By Dennis Minich
In virtually every way imaginable, we are living in a strange new world. We often see in old movies when big quarantine signs were placed on homes because of various outbreaks, but repeating what has often been said, it has never happened to us.
You can spend your entire day and night, reading all of the material on the
COVID-19 virus, or as we lovingly call it, coronavirus. One side of the argument will tell you the sky is falling: everyone will get sick, most will die, the world in collapsing and you need to stock up on toilet paper. The
other side is all about the conspiracy: it’s overblown, it is no worse than the flu, no one can tell me I can’t leave my house, I am going to a meeting.
Unfortunately, most of us get stuck in the middle of these two scenarios and fear and anger are replacing what should be concern and common sense.
The best I can tell, a lot of people may get sick. Unlike what is floating on social media, if you had a cold this winter you did not have coronavirus. Based on the tales of the former patients, chances are really good, if you get it, you will know it. But what if you don’t, what if you only have mild symptoms or there are no symptoms at all, why are you being told to stay home? It is because this story is not about you. This story is about the percentage of the population, however small, that will get very sick, or die if this virus spreads too quickly.
My mother died 19 years ago this week. In her final day, I tried to get her transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital because it had specialists I knew and trusted. We had a problem though, the medical units were all full,
primarily with flu patients. Although my mother died of complications from diabetes, the underlying cause that took her to the hospital was the flu. Somewhere along the line, someone with the flu was out and about and the disease spread from one person to another, until my mother came in contact with it. Again, she was sick and had a weakened immune system, but it was someone along the way not staying home while sick that started a whole row of dominoes which led to her death.
The coronavirus is similar. Most people will not get overly sick or die. But we are told this is an extremely contagious virus and we have no vaccines or remedies. One person, strong enough and selfish enough to defy the
“Stay at Home” orders can infect others around them. Many of them may not get sick, but somewhere through the chain of contact there may be that person susceptible to the virus who may become critically ill or die.
If you look at the excep tions from the “Stay at Home,” most people’s lives won’t come to an end. You can still shop for groceries. You can go to the pharmacy. You can go to the hardware store to do some home repairs.
You can go buy your gardening supplies. If you can work from home, then do it. But there are people out there whose lives are being seriously affected.
There are many laid off because of the crisis. There are people having to stay home because of school closures. There are some who are sick.
This would be a really good time for all the macho folks who think they are too important to obey the rules to take the time to show some compassion. Fake or real, the coronavirus is having serious repercussions throughout our world. If we were told tomorrow it was all over, it would take weeks for life to get back to anything close to normal.
I am not sure what the new normal may mean. Our lives changed in September 2001 and things are different than before. Chances are good, we are going to experience many changes in our lives now.
I have only one other thing to share at this point. The South Cass Tribune will be here every week to keep you informed and hopefully entertained. We are discussing adding some entertaining features, maybe to lighten the mood once in a while. We also have a website: http://www.southcasstribune.com and a page on Facebook where we will update and inform you of major events or changes you need to know. We are going nowhere. For now, be safe. Be a good neighbor.
Practice social distancing, if not for yourself, for others. Don’t hoard. If you want to eat out, remember there are many great local restaurants still open, simply with curbside or delivery service. Patronize them. We will get through this. It will get better. But we have to think of others.