1. When it comes to commenting on the spread of COVID-19, I prefer to remain quiet. My comments would be either ill-informed or would be repeating what plenty of other people are saying and writing in the news, on Facebook, on Twitter, and elsewhere. My basic rule of thumb regarding any news story is to wait until I can understand what happened by looking back. I don't have much to say about this (or similar) situation(s) while we are in the midst of it/them. I've been reading a lot -- first hand accounts from Italy, things people have written in response to cancellations, both in support of these measures and in opposition, and other commentaries and analysis. I've read angry accusations. I've read words of suspicion. I've read words encouraging calm and understanding. I've heard worried people called stupid. I've read words of support for those who are taking precautions.
I look at myself and I see a sixty-six year old man carrying permanent (and, for now, dormant) infection in the bottom of my lungs from when I was injured at the Zinc Plant in 1973; I contracted bacterial meningitis, a result of my immune system not working properly, in 1999; ten years later, I contracted pneumonia and, later, C. Difficile. I was in the hospital and being treated by nurses and others fully masked and protected from head to toe because of the H1N1 outbreak. I can't remember when these precautions were relaxed or during which hospital stay they were taken. I have chronic kidney disease that jumps back and forth between Stage IV and Stage V.
So, I've been quietly and calmly reasoning with myself.
Idaho claims, as I write this, no have no officially reported cases of COVID-19.
That's good news, but I also know that only limited testing has been happening. I fall back to the position I mentioned earlier. In the midst of this situation, it's very difficult to know what's what.
I regard myself, given my medical history, age, and current health status as vulnerable to contagion and a candidate for serious illness should I contract the virus.
Having, in the past few days, heard people who are being cautious about the COVID-19 virus referred to as stupid ("just wash your hands!" "please, use common sense" "even if you get it, it's not that bad -- the symptoms are mild!"). I don't want to be thought of as stupid.
But, even more, I want to protect myself and, even more than that, I don't want to be a source of contagion.
Therefore, I've decided that I will be staying pretty close to home for a while. I had a couple of outings planned for this weekend and I'm not going to do them. I think I'll take at least a week off of trivia. I'll go to the store. I would have gone to family dinner this week if we were having it. Once the storm we are expecting soon blows over, I'll go hiking. But I think I'll forego social gatherings, spending time in the casino and the tap house for trivia, and, it doesn't look like concerts are happening anyway, but I would stay home.
I'll keep informed. I'll assess things day to day as best I can. To those who say, "But, you've got to live your life!" my answer is that I will be living my life: I will prepare for the upcoming Fantasy Baseball draft, read, watch British detective shows, watch movies, take care of Charly, do some writing, and continue to do the things I enjoy indoors.
2. All this thinking and staying calm must have taken a toll on me. Charly has been pretty well settled at night. After I got home from trivia Wednesday night, I stayed up until midnight and slept for six uninterrupted hours, a record for both Charly and me since her nights started becoming restless. But, this afternoon, around 3:30 or so, I hit the wall and went to bed for an awesome nap and enjoyed the deepest, sweetest, most refreshing sleep I've had in a while.
3. The mailing from the Census Bureau came today and I jumped right online, entered the proper ID number, and submitted answers to the handful of questions put before me.