Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 2020 Pandemic Update Part 2

This is in continuation to what I posted a couple days ago.  That post was already too long, and I omitted some information from that post.  My comment about not voting in November has concerned some of you, which is understandable.  The bottom line is this:  I will not wait in line at my polling place for 40 minutes to vote unless everyone is wearing a mask, and I will not search for a notary who has not met their limit on the number of absentee ballots that they are allowed to notarize.

I am comfortable with this decision because Oklahoma is probably the most conservative state in the nation.  Oklahoma's electoral votes always go to the Republican candidate, who typically wins the state with 65% or more of the vote.  It's never a question.  So whether I vote for the Republican or the Democrat is a moot point.  It doesn't matter, so I am comfortable with not voting.  However...

In the extremely unlikely event that Oklahoma becomes a battleground state, then I will find a way to vote.  Also, I hope that by November that my fellow Oklahomans will consider mask-wearing to be important.  Right now, most of them don't.

I don't leave my home much.  I do know that around one-half of people out in the early morning in my locality wear masks.  I have parked in store parking lots in the afternoon to check, and it appears that around one-fourth wear masks.

Today on an Oklahoma City message board, some people indicated that they have noticed a shift in Oklahoma City in the last week with mask-wearing on the increase.  I hope so, or we are going to be in so much trouble.

I want to show off my masks that I purchased on Etsy recently.  I have a problem with masks fogging my glasses, so I went with masks that have a nose wire.  These are the masks I purchased.

Even with the nose wire, the masks fog at times, but at least I can wear these masks.

I don't judge people who are out in society, even though I wish more of them would wear masks.  That brings me to another topic:  Covid-shaming.  Covid-shaming is when people shame others for their actions during this pandemic.  It goes both ways.  Some people are shamed for not staying at home and are accused of spreading the virus.  The people who instead stay at home are shamed for being too scared to leave their homes and for living their lives in fear.  The mask-shaming also falls under Covid-shaming.

Some people have started hunting for books again and have shown their finds in our Facebook group.  One member has taken it upon himself to begin shaming those people for not staying at home.  Another person then responded by shaming the people who stay at home.  We now have a rule against Covid-shaming.

I read an article today about how Covid-shaming doesn't work.

The Dudes That Won't Wear Masks

We cannot force people to wear masks by harassing them and shaming them.  I hope more of these people finally realize that transmission of the virus does decrease when most people in a society wear masks.

Some people think that the death rate for Covid-19 is inflated.  Other people like me feel that the death rate is actually higher than what has been reported.  I won't get into an explanation of why I think the death rate is actually higher, but it is tied to the hundreds of articles I have read since January.  I could certainly be wrong about the death rate, and that's fine.

I hope I am wrong, and I look forward to the day when I am proved to be wrong.  My belief about the severity of the situation, whether wrong or not, will keep me from making mistakes that could put my health and that of elderly relatives at risk.  In short, I am continuing to stay home, except for occasional excursions, until I go back to work.

I have read many stories about the lingering effects of the virus and how people have permanent lung damage.  We also don't know how this virus will impact people years from now.  The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis.  Mono is awful.  I had it when I was 19, and I was sick for six months.  In fact, that virus was the genesis of my thyroid disease.  My body has never been the same since I had mono.  Epstein-Barr is a widely known cause of thyroid disease, other autoimmune conditions, and even cancer.  It remains latent in the body and can resurface years later.  It is an incredibly nasty virus. 

So what about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19?  We don't know whether it will ultimately behave like Epstein-Barr.  What if SARS-CoV-2 remains in the body and causes problems five or 10 years later?  We simply don't know at this time.  That's why so many of us are concerned. 

In November, I mentioned the problems with my thyroid medication.
In early August, I finally was near optimal for the first time in five years.  It was great. Unfortunately, Acella Pharmaceuticals changed to a different supplier for one medication I take, NP Thyroid.  While Acella claims that the pills did not change, they actually did.
And now we have proof of what we already knew.  The medication was finally recalled in late May.  Yeah, Acella lied when they said that the medication had not changed.  The pills were at first too weak and then they were overcorrected, making them superpotent.  When labs were done in March, we found that I had too much thyroid hormone in my blood.  We did not know that the particular pills that I was taking were superpotent.  My medication was reduced, and I was fine for a while. 

I was supposed to go in for labs in early May, but testing for Covid-19 was still lagging at that time.  I decided that I felt okay and that I would wait.  That was a mistake.  I can now tell that I don't have enough thyroid hormone in my blood.  If I had gone in for those labs, my medication would have been raised again.  But then that was before the recall, and I would have been taking the superpotent pills again.  I was doomed either way.  I have 2 1/2 weeks until labs.  At least I'm not working now, so I can deal with feeling suboptimal.

I have learned that my school district is considering just two options for school.  Either we will have school as usual, or we will have all digital learning.  I think I can guess which way this is going.  I don't see how regular school is possible.

Since this upcoming school year will have a steep learning curve and will be very difficult to start, I have decided that I will have to put my eBay and Etsy stores on vacation when I go back to work in August.  I will leave them that way until I get a handle on my all-new teaching experience.  Hopefully, that will not be for more than a few weeks.  We'll just have to see what happens.

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