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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on a sinking boat. Who survives?
In the time of coronavirus I’ve been thinking about the effect coronavirus has had on me in the last two months. I haven’t been infected, I wear a mask when I go out (which is about once a week), and practice social distancing. There are many public protests against the health orders and shutdowns. Many of the complaints seem trivial, such as getting nails and/or hair done, going to movies, etc. Yes, these are inconveniences and, quite frankly, I have no interest in hearing about them. However, there are some serious impacts on people’s lives: loss of income, inability to pay rent or mortgage, unavailability of child care, insufficient funds for food, etc. Children without access to internet are likely to suffer in lack of continuance of education, at least temporarily. And for many, especially children, the lack of social interaction can be harmful. There are many other devastating impacts, including emotional and psychological ones. I’ve been wondering, in particular, the impact on me of social distancing, lock down, quarantine, or whatever you call it. I haven’t noticed any significant effect and, at first, thought there was something lacking in me, like, maybe I didn’t “get” it. Instead, I realize it’s not much different from undergoing cancer treatment or recovery from major surgery or a temporary stay in a nursing home, all of which I’ve dealt with multiple times in the last seven years. These were times when my immune system was weakened so much that social isolation was a matter of self-preservation. I’m accustomed to long periods of relative inactivity, keeping myself entertained, avoiding crowds of people, living with fatigue and low energy, solitude, outreach via electronic media, and just plain staying home. And lots of naps. I guess the ability to easily adapt to current conditions is a blessing from cancer. I’ve adapted to forced social isolation out of necessity in the past and it’s one of my normals. I suspect these feelings are familiar to many others who have chronic or episodic health conditions. Yes, I miss contact with people but not as much as I originally expected. I still talk with neighbors from a distance. My son visits once a week and we sit in opposite corners of the patio. I have many email, phone, and social media contacts. What I miss is seeing my church family–electronic services don’t have the same impact. I miss going out to eat. The lack of physical, social contact is a minor inconvenience because I know it will end some day. I also miss my part time job even though it’s only a few hours a week. I’ve sung in choirs since I was nine years old and I miss the collaboration involved. From what I’ve been reading, the likelihood of singing soon in a choir (or even in a church service) is slim to none for 1-2 years. At my age and with my health, 1-2 years could be the same as forever. This is the greatest sadness of all for me. I like telemedicine. Many doctor visits require long periods of sitting and waiting. I can do that very well at home and am not around others who could infect me or whom I might infect. Fortunately, the numbers from my blood tests are holding steady so I don’t require any additional tests or invasive treatment. A short trip to a lab and a few minutes in front of the computer is all it takes. I think this is a keeper for the future and we’ll see a lot more telemedicine for routine followups. Much of the time, there’s no reason for a doctor to physically examine me. What matters are the blood test results. I’m not sure what the point of my meanderings are except that I find writing occasionally is psychologically satisfying. It might be a conceit, at a minimum, to share them but I do it anyway. Thank you for your patience and respect for reading this far. Rich
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