I’m trying to be levelheaded about the COVID-19 virus, but I find myself of two minds. One of the minds says not to worry, that this too shall pass. And if I’m in good health and living a healthy life, I should be fine…even if I’m in my seventies and have lung issues.
“Oh,” the other mind points out. “You’re a perfect candidate, not only for contracting the virus, but dying from it.”
Great! I think and head to Target for more hand sanitizer.
I read an article by a man who had the virus and said it wasn’t that bad. That was the headline, at least, but as I continued to read about his 103 degree fever and two week hospital stay, I wasn’t reassured. Actually, I had a PTSD flashback because it reminded me of how I felt when I had malaria ten years ago. I had a 105 degree fever for many days–let me tell you it wasn’t good.
I decided to do a little more research on the effect of the corona virus because I wanted to be pro-active. One thing I read is that medications may become in short supply. That’s because many of our medications are made in China (who knew) where factories have been closed down and transportation cut back. So I decided to refill as many of our prescriptions as I could. That was easy. Hopefully there won’t be a problem, but I still have the medication for 3 months.
An issue that is already coming up is the hugging, kissing, shaking hands dilemma. I faced this two years ago when recovering from pneumonia. I didn’t want to be rude, but I was vulnerable to any infection and my lungs weren’t functioning well, as it was. I got good advice from people whose lungs were also not at 100%. One friend told me she bumps elbows with people instead of knuckles. Another told me to hold a glass of wine in one hand and an appetizer in the other at a cocktail party. “Then you shrug and say sorry when they zero in for a handshake,” she explained.
I think it’s important not to be Chicken Little. The sky is not falling. We’ll be okay. Meanwhile I hear my husband on the phone with his cousin. “Worst case scenario,” he chortles, “is our kids get their inheritance early.”
I want to start worrying about getting old again. I want to worry about my crow’s feet turning into pigeon’s feet. I want to feel bad that when I wave my arm, my sagging skin keeps flapping like a loose sail. I want to worry about whether I should be buying a cemetery plot rather than worrying if there’s a plot to bring down America as I’ve known it.
I want to worry about not being able to remember anyone’s name. Is it dementia creeping up on me or overload? Because all of a sudden I need to know a lot of names that I just took for granted before.
I can be naïve—I used to think banks existed for me to deposit my money in. Bankers were there to help and protect me. That’s what I thought about our government too. I thought the elected officials would act in the best interest of the country as a whole. So complacent was I that I didn’t worry about officials’ actions or know their names. I admit I still don’t want to know the name of the Speaker of the House is Paul Ryan or the senator from New York is Amy Schumer’s cousin. I don’t want to know that Mitch McConnell is from Kentucky. I’d like to feel everything was going to be all right and I could obsess over my bunions.
I want to worry about my weight. That would be so refreshing instead of worrying about my granddaughter taking ballet at our local JCC. And I’d like to fret about whether I should join the American Hair Loss Association or just quit coloring my hair.
I’d like to have trouble falling asleep at night thinking about how time is flying rather than thinking about neighbors who could be deported in an instant. I’d like to have time to think about whether Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty screwed up because they are old farts instead of needing to think nonstop about the deep divisions in our country.
I’d like to worry again about how short a skirt a woman my age can wear. And whether I can read a Jodi Picoult book without getting my heart broken. I’d even like to worry about how I can get my husband to drink enough water. That I know is a lost cause. I just hope our country isn’t.
I hate to be a worrywart, but I am, always have been and probably always will be. One of the things that has bothered me for a while is cell phones. For years I’ve heard talk about the potential danger. Was it an urban legend that they were causing brain tumors or was it truth?
I will say that I’ve been called a Henny Penny (the sky is falling girl)
and a Nervous Nelly many times in my life. And it’s not an unwarranted slur. My mind just naturally goes to “what if the half full or empty glass falls off the counter and crashes onto the kitchen floor, shattering and slicing into the femoral artery of my nearest and dearest? What if the row boat sinks in the middle of the lake? What if the man who has locked himself in the lavoratory on my airplane is really a terrorist who has brought many tiny bottles onto the airplane and is now assembling them into a liquid nitrogen bomb? I am a writer, for goodness sake. I can’t help it if I have an overactive imagination.
I had a few extra minutes this morning as I woke up an hour before I needed to get up. (I’m not sure why, but it could have been the wind that was screeching around our doors and windows like banshees on the prowl.) With the extra time, I decided to check out Dr. Oz’s article: Dr. Oz: “5 Health Risks I Won’t Take—and Neither Should You”
The first risk to avoid is Triclosan in your toothpaste, Dr. Oz advises. I immediately went into the bathroom. Geez, I tried to read the label on my toothpaste tube—it’s so small that it’s unreadable. I decided to forgo my brushing until I got a magnifying glass. Gingivitis is a small price to pay to avoid a potential carcinogen.
Advice Number 3 deals with cell phones…I knew it! Read the following and take heed.
“Science says: Cell phones emit radio frequency (RF) energy, a type of radiation deemed “possibly carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Unlike the radiation from a CT scan, RF energy isn’t strong enough to break DNA bonds, but the tissues near the ear you use when you’re on the phone can absorb it. Some research suggests that this could slightly increase your risk of developing brain tumors, but at least two studies that looked at brain tumor incidence among people who used cell phones regularly for ten years or more found no connection. While such news is reassuring, the medical community believes it’s difficult to know the health consequences of cell phone use until longer-term studies are done. For safety’s sake: Avoid keeping the phone pressed up against your ear; I use the speaker phone or a hands-free headset to reduce my RF exposure. Whenever possible, I also wait until I have strong cell phone reception to make calls; the weaker the signal, the more RF energy the phone emits to keep calls from dropping. At night, don’t sleep with your phone right next to your bed—it still releases RF when it’s transmitting data as you get pinged with e-mails and texts.”
OMG! I knew it! I told my kids, but would they believe me? Of course not; I’ve been giving out dire warnings for years. But they should listen. Even I can’t be wrong all the time.