• Chapter I

Pandemic


In January we learned about a virus that was circulating in China. In February we learned it was spreading to other countries. At the end of February it was on our doorstep. Now it's an uninvited visitor here in the US, and states are struggling to get ahead of it, as the number of ill grow exponentially.

This is such an unprecedented event, that I want to record what it's like in the event that we forget the details in the future...in the event it happens again... and in the event that we forget how much we didn't know when it started.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people "talk out their butts" and blather on like they have been educated about the facts. To avoid that, I signed up for the World Health Organization Corona course in mid-February. Some things I learned:

*The virus most likely originated from an animal source, but the origin has not been specified.

*It is a novel virus, meaning it has never been seen before. There is no cure and no vaccine.

*The ability of the virus to mutate is unknown.

*It is currently spread through close human contact at the current known R0 (basic reproduction) rate of 2.8.

*Symptoms in the majority of those who get the virus are mild, consisting of a cough, shortness of breath, and fever. In the elderly (age 75+) and immuno-comprimised, the virus is more likely to be severe or deadly.

Over the past 3 days things have changed rapidly. In just that time there are over 10,000 new cases outside of China, universities across the country have closed, moving to online classes, and more public gatherings are being cancelled every minute.

People don't seem to be that scared, it's all just so unknown. There is huge discussion amongst us about whether or not public schools will have to close. And the ramifications of everything are just beginning to dawn on us

Tonight I am going to a band concert for all of the band kids in our district. Tomorrow school will go on as scheduled. Beyond that, nothing is clear. And that is truly bizarre.

This weekend we planned on going to New Jersey to see our daughter Christina, then to New York to see our daughter Alexa, who is interning as part of Kent State University's Fashion Program. Christina's fiancee found out that he has been in contact with someone who has the virus. They are self-quarantining and we will be staying at home. It gets a little more real, a little more close to home each day.

Since we are facing the chance that we all might have some free time on our hands, I thought I would start the discussion. How are you feeling? What are you thinking?

I'll be checking in on the daily.

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