Mary Beth Writes

Corona Virus Disease-2019  Covid-19

WE HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING QUITE LIKE THIS.

Yes, there was polio when some of us were little … but Thank You, Dr. Salk … the vaccine was invented while we were too small to understand what was going on. I remember being carried in my dad's arms to get a shot at the county courthouse. We stood in a long line of parents bringing in their kids.

Len was hospitalized in the 2nd Grade with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) he contracted as a side effect of mumps.  You better beleive our kids were vaccinated against childhood diseases as soon as a vaccine was available.

We Americans occasionally learn about terrifying outbreaks of terrible diseases in other places, yet for the most part we have been safe. If we do catch whatever is “going around” we generally recuperate just ‘really behind at work.’

I hope Covid-19 fades away. It sure doesn’t look as if it will.

So today I am writing this as a way to relieve my own stress and worry … and to remind you of a few things we know and can do to be prepared.

First: The virus is easy to fight – with soap. Wash your hands and face. Don’t touch your face when you are away from home. When you come into your house, take off your outside shoes and put on inside shoes or slippers with clean soles. WASH the soles of shoes you are going to wear inside your house or other peoples’ homes.

Consider taking a fast and soapy shower when you come home. Wear clothes that are easy to wash; change them when you return from being out and about in busy places.

 https://medicalnewsbulletin.com/how-long-does-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces/ “The research team … determined that the virus can live on surfaces and remain infectious for up to nine days. The average survival rate (of the virus on surfaces) was four to five days, but low temperature and high humidity increase their lifespan.”

Next:“The coronavirus spreads by human-to-human contact via droplets, contaminated hands, and contaminated surfaces. It takes about two to ten days before its flu-like symptoms appear.” https://medicalnewsbulletin.com/how-long-does-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces/

As of this morning there is a case of a person (in California) contracting Covid-19 in an unknown way. Up till now it’s seemed that people catch the disease spending time where other people have/had the virus. But now we know that the virus is already “out there” where others can contract it - probably from contaminated surfaces - and we won’t know for two days to two weeks.

Who is most vulnerable? About 2% of people who will contract Covid-19 will die from it. This figure might be too high because many cases are so light the sick person doesn’t consult with a medical person and thus their sickness doesn’t get tallied into reports.

In most cases, the people who succumb to this sickness are past 60 (yikes!) and already have health issues, especially heart disease or conditions that compromise their lungs. Curiously, men are more likely to die than women. No one is quite sure why although perhaps estrogen is protective.

 What about our grandkids and other children we know and love?  “Deaths occurred in every age group except in children under the age of nine, and, generally speaking, “we see relatively few cases among children,” https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/why-some-covid-19-cases-are-worse-than-others-67160

PAY ATTENTION!  If you feel sick, stay home!  This is not a time to “tough it out.” Probably you only have a cold – but your immune system is going to be busy fighting that; it doesn’t need Covid-19 exposure.  Plus you are sharing the world with others who ARE incubating this serious sickness – they don’t need your cold on top of their looming vulnerability. 

So what should we do starting now?

Wash your hands as if you mean it. Don’t just stick them under the tap and walk away. Wash those paws! Use hand sanitizer when you are away from soap and water. 

Be productively paranoid! When you clean the kitchen before or after a meal, use soap to wipe down the counters. Consider cooking and eating at home instead of ordering in meals or eating out a lot. Or at least be aware of this: Do you trust the place that is preparing and delivering your meal? Do they pay their staff well enough so that those people will stay home if they feel sick?

Wash frequently used handles and doorknobs in your house, including the refrigerator door. This might be a great time to wash the kitchen floor and the bathrooms. You’ll have more time now that you aren’t eating those candlelit restaurant dinners. 

If you often patronize a favorite restaurant, maybe call and tell them you will be back when Covid-19 is under control. This is going to be a hard time for small business owners. 

Be aware that medical care providers are more at risk than the rest of us because they are going to come in contact with more sick people than we do. Be respectful of their exposure and busyness right now.  If you are a medical person, ask if your employer is stocking anti-viral medications FOR YOU! Ask now what their plans to protect you are.

Stock some groceries to get your through a week. My mind cannot imagine being quarantined in ways we witnessed in China. I am not going to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. But, next time you go to the store, buy a few things that could carry you an extra week if you needed to stay at home sick or caring for a sick person. Buy extra juices and hydrating drinks. 

The stock market is free-falling nuts right now. Unless someone smarter than you tells you differently, if you have investments in the stock market, leave them alone. In six months to a year it’s going to rebound nicely.  Tell your financial planner I said so.  (Actually, do what your FP tells you to do.)

Finally, donate money to organizations that work with people who are homeless or who are refugees. As much as we are anxious about what’s coming down the road – the situation is heartbreakingly magnified for people already living in fraught conditions.

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FYI: Mayo Clinic put up new Covid-19 information just this week: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963?page=0&citems=10

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I've always been afraid of catching germs from people ( Thanks Dad ) because of the things he would tell us about his coworkers bathroom habits at Webster Electric where he worked up until he got cancer... When I'm out I go out of my way to NOT touch anything I don't have to ( Hands in pockets )... Bathrooms that automatically do everything for you are my favorites... Michael is always complaining when I push the handicap button to enter a store but I say you can do that with an elbow or knee thus not having to touch the door handle... I have enough dry ingredients in the house to survive for way over a month if I got sick... And lots of juice so if I have to stay home I can do it without panicking... I heard on the news that wearing a mask is big mistake because most aren't designed for that kind of protection and most people wear the same mask for way to long... Also most people wearing mask are found to do more face touching then normal which just spread more germs...
Mary Beth's picture

Wearing a mask is a good idea if the wearer is likely to be coughing or sneezing - its catches the droplets that can makes others sick. At least that's what I've heard. All of us are hearing so many things. Mainly, if one feels punky, has any fever, is coughing or sneezing - stay home!

I know you can hear my paranoia from there —- yes, best advice. Wash your hands and then wash them again.

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Advent Light Post 12-4-2020

Like likes like.

I received this (above) lovely photo from Susan W of an old-fashioned city lamp seen through trees at night.

It made me recall the pix Karen P sent of her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding a few years ago. They lit and sailed paper lanterns propelled by small candles which (hopefully) flickered out when they flew high enough.

Which of course, reminded me of the paper lanterns at my kids’ wedding.

I don’t walk around noticing spheres and globes, but the image is just unusual enough to bring similar images to mind.

Advent Light Post 12/3/2020

The photo is Karen P's mom, Joan, who has been in quarantine in an assisted living residence since March. Her birthday party was a few months before all this began. Light for hope. Hope for light.

...

Yesterday I wrote “I liked figuring out the best way to position my stance in order to frame whatever it was I wanted to focus on.”

Point of View. 

Advent Light Post 12/2/2020

Len has been taking photos since he was a college newspaper reporter/photographer; (University of Chicago and University of Calgary). He has photos that he took from Willis (it was Sears then) Tower while it was under construction. Len had a journalist pass so he called to see if he could “do a story” and they didn’t ask if he was 20 yet, so he got the gig. When (if) he finds those photos, I will put some here.

As long as I have known him, Len has owned a camera. I think we are now on #3. He brought to our marriage the tripod that he still uses.

Advent Light Post 12/1/2020

(The photo is of headlights making a dotted line on the cemetery fence.) 

...

Oh that morning! Len drove us like crazy across Chicago to the hospital where we would birth our first child.  It was a very clear, very cold December morning, kind of like what’s outside my window right now. 

That same evening I was wheelchaired back out of that hospital. When the lobby doors slid open, the world had become night and the driveway vapor lights lit a blizzard of whirling snow.

It was a completely different world. Yes it was.

Advent Light Post 11/30/2020

Today is Len’s birthday and to celebrate being born on the last day of November in the upper Midwest, he is out on his bike right now. It’s spitting snow, there are 20-30mph winds, and the real-feel temp is 20. He has on both pairs of his bicycling pants. He also has a slice of pumpkin raisin Bundt cake (hmmm, I wonder who baked that) in his bike’s little trunk. 

Happy Birthday to the kind of guy who, when a girl invites him to attend the Sunday school class she teaches - comes to that Sunday school class. A rare man, indeed. 

Advent Light 11/28/2020

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the first Sunday of Advent. 

So first of all, like I said before, I’m preaching. I think you can listen to the whole service starting at 9:30AM, if you go to https://www.uniteduuc.org/ .  There is usually a link there that you have to click, when you click it, it says something about YouTube, so click that link, too. Otherwise, by Monday (maybe earlier, I don’t know who does this or when) it will show up on YouTube at United Unitarian Universalist, Waukesha, and my name.

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