Sunday, April 5, 2020

Pandemic paranoia

My paranoia has reached epic (or epidemic) proportions.

I saw this musing on Facebook the other day, which made me feel like I wasn't alone: Every time you cough or sneeze, does the thought suddenly flash through your mind: "Oh my God! Do I have it?" (The 'it,' of course, being COVID-19).

Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's kind of ironic how in this time of quarantines and lock downs meant for the sole purpose of isolation that you can feel so much a part of a community. Alone together.

My paranoia (I'm thinking this is a kind of paranoia that even psychiatrists might approve) reached the point where I learned how to make my own cloth face mask out of a bandana and elastic hair ties. It was easy peasy. The one I made for Kim kept slipping off her left ear, so I connected the elastic ties with a chain of paper clips, and that seemed to work.



The cloth face mask likely will not prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it might help prevent you from contaminating someone else with sneezes and coughs, which seems to be the whole point.

All of which leads to other musings.

A month ago, we were told face masks for non-essential healthcare personnel were unnecessary. Now the Center for Disease Control has reversed itself, recommending each time you go in public to wear a cloth face mask. I guess this has become a learning experience for everyone, including the CDC.

These are confusing times.

But the fact that we have to make our own cloth masks, months into the pandemic, living in the richest nation in the world, is perplexing. Why can I not get an N95 mask for myself without competing with the healthcare community? Where's my Lysol? Where's my Purell? Good Lord, where the hell is my toilet paper?

And if these things are being mass produced 24/7, then where did they get lost in the supply train? Why are grocery store shelves still empty of these things?

Why must states bid against each other for ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), driving up prices in the middle of a pandemic? Who's profiteering off that policy? A 70-cent face mask is now $7. A $20,000 ventilator is now $50,000, and rising.

No wonder I'm paranoid. Things I need are not readily available.

I'm getting myself worked up. I need to stay calm and watch another old movie on TCM.

Wash your hands. Practice social distance. Right now, it appears those are the only things we've got in supply.




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