don’t have a kindle, but you have an IPAD, you can upload the kindle app for free or even the Nook app. There are literally thousands of free books you can borrow from Amazon, but you can also find oodles of 99cents books from new-to-you authors or recommendations from other people for good books. The other day on my FB page I asked my author friends to post links to their current books so people who were at home could download them to read.  Check it out, here: Recommend a book via FB

And now I just want to get a few things off my chest about this panic and why people are making me insane.

  1. If your kid’s school is CLOSED it’s not a license to take them on fields trips to museums, the movies, the mall, MacDonald’s playland, or anywhere where they are around crowds. The school is closed to keep them safe from catching the virus. Dragging them all over the place because they are bored – or you are – is putting them in danger, precisely what closing the schools was to meant prevent! Think with your brains, people!
  2. Corvid 19 is a RESPIRATORY virus not a GASTRIC one. If you get it you will be SNOTTY not SHITTY. STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER!!! No person alive needs a gross of tp for 2 weeks of isolation. Even the Duggars don’t go through that much much in 14 days!!!
  3. If you are not feeling well – STAY HOME!!!
  4. Stop touching your face. I was at Mass last week and the priest on the altar kept swiping at his nose. Why my husband got mad at me because I didn’t want to receive from this guy is a mystery!!!! My nails are starting to grow for the first time in decades because I haven’t been biting them.
  5. Cough and sneeze into your elbow and teach your snotty little kids to do it, too! I was at Mass – again- last week and a six year old sneezed full faced so hard I thought he was gonna push out brain matter. Did he cover his nose and mouth? That would be NO! HE just let lose all over the people in the pew in front of him. It took every Catholic bone in my body not to scream at him and his parents.
  6. Don’t wipe up disinfectant after you spray or swipe it on a surface. The purpose of disinfectant is to DRY on the area you put it on in order to kill the germs. If you spray it on something and then wipe it off, you are doing no good.
  7. WASH YOUR HANDS. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’m a nurse, so I was taught to wash my hands BEFORE AND AFTER I use the bathroom. Still do to this day.
  8. Use hand sanitizer LIBERALLY. Rub it in. I don’t care if you smell like bleach and no one else does either. Bleach is a good, clean smell. Use it as cologne for all I care, just use it.

Truly the most important thing you can do to get through this trying time is not panic.

Panic benefits no one.

Listen to the suggestions and isolate at home, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

This, too, will pass. And it will do so much quicker if we all use common sense and take necessary precautions.

And above all else STOP HARDING TOILET PAPER!!!!!!!!

Rant over…until next time, peeps ~Peg

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