By Craig Hastings
So here we sit. Another week of self sheltering as much as possible. This is normally the time of year when I’m praying for 70 degree weather with the sun in full shine mode. I’ve not done that this weekend. Nope, I’m kinda glad the weather this day (Saturday) was rainy and chilly. If I need to stay at home anyway, I’m encouraged to accomplish this by the weather being below 60 degrees and wet/cold. I tuned in as Fox News aired the President’s COVID-19 daily press update as they do each day. The news was a bit more grim than the day before with a prediction that America will see it’s worst week yet this week. Both confirmed cases and the deaths associated with the virus will also increase. Of course what I didn’t hear once again was the number of people who have recovered from the virus this week along with a prediction of the number of people who may recover this coming week. Most all of the news media concentrate on the doom and gloom of this pandemic and share little the statistics of the hope and accomplishments of those front line/in the trenches medical profession heroes who are literally risking their own lives for the rest of us.
Is it too much for me to ask that a separate news conference be held to report to Americans on the progress being made by these incredible people. Tell us how they are holding up and how they manage to stay focused week after week. Is there enough being done to support the medical professionals both now and after. Wouldn’t it be a forgone conclusion that some of these people might need both physical and mental support to recover from the stress and strain from the rigors of the demands being made on them? And what about their own families that are being put through this pandemic. What is the family routine like now as opposed to just two months ago? Do these medical professionals that care for the COVID-19 sick undress outside or in the garage each time they return home? Do they immediately after undressing each day jump in the shower? Who starts their laundry and is that laundry washed each and every day? These are not small concerns either! All of what they wear and their skin might be contaminated with the virus. Worse yet, these same medical professionals may even come home infected with the virus themselves!
I was ashamed of myself Friday night while watching one of the stories about hospital employees. All of these weeks we’ve spoken about, concerned ourselves with, and even prayed for those putting their own lives in harm’s way to care for those sick with COVID-19 I was reminded of another group of employees in just as much danger. What about the seldom mentioned hospital and clinic employees responsible for the janitorial duties of these facilities!? Ask yourself, would you want to be one of those people collecting, bagging, and then removing all of the left over debris that is required to take care of the COVID-19 victims? Not only is there great danger handling this hazmat material but think about the air quality surrounding this material. We are expected to social distance six feet from everyone outside of our homes so as not to inhale or make contact with the air coughed or sneezed by someone infected. Think about everytime you tie up a garbage bag. Does not a puff of air shoot up out of the top as you tie it? Is enough attention being paid to these people? I hope so.
There has been much reported in the news of families reconnecting due to the increased time they are required to spend together. Board games are being dug out and off of closet shelves, old Nintendo game sets are being fired up, and even simple playing cards are being shared by families trying to find a way to pass the time away. However, there is a dark side of the whole family togetherness struggle. Our police department has seen an increase of family squabbles, an unfortunate side bar of too much togetherness. These incidents are usually reserved for the evening shift officers and mostly on the weekends. One day last week we were called to two different incidents an hour apart and before eleven o’clock in the morning on a weekday. As much as we humans can love, we all have our limits I guess.
As of the reporting today I understand America is still scheduled to make an attempt to get back to some sort of normalcy April 30. If there is a change I don’t expect that everything and all occupations will return to an “as they were” status. Maybe a reduction in hours open for business, the number of employees allowed to return in a given area of square footage, the number of customers allowed in a business at one time? “The problem fix can’t be made worse than the repair of the problem itself.” There couldn’t be a more true statement made as it applies to the world wide dilema we’re in today. How many people will die as a result of this virus and how many years would have all of those people lived had it not been for a virus imported into our country from which Americans have no control? If you haven’t done so already; Google “wet markets in China”. I think you will be shocked at a minimum and maybe even angry as I was after learning what these places are all about. For sure I could never visit one without getting locked up for life in a Chinese prison.
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)