We received some good news today: Everyone we know personally who had COVID-19 is well on the way to recovery. Surprisingly, the older couple recovered without hospitalization. The younger fellow, who was a presumptive positive, tested negative. He does, however, have pneumonia, but he seems to be doing much better. Is this a test error or is it really just some run-of-the-mill strain of pneumonia? I guess we may never know. And as long as his recovery continues, no one will care.
Seeing so many news stories about asymptomatic cases, high rates of infection in prisons, and the USS Roosevelt, where only 10% of cases had symptoms, has caused me to wonder if I had coronavirus back in late February.
I didn’t lose my sense of taste, but my sense of taste was definitely off. Even the water in our house didn’t taste right, although my wife didn’t notice anything different. I started drinking a quart of orange juice daily, because it was one of the few things that tasted normal. And prior to that week, I had not bought orange juice for years.
I also had a few days of mild intestinal discomfort, shall we say. No coughing, congestion or other nasal symptoms. I was tired and worn down for a few days but bounced back pretty quickly.
Did I have a mild case of some stomach bug? Probably. Did I have coronavirus? I would never have thought so except for that taste thing. I guess we’ll never know until antibody tests become so prevalent that we all get them. But how many of the rest of us have had a minor bought of sickness and brushed it off? What if 30 percent of us have antibodies and could safely go back to work.
No two ways about it: We need more tests, and quickly.
Would you go back to work?
There are lots of surveys and questionnaires on social media asking if you’d go to the hair salon, the gym, the movies or out to eat.
I think I’d go outside and recreate. I’d take some road trips. I’d maybe even get my hair cut because it’s a small shop with maybe 4 or 6 people present, depending on whether 2 or 3 barbers are working. But would I go to a busy restaurant or see a new release in a crowded movie theater. No. Not unless you could test me, confirm I had antibodies and reassure me that I would not get coronavirus.
Even when the antibody tests are widely available, I’m not sure science is ready to be definite about whether the presence of antibodies is going to be fully protective.
Quarantine = Quiet
It remains quite around here. I’m reading about a book a day. The bad thing about re-reading old books, especially suspense, is when you remember just enough about the plot to make it less fun than it was the first time. For example, I am re-reading the Jane Whitefield collection by Thomas Perry. I remembered key plot twists of Vanishing Act, the first book, so it was no longer very suspenseful. However, the second book, Dance for the Dead, was completely fresh for me. And I know I read it before because I dug them all out of the attic.
I’ll spare you the details, since that would be a spoiler, but I do recommend them. A fun read, but also good theoretical information if you think you may ever need to hide from someone.
While on one of my frequent walks, I ran into a law enforcement officer who lives nearby. I hadn’t seen him for a good two months, so we chatted from a safe distance.
He told me that some of the local SWAT teams have been tasked with escorting trucks from the strategic national stockpile and other important shipments. Sad to think that we’ve come to the point where people will hijack truckloads of much needed medical supplies.
The real question is: Will the day come when trucks with food need an armed escort?
Right now, we are seeing more and more news articles on meat plants shutting down and disruptions to the food supply, something we’e covered before. We are also hearing anecdotal evidence of meat shortages, and some parts of the country that have egg shortages. (Both were low but not our when we went to Sam’s Club last week.) From what we’ve heard on Twitter, the hardest things to find in stores are anything from Lysol or Clorox, especially wipe, four and yeast. Apparently, we’re not the only people doing home baking. But we are among the few who planned ahead and had both flour and a two-pound brick of yeast.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Lysol has stopped making Easy-off Oven Cleaner and Easy-On Spray Starch in their New Jersey factory to focus entirely on the spray cans of Lysol disinfectant, and the line runs 24-7. Interestingly, the brand became famous during the Spanish Flu. 100 years later, they are back in the sweet spot.
Other entries in our Quarantine Diary are available in chronological order.