I admit, my focus on the Coronavirus was way too narrow during the past weeks (early March 2020). Then all hell broke loose in York, Maine and all over the country.
Reasonably, I figured that, though I am in the danger zone being well north of 60 years old when it comes to the Coronavirus, I believe I am one healthy 72-year-old. I pickle, rock the elliptical and recumbent bike at the gym, and recently hiked up and down a slew of canyons into the mountains above Santa Barbara.
I figure that if I get the Coronavirus, I’ll feel crappy and feverish for a while and then I’ll get over it. A week ago, I even thought, how bad could it be if I just got the damn virus, and then was done with it. I’m healthy enough to weather that storm. Or so I think?
Even four days ago, I thought that Hannah and I would still go with our daughter Molly’s family of four as planned to Utah to see its national parks during school spring vacation week in April.
Then last Thursday night Molly got word that her Lexington, MA school district was shutting down for two weeks. That got my attention. I never saw that coming! A helluva wake-up call.
Then Friday an email from a family friend, Patty Hymanson, who is also an MD neurologist and the Maine State Representative for our part of York, advised against any unnecessary air travel within the US. That was enough to kibosh the Utah trip.
But Hannah and I still went to our Coastal Fitness gym on Saturday. At the gym, we play it safe by wiping down our elliptical and recumbent machines before and after using them. The staff is wiping down more of the hard surfaces. And, there are fewer people going to the gym these days, which reduces the possibility of infection, doesn’t it? Now that I think of it, maybe fewer people should have been my first clue to rethink my choices.
Face Timing with our daughter Molly and her whole family Sunday night, we found the first seeds planted in rethinking our position about indoor pickleball and working out at the gym, that we promptly dismissed.
After indoor pickleball was cancelled early Monday morning (March 16, 2020), Molly texted us about the importance of social distancing in order to slow down the spread of the virus. You see, if the rate of infection can be slowed, we the people can minimize the chance that the health care system will be overwhelmed by a spike in cases needing hospitalization. More than just thinking of ourselves as individuals, we need to start thinking of our whole community and to “flatten the curve” of this potentially deadly virus.
Molly sent along a link to The Daily Podcast from the New York Times, Learning to Live with the Coronavirus. It is compelling. Click here to listen to this podcast. It’s well worth your thirty minutes.
And just like that we gave up the gym, for the time being; we’ll walk in the neighborhood, at the beach, on a local golf course, or through the in-town woods and bike when it gets just a little warmer here on the coast of Maine.
I finally got it! There’s a new normal that I am going to have to get used to.
Rather than focus on how the virus affects us as individuals, Hannah and I want to start being a part of the global effort to support the health care community in fighting this pandemic.