Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. PTSD and the Coronavirus

 

The other day I invited two friends over for a visit. We formed a woman’s group that usually meets monthly, but we hadn’t come together in months. All of us are seniors and they are both more cautious than I am regarding the coronavirus. So, I suggested we could sit either outside or inside (not having checked on the late morning temperature).

When they arrived, one friend (call her “E”) came to the front door and told me that my other friend (“R”) was walking around the side of the house to enter by the lanai side door. Clearly, she had decided she preferred to sit outside, in spite of the early morning Florida heat and humidity. We moved our chairs into three spots of shade we found and visited for 1.5 hours.

The entire time we spoke about nothing but the coronavirus, or topics related to it, such as scheduling doctor appointments and haircuts. In our defense, there wasn’t much more going on (unless you count the civil unrest). I realized at one point the narrow framework of the conversation; it never occurred to me to suggest we talk about the larger implications of the virus or its effects on our lives.

When it was time to part, I asked about scheduling a next meeting (which we usually did month-to-month). “R” said she wasn’t willing to meet inside a house, and it would clearly be too warm outside in August, even with our outside fans. So, we decided to check in with each other in a month or two.

Later in the day, “E” and I set up a time for me to visit her at her home.

In thinking about “R”s behavior, I felt concern and alarm for her. I could understand her wearing a mask everywhere. I also know that she has some medical conditions, although she takes very good care of herself with proper diet and exercise. Still, her fear was palpable, a woman who usually deals with life practically and rationally. I wondered if her anxiety could have long-term effects, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I decided to do a little research, and the results were disconcerting.

If you are concerned about those you love (or even yourself), here are the symptoms of PTSD:

Anger, often of an inappropriate type; depression which appears to have no basis in fact; loss of concentration; increased startle and hypervigilance; avoidance; isolation; emotional numbing; lack of trust; suicidal ideation may be present; insomnia; distressing nightmares

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs describes the potential of PTSD as an outcome of the coronavirus, makes the following recommendations:

  • Consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.

  • Look for opportunities to practice being more patient or kind with yourself, or to see the situation as an opportunity to learn or build strengths.

  • Celebrate successes, find things to be grateful about, and take satisfaction in completing tasks, even small ones.

  • Give yourself small breaks from the stress of the situation by doing something you enjoy.

  • Draw upon your spirituality, those who inspire you, or your personal beliefs and values.

These approaches make sense, especially for a person like myself who is only moderately stressed by the current virus situation. But I wonder how they would work for people who are already awash in the emotions and fears regarding the virus?

Certain issues related to the virus are difficult to deal with from a rational perspective: the fear of the unknown. One author lists some of those concerns:

How the virus is communicated

How long is the period of incubation before symptoms

What is the fatality rate

Can it be caught more than once

How long can it live on surfaces

Will quarantine be needed and for how long

Will personal finances be affected

Will the virus jeopardize our economy and will our financial institutions begin to fail

We’ve been told that some of these issues have been answered, but have they? Do we really know very much about the virus? Just today there was a question about how far droplets can travel; whether masks are helpful or not; whether children should go back to school; whether the number of cases or the death rate is more important; and the questions continue.

* * * * *

Then there are the questions about whom to believe. Do we believe the “experts”? Which ones should we rely on? How certain can we be about President Trump’s guidance, when Dr. Anthony Fauci calls touting the death rate a “false narrative”?

And then there is the media, which we know will mostly promote the worst-case scenario for the virus, but is anything they tell us true? Where can we go for reliable information? Let’s not forget the other stressors beyond the coronavirus. The riots, shootings, lootings, which have been doing on for weeks, continue unabated. We see occasional periods of quiet, but we have to wonder whether the media is intentionally ignoring certain dangerous events because they don’t suit their agenda.

* * * * *

We know that coronavirus may very well be with us for a while. Even when the situation appears to be improving, too many people are invested in hyping the deadliest information. I worry about my friend and those like her who are especially vulnerable and at some level sense the possibility of death.

How will she and others be affected in the long-term?

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: Then there are the questions about whom to believe. Do we believe the “experts”? Which ones should we rely on? How certain can we be about President Trump’s guidance, when Dr. Anthony Fauci calls touting the death rate a “false narrative”?

    That one bothered me the most. Is it a “false narrative” for a scientifically based medical reason, or because it makes Fauci look more and more like a boob?

    • #1
    • July 8, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Rodin Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Then there are the questions about whom to believe. Do we believe the “experts”? Which ones should we rely on? How certain can we be about President Trump’s guidance, when Dr. Anthony Fauci calls touting the death rate a “false narrative”?

    That one bothered me the most. Is it a “false narrative” for a scientifically based medical reason, or because it makes Fauci look more and more like a boob?

    Here’s Dr Facui being iucaF rD, again. He said something absolutely correct in the abstract and unhelpful in the application. If the question is what should our public posture toward COVID-19 be then his statement is foolish.

    At a societal level the question is how an illness affects our ability to carry on, to maintain a reasonable level of societal cohesion and support. There the death rate is they key marker. And more specifically who? If children die, our future is gone. If workers die, our economy is gone. If the elderly die it is a collection of personal tragedies of only incremental societal impact. So as the death rate slows, so should our actions with respect to people control.

    On a personal level there are various ways in which the infection can debilitate someone even if it doesn’t kill them and is a reason to stay personally vigilant. Dr Fauci’s problem is that he is always making pronouncements that require context that either he does not give or which the media are pleased to omit.

    • #2
    • July 8, 2020, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    On a personal level there are various ways in which the infection can debilitate someone even if it doesn’t kill them and is a reason to stay personally vigilant. Dr Fauci’s problem is that he is always making pronouncements that require context that either he does not give or which the media are pleased to omit.

    I agree with you, @rodin. I think people are too worried about the current data to worry about the long-term impact on people in terms of their psychological condition. And PTSD can take years to show up. If it affects many people, will we make the connection? Or will we assume they’re suffering from some other psychological problem?

    • #3
    • July 8, 2020, at 1:25 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Doormat Coolidge

    This is exactly the approach I shared with our church staff last week. We had been preparing to have our first services back inside our church building for the first time since March. (Everything has been online, and then in June we did three outdoor services.) So we’d been trying to figure out how to control seating, whether to require face masks, whether to make them optional, whether to have different options for different sections, how many to allow inside our church sanctuary at one time, which rooms to have for overflow, how to keep people seated at a safe distance, . . . and with all that, how to deal with people who for whatever reason, won’t come if masks aren’t required, or won’t come if masks are, or won’t come regardless because they don’t yet feel safe . . .

    . . . and the usual church task of trying to keep everyone happy, which is impossible.

    I mentioned that we have to look at this as though everyone has gone through a traumatic incident — losing work, losing a business, losing a loved one, losing the ability to travel at will, . . . just losing a whole bunch of stuff. Or they’re still going through that trauma.

    And even if officials at all levels of government say “Okay, crisis over! Everyone go back to normal,” it’s going to be awhile yet before everyone starts behaving normally, because everyone’s going to have varying levels of PTSD after this.

    That’s really how we have to look at 2020: the year everyone suffered a trauma. And when this is over, the year (or longer) that everyone will be dealing with PTSD.

    And when I say everyone, I include myself in that. Certainly among our staff, we’ve got a whole range of people who are at different places. We had our first church service in the building last Sunday, but my family does not yet feel comfortable returning to the building, and we watched the live-stream. (Although it was nice that, for the first time since March, I didn’t have to prerecord and edit together the various bits of a worship service.)

    So yeah . . . PTSD. We’ve all got it. Or we’re all gonna get it. It’s going to affect far more people than the WuFlu.

    • #4
    • July 8, 2020, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. OldPhil Coolidge

    People have gone absolutely nuts. That’s all I got.

    • #5
    • July 8, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… (View Comment):
    I mentioned that we have to look at this as though everyone has gone through a traumatic incident — losing work, losing a business, losing a loved one, losing the ability to travel at will, . . . just losing a whole bunch of stuff. Or they’re still going through that trauma.

    What a great church community you have–such insight! Yes, I think it makes sense that to some degree we have/might have PTSD–not to make us paranoid, but to pay attention to our own lives and those around us. Isn’t that what we should be doing anyway? Thanks, @drewinwisconsin

    • #6
    • July 8, 2020, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    People have gone absolutely nuts. That’s all I got.

    True. And don’t expect it to get much better for a long time, @oldphil. For those of us who maintain our sanity for the most part, watching others suffer won’t be easy. But we can be armed with ways to deal with their suffering.

    • #7
    • July 8, 2020, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    • #8
    • July 8, 2020, at 4:15 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    I agree, @rushbabe49. It has the same effect has the hijab, whether we want to admit it or not. At some point, we need to say, “enough,” and it may happen gradually, but I will be one (as will you) to make it happen. The mask will become a symbol of fear, and that’s an unhealthy way to live.

    • #9
    • July 8, 2020, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. EODmom Coolidge

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    But that’s the point: social disruption and encouraging. isolation. 

    • #10
    • July 8, 2020, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    EODmom (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    But that’s the point: social disruption and encouraging. isolation.

    @eodmom, do you think these are the goals by the “experts,” BLM, or the governors and mayors?

    • #11
    • July 8, 2020, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. EODmom Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    But that’s the point: social disruption and encouraging. isolation.

    @eodmom, do you think these are the goals by the “experts,” BLM, or the governors and mayors?

    Yes. It works for all of them. BLM wants destruction. They are being driven by marxists and assume power will follow. The others just enjoy control. I think the mayors and governors are generally just big fish in small ponds who let it go to their heads. Local authorities (state and local) are generally not otherwise very accomplished people, right? This might be the biggest thing to happen in their lives. 

    • #12
    • July 8, 2020, at 6:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    EODmom (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Yes, let’s look at the “long-term view”. That would be the “several years” one medical expert predicted that we will be wearing masks when around other people. That alone would give me PTSD. Personally, I’m not prepared to go around in disguise for several years (and a mask is a disguise). I believe this would lead to societal breakdown, when each person is encouraged to be afraid of every other person, with no end in sight.

    But that’s the point: social disruption and encouraging. isolation.

    Makes it tough for people to get together and discuss how to vote the lockdown SOBs out of office, doesn’t it? Hmmmmmmm . . .

    • #13
    • July 9, 2020, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Nerina Bellinger Member

    Great post, @susanquinn. I have a friend, in her early 50s (admittedly with some health issues that put her at increased risk) who has basically said she is not leaving her house until there is an effective vaccine. And I understand her concerns and I fully support her decision to limit her risk. I don’t begrudge my friend her choice but what I do resent is the condemnation heaped on those of us who have a different risk calculus and have decided to venture back into the community – even without, dare I say it, the hallowed mask! Further, my concern is that we will all come out of this crisis more jaded, more suspicious and frankly, more misanthropic – all traits which were on the increase anyway in this age of social media but are now even more pronounced. 

    • #14
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  15. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: Then there are the questions about whom to believe. Do we believe the “experts”? Which ones should we rely on? How certain can we be about President Trump’s guidance, when Dr. Anthony Fauci calls touting the death rate a “false narrative”?

    Susan,

    Let’s not jump to ultimate epistemological questions but stay with your normal basic sound psychological approach. It will depend on the person. What if it is someone who has always over-relied on the opinions of Doctors. Someone who rather than ask further questions, explore other sources, or get a second opinion, tends to rigidly follow whatever the Doctor first tells them.

    To me, Fauci has obviously been gaslighting the public. I don’t believe in this approach even in mild situations. There are deeper questions about this, first and obvious politics, but I’m not even referring to that. Jonas Salk donated the patent on the polio vaccine. He didn’t try to make a dime. I have not heard a word about this from Fauci, Gates, or anybody involved. I assume they intend to make a huge profit on the vaccine which won’t be difficult considering just how many people they will be inoculating.

    For someone who has always idealized physicians and modern medicine, it is a very difficult thing to realize that your idols may have feet of clay. Even if that realization could save your life or just make it a lot more bearable right now.

    Use your own good judgment on this Susan, just like every other situation where people are having a bad emotional response.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #15
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Southern Pessimist Member

    The reaction you describe is not really a post traumatic stress disorder but it most certainly is a stress related disorder. I have been surprised that the most severe paranoia I have seen has been in very young women, 25 to 35 years old. Most of my friends are much more cavalier about this than their grown children. I am trying as hard as I can to contract the virus so that I can get it over with. My sister is a 73 year old scientist who has multiple myeloma and truly has few options for surviving this until the virus dies out due to Farr’s law. She and her husband have been isolated since early March. They buy all of their groceries by delivery and have not left their house other than to walk outside for exercise and will not be able to for many months. I feel blessed.

    • #16
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    On a technical note, here is some interesting info on the virus.

    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/07/a-highly-qualified-reader-emails-me-on-heterogeneity.html

    1.

     Genetic variation

    This means variation in the genetics of people (not the virus). We already know that (a) mutation in single genes can lead to extreme susceptibility to other infections, e.g Epstein–Barr (usually harmless but sometimes severe), tuberculosis; (b) mutation in many genes can cause disease susceptibility to vary — diabetes (WHO link), heart disease are two examples, which is why when you go to the doctor you are asked if you have a family history of these.

    It is unlikely that COVID was type (a), but it’s quite likely that COVID is type (b). In other words, I expect that there are a certain set of genes which (if you have the “wrong” variants) pre-dispose you to have a severe case of COVID, another set of genes which (if you have the “wrong” variants) predispose you to have a mild case, and if you’re lucky enough to have the right variants of these you are most likely going to get a mild or asymptomatic case.

    2.

     Strain

    It’s now mostly accepted that there are two “strains” of COVID, that the second arose in late January and contains a spike protein variant that wasn’t present in the original ancestral strain, and that this new strain (“D614G”) now represents ~97% of new isolates. The Sabeti lab (Harvard) paper from a couple of days ago is a good summary of the evidence. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.04.187757v1 — note that in cell cultures it is 3-9x more infective than the ancestral strain. Unlikely to be that big of a difference in humans for various reasons, but still striking/interesting.

    Almost nobody was talking about this for months, and only recently was there any mainstream coverage of this. You’ve already covered it, so I won’t belabor the point.

    So could this explain Asia/hetereogeneities? We don’t know the answer, and indeed it is extremely hard to figure out the answer (because as you note each country had different policies, chance plays a role, there are simply too many factors overall).

    8 doctors in England died of the virus and all were South Asian.

    Interesting charts showing the distribution of the two major strains. The new strain is more infectious but this does not mean that it is more lethal. Successful parasites do not kill their hosts. SARS 1 burned itself out with a 26% mortality.

    • #17
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  18. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    I think we can safely say that when it comes to covid, there are no experts, only self-proclaimed experts.

     

    • #18
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Old Bathos Moderator

    Oldsters who remember Jonas Salk’s miracle cure and the moon landing grew up believing science was supposed to get smarter and more sure of things. The daily onslaught of conflicting information about the Chinese Nursing Home Flu is depressing. We seem to be surrendering more control to incompetents who have credentials but no expertise. 
    There is also the sustained attack on our serenity by those intent on politicizing everything, even a flu bug. Normals feel utterly besieged. While we obediently wait to resume our lives, the marxoids are running rampant, destroying cities, institutions and discourse itself. It isn’t just fear of the flu that is doing injury.

    • #19
    • July 9, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  20. MarciN Member

    For me, one source of stress is that I keeping thinking there might be more viruses just like this one out there ready to start attacking people. I wish I understood better why a pandemic like this one hasn’t happened before.

    And there have been horrific economic consequences, some of which I don’t think will be undone even when this pandemic has passed. It’s as if most companies tried their best all spring and last winter to hang on somehow, but now they have given up. United Airlines is laying off 45 percent (36,000 people) of its staff. That is staggering.

    We need something good to happen. My husband said that Moderna’s phase 2 trials are successful so far, and they will begin phase 3 trials in a few weeks. Their stock jumped yesterday on the news that Moderna has entered into a deal with a European pharmaceutical company to produce the vaccine they are developing now. Perhaps this will be the good news we all need.

    • #20
    • July 9, 2020, at 7:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Jules PA Member

    I feel like almost any response we have fits in with something we’ve been told or guided in over the past 4 months.

    Gracious response and patience are in order. 

    Recriminations are not helpful. Rather supportive conversation will help people stand on their own again. It is going to take time for us to build trust, confidence, and community again.

    • #21
    • July 9, 2020, at 8:12 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. Annefy Member

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    I feel like almost any response we have fits in with something we’ve been told or guided in over the past 4 months.

    Gracious response and patience are in order.

    Recriminations are not helpful. Rather supportive conversation will help people stand on their own again. It is going to take time for us to build trust, confidence, and community again.

    If ever. 

    I’ve seen such appalling behavior by so many, I fear being permanently jaded. 

    Last week I consoled three crying people in less than 24 hours. A good friend, who became a widower 18 months ago. He loved his wife – we should all strive to be missed as much as he misses her. He cried as he thanked me for continuing to have him for dinner. Besides his brother, we’re it

    Next day was a mortgage customer who, while prob a little nuts anyway, appeared to be made more so with her mask and gloves past her elbows. I made comforting noises from the doorway as whenever I approached her she cowered in fear. 

    After that experience a BLT was in order, I ended up behind the counter comforting the owner of the small restaurant. She is going to lose her business of 25 years. But worse was the amount of times the cops were called as there were too many people waiting out front for their pick up, and the negative comments she saw on Facebook about her establishment 

    These past months have been stressful and challenging. And I regret to say – many have not risen to the occasion. From some there has been no grace or dignity; instead recrimination and accusation. 

    Everyone thinks that were they in Europe during WWII they would be part of the resistance. Nope. Most would be pointing towards the attic where I was hiding. (Or in the past few months; the backyard where I was bar-be-queuing …)

    • #22
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:02 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  23. Samuel Block Support

    It is really unfortunate.

    I’m back in my hometown, and whenever I’m here, I enjoy my time with my grandmother – this is the widow of the man whom I wrote my last post about. She really is among my favorite people in the world. When I called upon my arrival, she was quick to inform me that I couldn’t come into her house; that was disappointing to hear. Within a couple of days, due to issues with her cable, it was allowed in so I could set up her new cable box. Part of me almost thought it’d be best if she didn’t have Lester Holt’s pretense of objectivity in her household for a little while longer, but I couldn’t help but try to be useful – if only so I could spend a little more time around her. 

    We’ve seen a bit of each other during this trip, but it isn’t normal. I just noticed how much more chatty she is with me, as opposed to when her daughters are around. They tend to dominate conversation, and one of my aunts – perhaps it will surprise you to hear that she’s the woke one – seems to have worn her down to the point that she doesn’t protest much at all; even though this aunt’s “help” is pretty meager. A part of me is leaning towards finding the opportunity to put my temper to use. I suppose I will – it’s just my style! But even that won’t be that likely to put my grandmother’s mind at ease. It’ll probably do the opposite. 

    I don’t know what to do. I guess no one really does…

    • #23
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:44 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. CliffHadley Thatcher

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    I feel like almost any response we have fits in with something we’ve been told or guided in over the past 4 months.

    Gracious response and patience are in order.

    Recriminations are not helpful. Rather supportive conversation will help people stand on their own again. It is going to take time for us to build trust, confidence, and community again.

    If ever.

    I’ve seen such appalling behavior by so many, I fear being permanently jaded.

    Last week I consoled three crying people in less than 24 hours. A good friend, who became a widower 18 months ago. He loved his wife – we should all strive to be missed as much as he misses her. He cried as he thanked me for continuing to have him for dinner. Besides his brother, we’re it

    Next day was a mortgage customer who, while prob a little nuts anyway, appeared to be made more so with her mask and gloves past her elbows. I made comforting noises from the doorway as whenever I approached her she cowered in fear.

    After that experience a BLT was in order, I ended up behind the counter comforting the owner of the small restaurant. She is going to lose her business of 25 years. But worse was the amount of times the cops were called as there were too many people waiting out front for their pick up, and the negative comments she saw on Facebook about her establishment

    These past months have been stressful and challenging. And I regret to say – many have not risen to the occasion. From some there has been no grace or dignity; instead recrimination and accusation.

    Everyone thinks that were they in Europe during WWII they would be part of the resistance. Nope. Most would be pointing towards the attic where I was hiding. (Or in the past few months; the backyard where I was bar-be-queuing …)

    @annefy, bless you for your compassion. At our clothing store, my wife and I haven’t worn masks (we just retired this week, btw). Some longtime customers stopped shopping with us. That’s OK. For whatever reason, whether disapproval or weighed personal risk, they stayed away. And we did our best to calm the skittish who nevertheless did venture out for our GOOB sale. For some, it was their first time in public in weeks. When conversation turned to the virus, we quietly pointed out that if shopping made people sick, then everyone at Walmart and the hardware store and the farm store and the grocery would be laid low by now.

    I’m mystified most by the fear. Here in my county in South Dakota, we had breakouts at our two protein factories, but only 3 percent went to the hospital. A couple workers died, but both had complicated medical issues, so unsurprising. I realize no logic can break through unreasoning fear. Still, perhaps a Shawshank reminder to “get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’ ” would slap some sense into people.

     

    • #24
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:22 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):
    Further, my concern is that we will all come out of this crisis more jaded, more suspicious and frankly, more misanthropic – all traits which were on the increase anyway in this age of social media but are now even more pronounced.

    I share all your concerns, @nerinabellinger. And I’m so sorry that your friend is struggling as she is. There are no easy answers in all of this, but we can at least pay attention to what is going on around us, and to those we love.

    • #25
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    Interesting charts showing the distribution of the two major strains. The new strain is more infectious but this does not mean that it is more lethal. Successful parasites do not kill their hosts. SARS 1 burned itself out with a 26% mortality.

    All of this is fascinating and helpful to understand what is going on. Thanks, @michaelkennedy!

    • #26
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:43 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    It isn’t just fear of the flu that is doing injury.

    You are correct–it’s the whole package that is making life so difficult! Thanks, OB.

    • #27
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CliffHadley (View Comment):
    I realize no logic can break through unreasoning fear. Still, perhaps a Shawshank reminder to “get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’ ” would slap some sense into people.

    All true. Thanks, @cliffhadley. The degree of fear of others is bewildering to me. So much precious time is being lost.

    • #28
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Front Seat Cat Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Then there are the questions about whom to believe. Do we believe the “experts”? Which ones should we rely on? How certain can we be about President Trump’s guidance, when Dr. Anthony Fauci calls touting the death rate a “false narrative”?

    That one bothered me the most. Is it a “false narrative” for a scientifically based medical reason, or because it makes Fauci look more and more like a boob?

    Here’s Dr Facui being iucaF rD, again. He said something absolutely correct in the abstract and unhelpful in the application. If the question is what should our public posture toward COVID-19 be then his statement is foolish.

    At a societal level the question is how an illness affects our ability to carry on, to maintain a reasonable level of societal cohesion and support. There the death rate is they key marker. And more specifically who? If children die, our future is gone. If workers die, our economy is gone. If the elderly die it is a collection of personal tragedies of only incremental societal impact. So as the death rate slows, so should our actions with respect to people control.

    On a personal level there are various ways in which the infection can debilitate someone even if it doesn’t kill them and is a reason to stay personally vigilant. Dr Fauci’s problem is that he is always making pronouncements that require context that either he does not give or which the media are pleased to omit.

    I read something recently about Fauci and the virus that was very bizarre. I think I should share it in a post to get feedback.

    Susan, you hit the nail. I watched the local St. Rita service on line from last Sunday and the priest talked about all the anger present, and how it erodes the person. He said its on social media, in the news, and even confessions. It’s everywhere and people are not handling it well. He said pouring three drinks instead of one is not the answer – neither is Ben & Jerry’s – ha ha – he said stay out of the frig and pantry. He was serious about the corrosion that anger takes on the body, mind and soul. Give your friend space and just communicate and check in via text or phone. She’s not alone in her thinking at all. Thanks for bringing out very helpful symptoms and solutions.

    PS – The church is again closed and priests getting test and in quarantine after a staffer tested positive last week – sigh………

    • #29
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:00 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Doormat Coolidge

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):
    Further, my concern is that we will all come out of this crisis more jaded, more suspicious and frankly, more misanthropic – all traits which were on the increase anyway in this age of social media but are now even more pronounced. 

    Absolutely. If I were a conspiratorial sort, I might assume that this was part of the plan to accelerate and accentuate divisions among the citizens. Divide and conquer. It’s the oldest trick in the book.

    • #30
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 5 likes