This has been a rough season. COVID-19 is here to stay. And in the past couple of weeks have shown me how. From my gym closing. a near riot in a grocery store, and having a loved one caught up in the lock down in San Francisco, California. In addition I know someone who told me about a co-worker who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States. These are stressful times that we are living through.
“There is so much that people take for granted.”
Grocery store I shop at with meat all sold out.
This has been quite a couple of weeks. It has left me disoriented, confused and fearful in many ways. As I watched the virus spread in the United States I remain stunned. I actually know someone who works in a business that is in ground zero for the COVID-19 epidemic of Kirkland, Washington. I have been close to him for 15 years. He actually told me that his father died in the nursing home where COVID-19 took off. It has been a shock to hear all this news. That person from Kirkland emailed me the picture of the front page of the Seattle Times which I have below.
A Flu or Allergies or Something More?
As I had watched everything progress with concern I started to have a cough. I became worried about what this could be. I decided to see a doctor to have it checked out. What happened next I was totally unprepared to witness. My Asthma and Allergy Doctor in Maryland has slammed and had appointments book for at least a day and a half. They told me to contact my primary care physician. I did so, and they were slammed and I could not get in either. The two choices I had was hopefully get into a walk in clinic or go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms are expensive and that is a place to avoid right now. I went into a walk in clinic and was seen by a doctor who did throat tests and did a battery on me. He later told me that it was allergies that were creating problems for me. However, he did tell me how to respond to the COVID-19 and he gave me a bottle of Purrell. I hit about six pharmacies in the Washington, D.C. area and all hand sanitizer was gone. A couple of people I knew in other parts of the United States sent me some by mail.
In Washington, D.C. Life Grinds to a Halt
But what really stunned me was when I went to the grocery store. It was a near riot and people were loading up on everything. It reminded me of the times where people in Washington, D.C. prepared for a hurricane before one hit the area. All the toilet paper was gone. The meat section was ransacked and I largely could not get any. I took a picture of it which you can see above. It finally took me about four days before I could get some ground beef. But in other ways life was impacted. My gym sent me an email that they were closing and that they would not bill me for the membership while closed. Restaurants stated to close the seating area and one small business owner told me how much business had been down. Even my model train hobby was affected with production halting in China. Traffic in Washington D.C. has radically changed. Driving on the 495 or past the Pentagon on the 395 is eerie. Is this D.C. traffic or Montana or Wisconsin traffic Some of my friends have told me that their company or business now has them teleworking from home. I watched the stock market crash and had my financial planner speak with me about the situation. I could hear the stress in his voice. The Kennedy Center also closed and a concert I was looking forward to attending was canceled. While disappointed I understand the need for safety.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
A Loved One is Impacted by the Shutting Down of San Francisco and Knowing Someone Affected With a COVID-19 Diagnosis
While all this was going on I have had a close on the situation in San Francisco, California. My sister lives in the Bay Area and one of the people impacted by the lock down. She is working from her apartment for the next three weeks. The Bay Area has ground to a halt. When I see some of the pictures of the financial district or BART or CalTrains I remain stunned. Comparing and contrasting with what I saw last December really is hard to get over. And while processing all this I spoke with a friend in another part of the country who told me that someone they knew in their office was diagnosed with COVID-19. That shocked me. I hope that is the last time I hear that but I fear it will be the first.
Its a Frightening Time
I am watching all this news and remain concerned. Some of the infections in Washington, D.C. were picked up in New York City. I visited New York City in mid-February and saw several Broadways shows and went to a couple of museums. I think I visited on the end of the safe period before the virus hit. But when I look at some of the pictures of Times Square and I consider what I saw when present it just stuns me. I think this will be a once in a lifetime event. This will be something you will tell your grandchildren and more. It will be similar to how my grandparents talked about the polio epidemic or the 1918 Spanish flu, which came out of Kansas from what I read. In the meantime am mostly sticking to my apartment and locking down. I will walk around outside my complex for a mental health break. But I won’t go to any places where there are people. I think we are in for a hard time and the news is going to hit people hard. Hardest hit will by those in their information bubble influenced by “conservative” thought. I put that in quotes because that is not the policy or party that I once identified with. Please stay safe. Remember life is precious and cannot be replaced. I want life to go back to normal. September 11, 2001 taught me that I took air travel for granted. COVID-19 is teaching me that I took the gym, going to a bar and living many aspects of life for granted.