I’ve scrolled past many memes on social media that depict millennials as careless. There was that video of the Spring-breakers, who made frolicking on the beach during the corona their YOLO moment (technically that’s Gen Z). I’ve heard the same looped snippet of Megan The Stallion’s Savage probably 100 times. I took the #shotschallenge, the only challenge I’d partake in (though I’m suddenly tempted to learn the choreography from Savage). Much to my delight, I watched my fiancé do the #pushupschallenge. DJ D-Nice had Michelle Obama partying up in #clubquarantine and everyone is a conspiracy theorist these days. I even considered creating my own beauty concoction.
All while working from home because New Yorkers are officially on pause/quarantine/some Cuomo version of stay your a** home. Basically if you’re not an essential worker, you are currently on your couch. Not such a bad thing.
President Trump has managed to turn it all into a sh*t show so watching the news is depressing, but informative because we are facing an unprecedented episode in American history. Seriously, it feels like an episode in a series we’ve binge-watched on Netflix (check their catalog for titles like Pandemic). Why couldn’t Obama be president right now?!
Through this hazy cloud of what the f*ck, I am one of the “at-risk” people the CDC is talking about when they mention those at high-risk. Well not technically me, my daughter is. She was born with congenital heart disease. She’s 6 months old and just came home from the hospital. (That’s another story). On one hand, I feel incredibly blessed she is not in the hospital setting during this unsettling time, frankly, I am scared. Trump has chosen prime time to prove his presidential incompetence. Therefore, it’s impossible to conclude if we’re on the verge of a zombie apocalypse or if we should expect to go back to work in two weeks when this all simply blows over.
Oh, where’s my check?
The coronavirus pandemic exposed our country at our most vulnerable time. That time being the time of the Trump administration. It wiped off our foundation then closed Sephora on us. On the flip side, we’ve seen social media comradery. A spark of creativity. And the good in people who’ve stepped up to do their part like the designers making facemasks for those on the front lines.
Yet uncertainty still lingers. I’ve settled somewhere between the coronavirus is serious and especially dangerous to those who have underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems. These rest of us should be OK, but we have a responsibility not to spread it to someone who is at higher-risk.
Here’s my breakdown of it, Covid-19 affects the respiratory system, which will cause a surplus in demand for ventilators. There aren’t enough ventilators or beds in the hospital to treat those who aren’t able to just stay home like Idris and Sabrina Elba. The virus directly affects the elderly population and those with underlying health issues like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. I don’t think I need to spell out what happens when there aren’t enough breathing machines. Covid-19 is easily spread through droplets that can land in your mouth or nose. Or by touching a surface or object that has the virus on then touching your mouth. (Do you know how impossible it is not to touch your face throughout the day?) Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Before all of this turned into the Twilight Zone, my daughter’s pulmonologist predicted almost all of us will get some form of the coronavirus in the near future. The number of positive cases will increase because more testing will be made available. My daughter’s cardiologist made it a bit clearer, keep her away from sick people.
Like coronavirus, the actual virus is only one-half of the threat. The economic implications are catastrophic. People are losing jobs. Essential services are stretched thin. My daughter gets special medical deliveries each month that have been significantly delayed. The president prematurely announced the drug hydroxychloroquine can potentially help cure the virus. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat and prevent malaria. It can also treat lupus and arthritis. Lupus patients can’t get their meds.
New York is currently the epicenter for the virus. 622 people have died in the US while 18, 259 have perished worldwide. The virus doesn’t discriminate. This morning a 36-year-old Brooklyn principal died from coronavirus-related complications. The virus is seemingly sparing children, adults make up most of the known cases to date.
I’ve been self-quarantined for almost three weeks now and trying to balance my anxiety by putting my phone down and only watching the news in the morning. Thank God for BET’s Martin marathon. I’ve developed a routine: I wake, give the kid her meds (take everyone’s temp), make my coffee, scroll social media and send my morning e-mails. Remember to laugh at my fiancé’s jokes. Tend to my child. Take selfies with a Snapchat filter because I refuse to appear on camera otherwise. After work, I tidy up, make dinner and go into family mode. In the back of my mind I’m praying I don’t get the rona (as the Black community dubbed it) because I would never forgive myself if I gave it to my baby or to my mother who has chronic asthma who then gives it to my grandmother who has dementia. That’s the point of social distancing. The only way to beat coronavirus is to slow the spread a.k.a flatten the curve.
Life as we knew it is on a pause right now, but I’m faithful we’ll be back to brunch and BBQs in time for the summer months. Sometimes all you can do is have faith.