Friday, June 26, 2020

June 2020 Pandemic Update

I have had so many thoughts about the pandemic that it has been hard to write any updates.

I go back to work in 40 days.  I have a growing feeling that in-person school is impossible.  Distance learning will not work out well.  The students are unprepared for that format, so it will be incredibly difficult.  If we were to have in-person school, then students would have to wear masks.  They refused to wear their badges around their necks last year, and masks are much more intrusive than a silly little badge.

Virus cases are increasing in Oklahoma, although not at anywhere near the level of several other states.  However, we can see by other states what could happen here in a few more weeks, and it won't be pretty.

A saying in my family has to do with being forced to do something unpleasant.  The person who must do this unpleasant task will ultimately do it "either with or without a spanking."  The United States is going to be forced to do it "with a spanking."  And we are going to be spanked hard.

The government is gaslighting us.  I do refer to both the federal and state government, but my focus here is the state government.

Just stop.  It's not going to be okay.

Our governor believes that Covid-19 is no big deal at all, and our state government recently stripped mayors of some power during health emergencies.  This means that if a city in Oklahoma is having an outbreak that the mayor may not be able to put some restrictions into place without approval at the state level.  This is not good.

I voted absentee in the June 30 election.  This was the first time I have ever voted absentee.  I requested absentee ballots for the rest of the year.  However, I don't know if I will vote at all this November.

Oklahoma is just one of three states that has a requirement for absentee ballots to be notarized.  Even worse, notaries are limited in how many ballots they can notarize.

The requirement for ballots to be notarized was waived for the June 30 election, due to the election being within a certain number of days of a declared health emergency.  The health emergency has expired, which is ironic considering that Oklahoma's daily new cases are far higher than when the emergency was declared.

If Governor Stitt does not declare another health emergency, then it will be difficult to vote absentee in November due to the requirement to have the ballot notarized.  I simply won't do it.  You might be thinking, How stupid to refuse to do it.  This has to do with avoiding extra tasks due to my autoimmunity, which I will mention more later in this post.  I may very well be a disenfranchised voter in November.

Back in February, I read the subs on Reddit for probably an hour or so each day.  My opinion of this pandemic was completely formed by what I read on Reddit.  I knew back then that this pandemic would be a big problem and that masks would be necessary.

I was appalled when the pandemic was made political.  That never should have happened.  It is amazing how many people fell for the lies of the media and our government.  It is astonishing how many people continue to think this is a hoax and continue to think that masks are pointless.

I want to scream with frustration over all of this.

Now here we are.

Back in March, I had a worry in the back of my mind that I was able to ignore, but that worry is more on my mind these days, although I continue to push it aside.  We are still in the first wave, regardless of what some people say.  There will be a second wave, regardless of what some people say.  That second wave will occur this winter.  If we do not get a handle on the current situation, we are going to have a potential catastrophe this winter.

As I wrote earlier this year, I hope I am wrong.  I fear that I won't be wrong.

Back in February, I did some prepping.  Nothing crazy, but I knew that I needed to have a few months' worth of staples so that I wouldn't have to go to the store.  I actually have already had that habit for years.  It has to do with my autoimmunity and the desire to keep extra tasks to a minimum.  At any given time, I like to have enough nonperishable items like shampoo and toothpaste to last at least a few months so that I do not often have to worry about running out.

This is not hoarding; I simply stay ahead by a few months at a time.  So in February, I made sure that I had everything I needed to get me up to June.  I did do Shipt grocery orders and Walmart grocery pickup in March and April to get perishable items and snacks that I had not previously purchased.  But at least I didn't have to mess with most supplies, because I had them.

When I made my purchases in February, very few other people were doing it.  I could see evidence that people were already stockpiling beans, rice, hand sanitizer, and ramen noodles at that time.  It was interesting to see that a few people were buying supplies in February while most other people had no idea that other people were already getting their ducks in a row.

When the true panic buying began in March, I had what I needed as did everyone else who had been paying attention. 

Now it's time to get my ducks in a row once again.  I have seen scattered comments expressing the same from people on Reddit and elsewhere.  People who think like me know that we don't want to have to worry about certain staples this winter.

I have been so angry about by the lies of public officials and the media concerning the use of masks.  Even though a cloth mask won't stop microscopic virus particles, it will help mitigate the spread of the virus.  The point is that if most people will wear a mask when around others, saliva droplets will not be flying everywhere.

Whenever people talk, saliva drops fly out of their mouths.  Sometimes the droplets are large, but more often, they are tiny droplets.  It's actually pretty gross when you consider how much spit lands on you when you are talking to other people who are close to you.  Yuck.

I am also appalled that people actually think the masks have to do with government control.

I am going to the store again these days and am purchasing some items to make sure that I don't have to worry about those things going into fall and winter.  I go to the store at 7 AM and do this around once per week.  I go early when like-minded people are in the store, so more of us are wearing masks than not.  Also, fewer people are in the store at 7 AM.

The masks are a total pain.  I do have trouble breathing if I exert myself at all.  If I am moving slowly or sitting down, the mask isn't a problem.  If I am moving, then I feel short of breath.  I understand why people don't want to wear a mask, but ultimately, most people are going to need to do so in order for us to get this outbreak under control.

The craziest thing about all of this is that I may have been exposed to Covid-19 in March and may have gotten it.  I discount that greatly and feel like I haven't had the virus, but I also can't rule it out.

I will refer to two people as Person #1 and Person #2.  Both of these people got a virus in March, within days of each other.  Person #1 had a fever, a cough, and loss of appetite, but no shortness of breath.

Person #2 became very hoarse, had a cough, and felt bad.  This person minimizes everything and made the virus sound like it wasn't much.  I did not learn until much later that this person was having to use their inhaler around 10 times per day due to breathing problems and that they had never had that happen for any virus before.  I also learned that this person had to use their inhaler much more than usual for 2 1/2 months after acquisition of this virus.  This had never happened to this person before from any virus previously.  This person is still experiencing shortness of breath on random days.

So... I was around these people a lot.  I did get a low-grade fever that lasted a day or so at the time they were sick.  It was nothing really, and I am prone to transient fevers due to my autoimmunity.  Usually a fever is just my own body.  However, at the time I did think this was a virus trying to take hold.

I take 10,000 IU of vitamin D each day, which is under a doctor's orders due to my autoimmunity.  I can attest that vitamin D reduces fatigue and muscle pain and does help the body fight off viruses.  Most people would benefit from taking vitamin D.  However, do not take a high dose without getting your vitamin D level checked.

I began taking zinc and vitamin C in February as a preventative measure for Covid-19.  I purchased zinc lozenges in February to have ready if I came down with a virus.  When I felt this virus begin to take hold in March, I began taking the lozenges.  My body beat back the virus, so I didn't get sick.

I did lose my sense of taste for a week or so, but that happens to me several times per year as a side effect of my thyroid medication.  I can't consider the loss of taste to mean anything since I experience it regularly.

Two weeks after I had the brief encounter with the virus, I found that I had an unusual amount of chest congestion.  It was unusual, because there was no reason for it.  If I had had a bad virus, then sure.  I hadn't, so I was a bit mystified.  When much later I learned about Person #2's shortness of breath, I wondered about it.

Even if I did have Covid-19, that doesn't mean that I can't get it again.  We aren't far enough into this event to know how long immunity lasts.  So I continue to be very careful and hope that I can avoid getting the virus.

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