Life as a Hermit During Covid

It’s been something being held captive in my own home because of pandemic directives. At the beginning of the stay-at-home-orders I spent hours online researching info on the virus from various medical sources or reporters around the globe. I read alot about the way the virus hit Italy, Taiwan, Iran, other places.

Like you, I wondered what in the heck was going on with grocery store lines, restaurants open at the curbside and schools getting closed? I started planning on having food shortages, not toilet tissue shortages. I invented ways to wear a mask, so I didn’t look like I was walking around with a sense of disease following me. I didn’t want to look like a zombie like the many wearing the same kind of medical mask.

No one is happy about having to adjust their life to living like a hermit. Much was shared about the hideous side of the virus, but I refused to get into fear. I got out of my own anxieties and asked how my family, co-workers and neighbors were doing, trying to decipher if they really were okay, underneath our chit chat? I know for some this has been a hard time not just with the disease scare, but with family at home, potential financial ruin.

Aside from the deaths due to Covid-19, I’m beyond sad about the threat to our entire economy and our national security! I’ve wracked my brain thinking of how to compare this pandemic to other diseases our nation has been threatened by. I asked myself if we were going to go thru something like the 1918 Spanish Flu? How will shutting business down affect the economy? I saw the huge drops in the stock market, but from what I read on Twitter, we haven’t seen the worst yet. It’s heartbreaking to see business owners ‘go under’ already around me, can the govt. save them all?

Did folks in the 1918 Influenza joke about the flu like we do the Covid-19 virus? I wonder have we joked about this virus out of fear, or not knowing the future re: job or college? There’s been jokes on Twitter often as I think we’ve received so many directives from national & local leaders about masks, washing hands, distancing, beaches and shopping, etc. it’s been over-kill almost!

I personally made photos of myself wearing a mask to relieve stress, and to show I could adapt my own way. It’s a way to steer off ‘captivity’ fever depression, just ‘do’ something creative. I think the humor and jokes on Twitter also came from our being sick about the rhetoric around us. There was sarcasm in our comments too as many were unable to understand the reasoning behind the directives from some government officials, The models used weren’t clear or in line with the medical experience of some of us.

While we were hermits, most of us on Twitter didn’t sit back and fear we’d come down with the virus. I formulated a plan for myself and shared it with my oldest son. He lives in AZ, where the spread is very minimal, I was glad he and his environment was safe. I made sure I took care of my immune system, a Dr. friend sent me loads of immunity supplements. I spoke with a few other close loved ones, it meant alot to be open about our relationships, our lives.

Isolation can be catastrophic for every age group! As a Preschool Director/teacher for years, I know kids do not know how to deal automatically with it. Shutting people inside can create an even more abusive home life.  Isolation can seem like punishment to some who have compromised mental health, suicide hot lines and attempted suicides have risen at least 34%. This family and mental health reality was something some leaders should have taken into consideration more fully!

My general reaction re: the virus at first was to resent it’s threat on me and my loved ones. I understood it ravaged a certain part of Italy, but I read why it spread so fast there. I wish CA officials had read a wide variety of material themselves, so they would have had more accurate models on what was driving the virus here. No one likes to be given ‘scare’ tactics, especially on something so important as closing down an entire culture.

The virus was a real threat, but there was little discussion except on Twitter, articles in papers on creative, practical ways to handle it and bring the least repercussion in the end. Govt. officials should have listened to those in business, local governments, Dr’s, and others as they formulated a plan to close down certain areas of our state (other states).

My health is important to me, it’s not an afterthought. I chose my Physician because he honors my need to know what’s going on, he’s takes care of my health needs so well. He isn’t an alarmist, like the main officials in CA were, telling us we’d end up as bad as New York in 2 weeks, back in mid-March! We came nowhere near New Yorks numbers.

The best approach would have been to get good advisors and look at our state for it’s own individual makeup. 49% of CA deaths came from nursing homes! We should have been notified of that so the public at large wouldn’t be so fearful, and those homes should have been quarantined fast!! Heath care workers contracted 10% of the cases and they should have been valued and protected immediately! An astounding 73% of all deaths in CA came from Latino community.

Just imagine if the State would have worked with the Hispanic community to educate and isolate those who were vulnerable! We were recording cases, deaths all along, I read the results every day in the LA Times. We also knew that the morbidly obese, COPD, & respiratory patients were more prone to death from Covid than were other patients. We could have adjusted our protocols as we went along so we didn’t ‘punish’ everyone in society! The public at large was not in danger, children hardly affected!

We live in such a bureaucratic age. We need people to step up and bring common sense back to government!

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