By Amy McCollom
School is starting, and everyone is freaking out. It is a difficult time when there is so much information out there from all kinds of sources that you do not know who or what to believe. I get that. What I don’t get is how Americans have totally lost their common sense. I wish the word “pandemic” was stricken from our vocabulary. You can’t spell pandemic without beginning and ending with panic.
I have some great advice for everyone who is freaking out and confused. When you don’t know what to do, do what you do know to do. Using my common sense, here are the facts that I have figured out about this COVID-19 business:
1. The chances of recovering from COVID-19 if you get it is 99 percent.
2. If you get COVID-19, most people only experience regular flu-like symptoms for a few days, then they get better.
3. Having ongoing health risks like being a smoker or overweight or not exercising will make it harder for you to recover and could possibly put you at greater risk for severe complications if you get COVID-19. This is your wake-up call to get yourself healthy! Even regular seasonal flu could kill you if your body is already facing health challenges. Time to face reality.
4. We all need to be washing our hands better and more frequently. Haven’t you noticed less colds and allergies since we have been doing all of this hand washing? Let’s keep that up.
5. Kids have always been and will always be natural-born germ carriers. I have never met a first grader that didn’t pick their nose. Trust me, I used to work at the school. If it were up to me, all kids from age 3 until 18 would wear masks 24/7, but no. I would be a big meany-head. Trust me, Junior and Princess will pull their mask down and breath for a while if they get too hot, just like you do when you’re shopping at Walmart. It won’t kill them to obey rules. If we always bale them out, how are they going to learn to just deal with life? A mask at school isn’t going to be that bad. And who knows; maybe after November all of these rules will be loosened.
6. If you are sick, stay home. Fever, cough, feeling crappy? Don’t go anywhere. Easy enough. Also, Grandma is just going to have to watch reruns for a while because it really isn’t safe to go visit any of the nursing homes right now. Honestly. As much as we love our old people, they are disease carriers too because they are in a confined environment for the most part and breath the same air, if living in a “home” with other residents. Most viruses are airborne. Visit through the window, or on video. Even a simple cold could become very serious to a compromised elderly person.
7. As much as we like to look fashionable in those nice fabric handmade masks; to be honest with you, the paperish disposable ones like at the doctor’s office are easier to breathe through. I bought a box of 50 of those paperish disposable masks at Walmart for around $18. They come with a metal nose clip that keeps my glasses from fogging up and I don’t get nearly as winded when I wear one shopping.
8. I haven’t heard anything about flattening the curve lately, have you? Of course not. Projected cases of COVID-19 and actual cases were so astronomically off that the “curve chart” was abandoned a long time ago. So is this virus real? Yes. Does it really kill people? Yes. But so did H1N1, by hundreds of thousands more. (Warning, here comes my opinion.) The reason for all of this panic is that this is an election year and Trump was the star of a good economy and the ‘powers that be’ want to see Trump fall, so. Welcome to pandemic-land. Does the government lie to the people? “I am not a crook!” R. Nixon
9. You should wear a mask when you are in public. Not when you are alone in your car, that would be silly. If you are out at the park getting fresh air, then no. But if you can’t be at least 6 to 10 feet away from people, put it on. They don’t want your spit any more than you want theirs. Hey, sneezes happen. Think of it that way.
10. Last fact, we will make it through this and be better because of it. If nothing else, this whole pandemic mess has taught us to seriously look at ourselves. Look at our lives. What is important? What can be eliminated? What do we need to spend more time doing? What are we addicted to? Can we use less toilet paper? Do we really know our kids? Do we really know where we are going if we die? How is my relationship with God? The last question is the most important one.
The fact is that none of us are promised one more day here. We worry and fret over things that seem monumental; we fight online whether to wear a mask or not or to send the kids to school or not or to get tested for COVID-19 or not. And we get attitudes, and we get angry, and we follow the agendas of others. We join the ranks of those fighting for the rights of this group or that group; which is all good…save the children, save the trees, save the whales, save the planet. Then we fall into the he said/she said until all of the noise of everyone is just static.
In the still, in the quiet, I hear God speak to me. He speaks just to me as I close my eyes and let the world and all of its noise fade away. I feel His closeness, and I know it will be alright.
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)