It is Wednesday, a lovely warm sunny day in Florida. I decide that even with the "Social Distancing" that we are trying to abide by, I can go to exercise and yoga at the club house.
1) there are only three of us spread out in that big room.
2) I decided to disinfect my hands before entering
3) I brought along a rag to touch any door handles or remote controls.
4) None of us are coughing
It was great to be back among my friends and neighbors. We did the "Covid Hug" which is standing far away from each other and putting our arms up like cactus arms and moving them up and down. I know, corny. But it makes us smile and feel loved, and THAT is so important.
For those of you in the future reading this, in 2019 there was a flu that only resided in animals, but one day in 2019 it morphed and transferred into a human and then transferred human to human. This flu, as I understand it, can sit on a hard surface ready to infect someone else for 48 hours. It attacks the lungs mostly, and can be deadly to those with weakened immune systems. The good news so far is that it isn't deadly or very damaging to the young with strong immune systems. The bad news is that since it morphed into a virus that can transfer to humans it has morphed one more time creating two different strains. This is a concern to the scientists that study viruses and if it keeps morphing it will be hard to develop vaccines.
The governments around the world had learned from past viruses that if they cancel events and really reduce human to human contact they can slow down the transfer of the virus. This way the capacity to treat patients will not exceed the need and fewer people will die as a result of catching the illness.
So that is what is happening around the world right now. When I heard they had canceled the National Basketball Association games, it hit me how serious this was. The NBA and others make millions of dollars on games, yet they were canceled. Since then they have closed schools, bars, and cancelled all gatherings of more than 10 people, including weddings, funerals and church services.
There are currently 3 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Citrus County where we live.
After yoga, my housemate Carolyn and I left on our trikes this Wednesday morning to meet others on the trail to go for a ride. We are feeling very fortunate to have the trail and our trikes. We feel safe from transferring any germs when we are riding. We are able to leave our homes and ride and even socialize as long as we don't touch each other and keep a safe 6 feet between us when we are standing still.
We met up with Debra and Glen, Frankie and Dennis and were going to the Withlacoochee Trail down past Floral City and do a little road riding around some small horse farms and then have a picnic at the park. Spreading out at the picnic tables so we aren't too close.
On the way to Floral City, Covid-19 and the changes it has brought in all our lives is all we talk about it seems. We debate whether the beaches are closed and agree that the bars have been closed to reduce or slow down the spread of this very contagious virus.
Dennis is a doubter, He doesn't think this flu is a big threat. He says that other flues have killed more people and that more people die in car accidents. When I returned home I found a video on exponential growth and sent it to him. (If the lily pads double each day and fill the pond on day 60, when is the pond only 1/2 full of lily pads? Answer -- Day 59.) Also this flu, from what I understand, became a concern when it transferred from being an animal flu to being transferred to humans and then human to human. And really became a concern when it morphed again in just two weeks. Sounds like a science fiction movie to me.
WorriesIf you are worried about all the changes. Start to journal your worries. A study of 51 participants with anxiety found that a worry journal helped reduce anxiety over a regular journal. So each day just take some time to write down all your worries. Then in 10, 20, 30 days go back and take a look, see which worries came true.
I had started having a chest congestion weeks before we even heard of COVID-19 it seems. Maybe even two months ago. It doesn't make me cough, but it is a burning and congested feeling in the chest. This morning it made me cough on our bike ride.
There is a joke being passed around that the reason there was a run on toilet paper in the stores, (The shelves are empty of paper products now), is because when someone coughs everyone around them shits their pants.
I decided to return home instead of completing the ride.
I didn't know if I should go in. Do I just weather it out at home and not burden the medical system with another person? I don't feel that bad. But what if I am contagious and I am sharing a house with Carolyn and I am going to the grocery store? And do they need me to get tested so they can track where the cases are?
I called my doctor just to ask if it was worth getting tested since there is no treatment or cure. They have on their recording a special line for talking with someone about COVID.
Emily answered and when I told her about the congestion she said I have two factors.
1) I have been traveling
2) I have congestion in the chest.
She made an appointment for me to get tested that very afternoon.
At 1:00 from the parking lot I was supposed to call in and get instructions. I was not to enter the building. I called and was instructed to follow the green footprints into a side door.
I was given a mask and taken to an exam room where they took my temperature which was 99 degrees. They listened carefully to my chest and my story about how the congestion started probably a whole month ago but it seems to be getting worse. They palpated my lymph glands around my neck, some were slightly swollen.
"Allergies," she tells me. She said if the Musinex and two other medications she prescribed for nasal congestion (even though I protested) doesn't work they will Xray my lungs. I don't feel I have nasal congestion, but she said that the drippage causes irritation in the bronchial tubes and that can cause a bacterial infection, so let's get this under control.
When I mentioned on Facebook that I had been to the doctor a woman I know going through Chemo asked me why I went, since there was no cure. She has a lower immune system and is having to utilize the medical system. She is trying to convince people not to get tested and stay home.
On Tuesday the Withlacoochee Riders biked. When we were gathered by the Caboose on the trail, a man with a big camera came to me. He had called me about a month ago and asked if he could film us riding the trail. He is from the Department of Parks and something... I think it used to be Recreation but I think they changed the name. Anyway, he was creating commercials for the bike trails in Florida. So he interviewed me with the bikers scattered behind me. It was awkward with the huge camera in my face, my sun protecting hat and helmet on, trying to be clever and instead being super stupid. Oh well, water under the bridge.
I didn't tell him I was an Author and that I wrote a book that included our life using the trail in The Journey Continues and bike trails elsewhere in Alzheimer's Trippin' with George. I now wonder if I should have...