I wanted to capture these times, in my words, to reread in the future. An online journal I suppose.
Covid-19 has gone from a thing in the news to something that’s pretty gosh darn serious. But also, it doesn’t look like it, yet. People are on the streets. Everywhere I go (care, ice cream shop etc) there are others – these are local businesses so we’re all trying to keep life normal, and their businesses running. Between last week and this Wednesday, wow, Concord Hospital has changed. Last week, I was visiting someone of the ward. Wednesday, I was in emergency (ED). It was pretty empty – Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald has indicated to ‘stay away’. There was a Covid-19 clinic, separate from the emergency department. Walking into the ED, there’s a nurse with hand sanitiser and other things – a check list. They didn’t use the checklist on us on any of our entries. The first entry, we were given a spritz of hand sanitiser. When the nurses changed shifts, there was far less proactively…
I’ll admit, prior to ‘all this’, I only washed my hands with soap in very specific circumstances – I felt self conscious in public bathrooms when others gave me the side eye. Now, I get home from being out, and go straight to the bathroom to wash my hands. (I don’t like a lot of soaps – for their scent, or how they make my hands feel…). I still dislike the high alcohol content sanitiser gel, but, more and more, I’m using it. There was one at my hair dressers!!
I’ve not worked this week. I’ve had a sore throat since the Monday prior. Last week, work was very very slow, so the combination of my sore throat; working with a small team all in one location; and lack of work, I decided to stay home til I felt better. By Wednesday, I didn’t feel better. On the encouragement of my mum and boss, I rang the doctor. They told me to come in. The waiting room was me and one other. All staff were in masks. I did not and do not think I have Covid. BUT… I am surprised about the decisions around testing:
- Why is testing confined to those who’ve been exposed to a known case or been overseas? I can only assume there’s a lack of tests, and this is a preservation level.
- It’s entirely unclear when you should seek a test – from my best knowledge, I think it’s a fever over 37.5 C (along with known interaction with someone who may have covid)
The point is, there’s SO MANY chance interactions for cross contamination – and I know that’s why they’re calling for social distancing. But I find it worrying that we don’t have strong social distancing imperatives (as in… I’m meant to be going to work. I can’t work from home). The 3 hours I spent in the ED, not once were chairs or screens wiped down – I mean, you see it more often in McDonald’s on a normal day! There was a touch screen for the lockers to charge your phone in a locker – for example. Sure, every nurse and worker was in a mask. There is, as always, hand sanitiser EVERYWHERE. But I think there’s a lack of behaviour. And I’ll admit, the half hourly hand washes? I don’t see the point when I’m home, alone. Coming home? Sure. Prior to eating? Sure. But half hour of watching Netflix – nope. Behaviour is part of the problem, but some of it doesn’t stand up to my logic.
Also, a wrinkle in all this? A month ago, I started dating someone. Someone who seems to have a similarly high leaning to seeing each other regularly (despite, life!). And we keep seeing each other, near on daily. I’m sure we’re already cross contaminated. But there’s a level of fear that maybe circumstances beyond our control may limit contact – we hope not. But it might be outside our control.
The economic situation was rocky at the start of this – lowest interest rates. OPEC arguments raised production, dropping fuel prices. Now, we see a future where businesses fold, as there’s no customers. Many workers will lose jobs; casuals won’t get work, and all those can’t afford to pay for where they live.
I feel incredibly secure financially, and materially (with respects, to my home circumstances). I don’t feel like I have ‘enough’ food, but I also don’t have a empty pantry. I do have a mainly empty fridge, usually and now. Those things perish. I don’t want to ‘go crazy’ with buying food – I know I’ll ‘go crazy’ overeating anything too easy to eat or yummy!! I also feel like my six months of 2019 not working has taught me how to fill a day without the structure of work. That surprised me as much as those who know me well – as a working dynamo!
There’s a lot of confusion. We can see what other countries are or aren’t doing. Italy is putting everyone into their home, except for work, pharmacy or supermarket visits. It sounds ‘ok’ but it was meant to be for two weeks. It may not be ‘only’ two weeks. The Asian countries are doing better. Is it because they wear and use masks (and aren’t a signal of fear).
On the other hand, death is inevitable, in life. A philosophical part of me wonders if this is a level of over population’s correction? Is this part of a master beings plan? Is this a way to dismantle ‘growth is good’. Or capitalism? Is this a way to challenge all that isn’t working in our world in a horrific way? But also, I find it hard to reconcile the death rate, and how it may impact our world. The percentages sounds small… But statistics are worth a dime when it’s someone you are close to you.
Those are my thoughts for now. I’m sure in 10 minutes I will have further thoughts.