Hi there. How’s it going? Over here we’re at day 14 of our state’s lockdown. Holding up fine, with occasional gut-clenching bumps. Followed by determination to find joy. Like you, we’re re-discovering the delight of staying home, newly discovering just how possible it is to keep up with family and friends on a screen, and reconnecting with a simpler life. (If we don’t count trying to sterilize everything that comes into the house.) 🙂
A cough, or a sneeze has taken on alarming new significance, drawing stares, even condemnation, as well as embarrassment, and apologies. We saw a discarded N95 mask on the sidewalk. People avoided it like a leper.
As we settle in to cribbage, and scrabble, old movies, and long walks, exercising not only our physical habits, but kindness, compassion, and generosity, we wonder how long this might go on. How much things will change later. Afterward. Like after 9/11. Or all those assassinations in the 60’s. But much more vast. Global.
This post is (with her permission) from my dear friend Kathi Howard, printed in the Cleveland Plain Journal last week. I think it captures our collective sense of anxiety being at the edge of the unknown. Katherine is a School Psychologist and Director of Support Services at Old Trail School in Ohio. She is a frequent presenter to schools and to professional organizations across the nation on a variety of topics related to learning and child development.
The next article is to remind us of how a doctor makes a diagnosis: “Not by testing alone!” I harp at my residents. It’s the full clinical picture. As we docs have known from the beginning, our current covid tests have been rushed to production without the usual quality controls. In a nutshell, a single negative covid test is not reliable. Not only do we need more tests, we need more reliable ones. That’s another reason we must continue social distancing to maintain control over spread. Read on.
http://If You Have Coronavirus Symptoms, Assume You Have the Illness, Even if You Test Negative https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/well/live/coronavirus-symptoms-tests-false-negative.html?referringSource=articleShare
Next–what about those cloth masks? They are useful if we all wear them, but they are not particularly useful if only those without the disease wear them. First of all–who is that? We will not know the full extent of the population’s infection for many months, perhaps a year or more. The rapid spread suggests lots of people are infected without knowing it, and passing it on. Hence, if EVERYONE wears a mask, those with covid will be less likely to pass it on because the mask will collect their droplets and keep them there. That would be great. But if only those who think they’re not infected wear masks, droplets spewing out into the open can readily contaminate the outside of a cloth mask, and can be inhaled through it if moist, or passed onto mucus membranes when handling the mask in a non-sterile fashion. Bottom line–when we have enough masks for all 330 million of us, we should all wear them when in public until the pandemic is over. Until then, the utility is unclear, and the very real risk of depleting the currently limited medical provider stock of purchased masks cannot be overstated. Sew your own if you like, but watch videos about safe mask use first.