Category Archives: CoVid19

Complacency


Are we satisfied with the actions of our leaders that we feel we don’t need to try harder to contain the virus?  

Sadly, the opportunity to prepare for and stop the spread of the virus came and went months ago.  The world watched as China’s nurses and doctor’s pleaded for their lives and the lives of their colleagues. We watched as they were building hospitals in ten days and dragging people out of their apartments who were infectious. Once the first case was diagnosed in Washington, the USA’S complacent reaction was an indication of things to come. 

Complacency said this is no worse than the flu.

Complacency says I’m still going shopping.

The complacent are disregarding the highly contagious nature of the virus.

Being complacent has put a horrible strain on our medical system.  It is causing our doctors and nurses to sleep in RV’S in their driveways.  It has caused the death of nearly 7,000 people in the USA; 16 of those deaths by March 29 and more than doubling to 38 by April 3 in Oklahoma. 

Complacency has led to women making masks for health care professionals as quickly as they can. They are being mailed and given to doctors and nurses across the USA because they don’t have enough PPE.

“Heroes Work Here” signs are being seen at hospitals.

Complacency has led to loved ones dying alone in hospitals. Supermarket shelves being emptied. People losing their jobs.  School closings. 

People losing millions from plunging share prices.

Please don’t let complacency continue to burden our health care system, our livelihood, and the health and welfare of our friends and family.

 I have a suitcase sitting in my living room reminding me not to become complacent. I walk around it everyday, not that I need a reminder that my son’s health and that of so many of our medical professionals and first responders are in jeopardy.  I think of that everyday. 

It reminds me to think forward and to remind people to disinfect their front door handles, washing machine/dryer handles, glasses, etc. It reminds me to be prayerful. It reminds me that I have to return to Beijing to fulfill my employment contract, and it reminds me that I need to live life to its fullest inside my home!

The suitcase is packed and ready for a 14 day Chinese quarantine at a government facility upon return to Beijing. It is filled with Clorox Wipes, a roll of TP, snacks, just add water soups, bowl, spoon, etc. ( I’ve seen pictures of the food other teachers have been served in quarantine upon their arrival) I still need to add sheets, a pillow, towel, and flip-flops so I won’t have to touch anything, wherever it is they decide to quarantine us.

What I don’t understand about some people’s complacent actions is why is all the toilet paper gone? If people are happy with the lack of enforced lockdowns and continue to go on as normal, why are beer and potato chips selling out and being restocked as if we could never find them in the stores again? Some must not be that convinced.

Complacency is not going to stop the spread of the virus or its economic impact.  

Staying home is going to help, but the spread is quite significant now. 

Be vigilant in your actions so we can enjoy our family and friends sooner, than later… and we won’t be subjected to binge watching Tiger King!

 


Rattled to the Core!


I wrote in a previous blog post “Will their Smiles Still be Seen?” about all of the sulphur being released into the air during the peak of the virus in China, presumably due to all of the crematoriums burning so many bodies everyday. This is what I was reminded of today as I was tending to essential business at the Post Office (mailing masks to my son and his colleagues at the hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma). 

I saw something so disturbing to ME and had it not been for the masks in my hand that just might be needed due to the shortage of REAL MASKS, I may have gone running out the door from that post office lobby. 

Which by the way, when I am at the grocery store, or gas station I don’t see people wearing masks at all.  I know there seems to be some debate over whether they help or not, but if you have stockpiled these masks and you aren’t going to use them, why keep them?  Please send them on to our healthcare workers.  I have an address of a hospital or two if you need willing recipients of all the masks that are sitting in your cabinet or on your shelf. You can even go to mask-match.com and find someone who needs masks more than you need them  collecting dust on a shelf.

Sorry, Back to the Post Office Lobby.  I honestly felt as though I might be sick. I just stood there for a minute trying to take in the visual I had in my head. I saw Italy and the military trucks transporting bodies, I saw friends dying alone, I saw myself getting out of the sulphur filled skies of China, I saw my son. 

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Behind the counter, at the post office was a roll of stickers, which read

“Cremated Remains.”

Perhaps they always have these stickers, however I have been using this particular post office several times a week for years, (except of course when I am in China) and I have never seen them sitting out on the counter.  I guess mailing cremains is more common than I thought.  Actually, I’ve never thought about it. 

 

I proceeded to the counter and wanted to ask about the stickers, but I couldn’t get any words to come out of my mouth. I was barely able to insert my card into the reader and I wasn’t about to use my un-gloved hand to touch the machine.  I finally got the card in the slot. I had mentioned to a friend a day earlier that “I don’t easily break, but I am about at my breaking point.” I guess I’m really there!  Seeing these stickers caused so many flashbacks, flash forwards and questions in just the few seconds I was standing there. 

I thought: 

1. Are we already to this point or close to it where we will, or already are mailing cremains because family members can’t go and pick them up? 

2. Will we be enlisting the services of the National Guard to carry bodies from Expo Square to the crematorium?  

3. Will people die alone? 

4. Will family members be wracked with guilt not being able to be with their loved ones when they pass away?

The answer to the last two questions above, is YES. It is already happening. I’ve seen on the news nurses holding the hand of a dying patient while trying to FaceTime with the patient’s loved ones from their homes sending their final goodbyes.

What about the first two questions listed above? Wait to be seen, I guess.

But, so many people think the “limited” guidelines that have finally been put in place, don’t apply to them. I rode my bike the other day along the river trail.  It is great to see so many people getting exercise, running or riding their bikes. But, there were SO MANY PEOPLE gathering in large groups. Children were climbing on the benches along side the trails and then putting cookies in their mouths. It didn’t appear that the adult was washing down the bench or the child’s hands before they were seen putting something in their mouths.  

If you are going to use the trails, keep it moving. Please don’t stop and gather in large groups. Maybe bring your own blanket to sit on rather than a bench that everyone else sits on. If we can’t follow the established guidelines, or use our common sense, we are only subjecting more healthcare workers and first responders to unnecessary risks. 

I stayed inside for 7 weeks, 4 weeks in China and 3 weeks in the states upon my return. Here, I didn’t even have to totally stay inside, I could have gone on a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood according to the Health Department. I chose not to do so. I took my trash can to the curb at night when no one was outside. I wore a mask to do that. I stayed inside an additional week just to be sure.  I did it for you.  Can you do it for others? 

It seems these days when we are presented with an easier and faster way to do something, we are going to take that route, regardless of the circumstances.   This is the society we have created.

This crisis isn’t one of those circumstances.  There is nothing fast, easy or convenient in dealing with this virus.  We must be patient!  We must follow the guidelines.

We are a nation in crisis. Do your part so you don’t receive a box in the mail that reads ”Cremated Remains.”


Will their smiles still be seen?


Are you doing your part? 

Watching this pandemic unfold while sitting in China was an eerie experience.  I kept up with the daily death toll, while listening to so many ask “What’s the big deal? The flu kills more people than this each year.” Yes, the flu does kill many but we don’t shut down borders, restrict air travel and activate the National Guard for the flu. 

So much confusion over this new virus and where it came from, how contagious it is and how it continues spreading so rapidly.  Of course not knowing the language and unable to watch Chinese TV and understand it, we (teachers) relied on news from our own countries, USA and New Zealand. Each reporting something different or new.  Chinese colleagues were relaying different information.  Our heads were spinning.

I remember hearing that the Chinese government placed the city of WuHan on lockdown, but told the citizens it was going to be effective the following day.  This gave millions of people time to leave WuHan before the city and it’s people were on lockdown.  Begin the spread. There is a lesson to be learned there.

business locked and closed in Beijing

Once this city was on lockdown, others soon followed. Schools remained closed and still are closed. Stores and businesses began to close. The only establishments that were to remain open were those of necessity, supermarkets and pharmacies. Deliveries of all kind; food, groceries, TaoBao, etc. were stopped.

Heed their actions?

Beijing, a city of 20 million plus people were staying inside.  I could look out my apartment window and see only a few people in the park, here and there. We would go to the park, donned in our “protective wear” to walk, gather information on the virus and count our daily blessings. Upon return to my apartment, I would remove my shoes at the door, wash my coat, gloves and clothes.  I wiped down my front door handle and the floor.  I cleaned my glasses and took a shower.  Every day without fail.  Who knows what could have been lurking on my clothing?

During our walks and toward the 2nd or third week into our self-imposed quarantine in Beijing, we noticed more “smog” or “pollution” in Beijing than normal.  Data at this time suggested an increase in the amount of sulphur dioxide in the air, possibly from the crematorium burning so many bodies each day. We were nearly 1000 miles away from WuHan but seeing the effects in the air quality. This just made me think of how the skies must have looked at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the 1940’s with ovens operating continuously, burning bodies on a daily basis.  What a tragic time in our world’s history!

Now the military in Italy are transporting coffins of people to cremation centers.

We are watching all of this unfold in other countries, yet are we doing everything we can to stop the spread? I felt guilty picking my car up from the shop today. I wore gloves and wiped down the counter, the door handles and pens at the dealership. I stopped by the store to pick up a few things, again feeling guilty,  and saw my friend, Rex, there.  No hugs, just an elbow bump and that was too close for me. 

I have remained Virus free and have made very nerve-wracking decisions to get me to this point and back to the USA. So it is possible, we just have to do our part.

 Travel restrictions should have been put in place for Spring Break Holiday weeks ago in the USA.  I feel lockdowns, restrictions and quarantines should have been in effect prior to this week. California leaders estimate 25.5 million people will contract the virus over the next 8 weeks but even knowing this, people go on about their non essential business of the day. Let’s pull it together and work for the safety of our city, state and country or the spread continues.

The National Guard has already been authorized to provide planning and guidance throughout this situation. So it looks like the State of Oklahoma is preparing for the worse. Until local and federal government leaders provide more uniformity across the country, it will get worse. As in China, some places did this, others did that. The spread continued.

I know it is all new, we weren’t really sure what it was capable of at the onset, but now we are seeing the effects of this virus. It is our civic duty to act with the best interests of our families, friends, doctors, nurses and first responders at heart.  

My son, the doctor and his beautiful ER doctor friends, I hope their smiles and those of all ER physicians can still be seen

Overall, I was in quarantine for 7 weeks.   I survived.  You will, too!

Lifesucksifyouletit.com so DON’T let it! Find something to do and someone to help. You will feel so much better during this time of insecurity.

Stop the spread….Do it for our real heroes, those who don’t know what they are being exposed to on a daily basis; first responders, health care providers and my son, the doctor. 


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