This Coronavirus Thing


I haven’t written lately.  I don’t know if that begs an apology from me or if it was a relief to you.  I’ve been busy in my workshop for months, building all sorts of things and trying to perfect my Native American beadwork.  Each of them teaches me patience, but I’m a poor student.  I want to develop patience now.  That explains a lot, if you think about it.

I have tried not to sound off on things political.  It occurs to me that having a political opinion on social media changes no minds on the other side of the argument. Not one, not any time, not ever.  Seems like people change their minds when they’re of a mind to change and not one minute earlier.  And that makes my impatience flare up again.

But, politics aside, can we change a few things about how we think about this coronavirus?

I can’t watch the news without fifteen coronavirus stories clogging up my politics.  Readers, are you feeling a disconnect between what the experts are saying and how the media is playing it?

I talked with an old friend of mine who happens to be a very good doctor.  He is very familiar with coronavirus and has several patients suffering with it right here in our community.  Before you scream and tear off to find masks and flamethrowers, these are not Covid-19, the virus in question.  They’re in the same family—like your second cousins twice removed.  Corona viruses have been around for a while.  Only the new one, apparently, is newsworthy.

He pointed out to me that the regular old garden variety flu is killing far more people than CV.  I thought that was worth thinking about.  Why aren’t we seeing frightened media pundits describing the spread of the flu this season—about how many are currently infected and how many are dying?  And showing us one of those maps of the world with different colors of encroaching terror? 

Last week, a doctor who is on the front lines of the CV outbreak spoke calmly and matter-of-factly about the situation.  He said he’s likely to be infected and we ALL are likely to catch it, eventually, in one form or another.  According to this doctor and the most knowledgeable people on earth, about 98 per cent of us will survive in splendid fashion. Some of us will think we’ve caught a cold and get over it.  Many of us won’t realize we’ve got it at all.  It’s a serious matter for older people who have existing medical issues such as respiratory issues, diabetes, heart issues.  I’m one of those people, and I’m as concerned about Covid-19 as I am about the flu. Both of them could send me to a doctor and land me in the hospital.  Both could kill me.  But of course, I could also die from crossing the street without looking both ways, or from apoplexy after watching these wacko nutflakes on TV.

What we’re reading and hearing from the pundits is political.  Politics seldom deals in facts. Listen and read carefully; what the talking heads are saying is one thing.  What the experts are saying is almost entirely different. I call that a disconnect.

How many of us follow the rules for flu season?  Wash your hands.  Don’t touch your face.  If you don’t feel well, stay home.  Avoid contained crowds where you’re all breathing the same air.  If somebody sneezes, hold your breath and walk away.  My wife, Saint Mary, follows all these rules.  I don’t, and I’ve done pretty well for several decades.

My conversation with the doctor ended like this:


Me:  “So, basically, wash my hands and run away from sneezers?”

Dr:  “Actually, Dick….that’s precisely correct.”

Everybody calm down.  Don’t worry, be happy.  All will be well.

2 thoughts on “This Coronavirus Thing

  1. Whoo-Whee, my friend, you did it again. Hit it right where it should be felt. I simply cannot bear to watch the “news” as the yapping hysteria sends me over the edge. Seriously. Your concise and thoughtful commentary says what needs to be said. Your writing skills are superb. Mrs. Van would be proud. Now, please excuse me while I go wash my hands…I just planted some herbs in the garden and that warrants some soap and water! (And, yes I’ve missed your posts lately. Knew something was brewing in your head and would be revealed in time!)


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