Updated: Jul 15, 2020
(Dated updates can be found at the end of this post.)
Every Thursday morning has been a ritual… breakfast and grocery shopping with Mom. It is a time I cut out of my busy week to enjoy a little one-on-one time with her.
Next thing you know, COVID-19 began wreaking havoc on the U.S. affecting Michigan in a bad way. Being in 3rd place for this particular contest was nothing to brag about. Family living in other states told us not to come visit, and to keep our COVID in Michigan!
With the virus burning down the southern most part of the state followed by a mandated shutdown, it was best to avoid the grocery store as much as possible. Our weekly ritual turned into an every 2-3 week mission where I would go alone with an extra long grocery list and drop off bags of goods outside Mom’s door as she waved through the window.
Most people wore masks back then, even though at first it was only recommended if you were sick. Afterward, it was thought that wearing a mask would protect a sick person from inadvertently spreading the virus to others, and I thought it was a good reason to wear one.
Then suddenly, the act of wearing or not wearing a mask became a political statement.
After President Trump proclaimed that he didn’t think he would be doing it himself (wearing a mask), many others followed suit claiming their right to choose whether to wear one.
NPR’s Ron Elving reported, “masks seem to be turning into one more emblem of our political polarization. Wear one and you are taking the virus and the social distancing prescription seriously. Refuse, and you signify something else that may be denial or even defiance.”
As homemade masks had once became commonplace on the faces of wearied, grocery store customers, now it seems more and more people refuse to wear them. As they refuse the masks, they also shun recommendations of social distancing and feel the stay-at-home order ruined the states economy over an "imaginary plague."
Did they not see the live newsfeeds of people gasping for breath?
Did they not read the true accounts from survivors of the virus describing the debilitating affects or the health issues they are now experiencing?
Did they not hear about the woman who infected her mother and couldn’t be with her when she expired alone in a hospital bed?
Do they not understand that this virus affects all ages?
The reason for the shut down was to slow the spread of the virus so hospitals could prepare for an influx of sick people when the order was lifted, and give researchers time to develop a vaccine. But like spoiled children, Americans are used to getting what they want RIGHT NOW, and people chose to express their rights of freedom this past weekend.
I hope the hospitals are ready because we still don’t have a vaccine.
These next 2 photos show only a quarter of the masses of people on Houghton and Higgins Lake last weekend.
Did the thousands of people that found their way up north come from the hot zones of Michigan this 4th of July? Did they give any thoughts about the possibility of carrying disease to a region that has little to no ability to support masses of sick people?
Remember years ago when smokers were banned from public places? So many were pissed about their rights being infringed upon, but did they ever think about the rights of people they were infringing upon? Those who didn’t want to smoke, but were forced to inhale the carcinogens because they were in the same room.
Isn’t that the same thing going on now? People forcing their right of freedom onto others who chose to follow the recommendations and stay healthy until a vaccine was developed?
With that thought, isn’t it unlawful to intentionally harm another human? Because it seems that is what is going on.
In an attempt to live free or die, people who don’t care if they get the virus are forcing their own ideals upon others who may have a difference of opinion. It’s shocking to realize how selfish Americans have become. When did we start only looking out for ourselves and not giving a shit about the people around us?
Care about who you may infect!
It's not about you not liking the mask. It's not about your right to freedom. It's not about you being scared or not scared of contracting the virus.
It's about protecting others.
When you're not caring about wearing a mask in public, and have been in close contact with other like-minded people, you may very well bring the virus home and kill grandma... or maybe even your children, or grandchildren!
How could it kill grandma, the kids, or the grandkids, you ask?
The CDC social distancing article explains, "COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs."
As stories of public fights breaking over lack of social distancing and not wearing masks over the holiday, worries of rampant plague now affect the people I see daily. Experiencing nightmares of getting the virus, one’s frightening dreams depicts weak lungs succumbing as he takes his last breath. Another wonders how he will tell his family he has been infected and worries how they will survive without him.
As I battle with allergies, choking on clogged sinuses all night and feeling my lungs itch from high levels of allergens, I often worry that I have contracted the virus. But then I remind myself, “You can taste, you can smell, you don’t have a fever… you are fine. It is just allergies.”
Maybe I’m being paranoid, but wasn’t it my right to hold out for a vaccine? I believe that right has been taken from me as the invisible killer is surely in our midst now. It will only be a matter of weeks before we know for sure. Will it burn this small town down, leaving death and nasty side-affects in its wake?
Do people even care?
I try to remind myself of the March Wired report that, “about 80 percent of cases appear to be mild.”
This thought is a little more comforting than horrors of the Black Death, but if I do get the virus and survive, what are the chances I will be plagued with a heart condition, scarred lungs, kidney failure, brain damage, or need an organ transplant afterward?
OR WORSE... If I get the virus, will I pass it on to someone I love and kill them?
From John Hopkins Medicine, “Those with a mild case of COVID-19 appear to recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery may take six weeks or more, and there may be lasting damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs and brain. About 1% of infected people worldwide will die from the disease.”
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston adds, “We know 15% to 20% of patients are hospitalized, and of those, about half go in intensive care with permanent injury.”
The Thursday morning ritual is DEAD.
What was once an outing with Mom changed from wearing masks and using hand sanitizers to ordering curbside pickups and staying the hell out of town! If people don’t start doing their part, we may all have to endure the affects of this virus through all its waves of destruction.
When will people take this seriously?
On Monday, July 6th, 35 states, including Michigan, mandated everyone wear a mask As a recent study from the National Academy of Sciences has proven that wearing masks is the best defense against spreading or contracting the disease, I think it’s a good thing. Even though only 1% of the world population may die from the disease, it is still a great deal more deaths than a bad flu year could cause… And this is ONLY the 1st Wave!
Please, just wear the mask.
"It's [a strategy] that will save lives, but it will also help the economy enormously because it will avoid shutdowns which will inevitably come when things get quickly out of control in some states," states Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
Let's get this COVID crap under control and out of our lives so we can get back to living.
UPDATE JULY 9, 2020 for the state of MICHIGAN: 10 deaths and 610 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, July 8, 2020 making this date the highest spike in new cases since May. Read the full article here.
Thanks so much for reading!
If you liked this story, click on the ❤️ at the bottom of the page, and please share this story with someone you think would enjoy reading it too.
Never miss another post! Subscribe NOW by signing up at the top right of the story’s headline.
CDC, July 6, 2020, Social Distancing, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html
Click On Detroit, Bartkowiak, Dave, July 9, 2020, Coronavirus in Michigan: Here's what to know July 9, 2020, https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michigan/2020/07/09/coronavirus-in-michigan-heres-what-to-know-july-9-2020/
CNN, Maxouris, Christina & Vera, Amir, July 7, 2020, Correcting the President's Claim, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/06/health/us-coronavirus-monday/index.html
CNN, July 8, 2020, Doctor: Covid-19 is 'out of control' in southern US, https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/07/07/coronavirus-wrap-southern-us-out-of-control-desantis-abbott-hill-tsr-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/coronavirus/
CNN, March 20, 2020, What It's Like to get coronavirus, https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/03/20/exp-tsr-todd-what-its-like-to-get-coronavirus-patients-speak.cnn
Wired, Graff, Garret, M, March 27, 2020, First Denial, Then Fear: Covid-19 Patients in Their Own Words, https://www.wired.com/story/first-denial-then-fear-covid-19-patients-in-their-own-words/
John Hopkins Medicine, Maragakis, M.D., Lisa, Coronavirus Diagnosis: What Should I Expect, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/diagnosed-with-covid-19-what-to-expect
Kaiser Health News, Jacobson, Louis, June 23, 2020, Is A Second Wave Of Coronavirus Coming? https://khn.org/news/fact-check-is-a-second-wave-of-coronavirus-coming/
NPR, Elving, Ron, May 8, 2020, What It Means When Trump Doesn’t Wear A Mask, https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852093558/the-president-as-a-model-for-the-nation-from-toasters-and-sweaters-to-masks