You’ve stocked up on canned goods and bottled water. You made sure you have everything you’d need to spend 14 straight days in your home. You might have even picked a bingeable Netflix show.
Fears of the coronavirus have confined thousands as a means of slowing the spread of the infectious virus. In New York alone, the Department of Health is keeping tabs on 4,700 people, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said on Friday.
In total, coronavirus has infected nearly 100,000 people around the world and more than 200 in the United States.
A week ago as we contemplated the prospect of a pandemic that seemed ready to burst out at any time, Lietta and I decided to self-quarantine and step back from active participation in all public group activities to which we had been committing ourselves. We sent a notice to our acquaintances that went something like this:
Our Cautionary Intent
As we follow the news about the Coronavirus, it appears more and more that this country is about to face an unavoidable outbreak. Aware that our own government appears to have been unprepared and that in fact the CDC is playing catch up, we have concluded that there is wisdom in a cautionary approach for the time being. It feels like we can protect ourselves best by maintaining the relative safety we control within our home and seriously restricting how often we go out and for how long.
The upshot of the above paragraph is that we plan – for the short term – to suspend our public participation in events and limit ourselves only to the necessary trips. Having recently endured a lengthy time of vulnerability with winter illnesses, we are loathe to risk further health complications from events over which we have no control.
Since that time we have restricted our outside travel to a park where we try to do our daily walk in a fresh breeze, cautious trips to local grocery stores and to the source where I buy pellets for our wood stove. Yesterday I learned that there are at least two grocery vendors who will take our order, box it up and let us come pick it up. I like that.
As the expansion of the pandemic continues, we are more and more looking to remain secluded in an environment we can control – as much as that is possible.
Recognizing my own tendency of denial in the face of any new paradigm, every morning as soon as I’m awake I remind myself of the new paradigm of living potentially at risk to something that seems almost impossible to avoid.
: a model or pattern for something that may be copied
: a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about
Accordingly, a paradigm shift is defined as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.”
We are in the process of getting accustomed to a way of living and passing the time that we had heretofore only contemplated in an abstract way; considering the effects of aging on our lifestyles as limitations driven by health and fixed income set in.
Let us never take for granted those things over which we possess a measure of control.
Thank goodness for health issues that at this point have been manageable with attentive attitudes and dietary discipline.
Thank goodness for our means of support which seems to be adequate for the time being.
Thank goodness for medical coverage including the VA Hospital for me.
Thank goodness for our Roku and Smart TV; for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and an assortment of free or available inexpensive streaming channels.
Thank goodness for all the table games in our basement.
Thank goodness for our interest in reading and writing and for laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
Thank goodness for our creativity that seeks out ways of living and things to do as if we were in a spacecraft orbiting a planet too dangerous to beam down to for the time being.