Long before corona arrived, Pandemic, a documentary series on Netflix, scared me so much I quit watching. According to the experts, a pandemic outbreak at some point is inevitable. Now we’re living it.

Bad as the Covid19 outbreak is, we got off lucky. Some who get it will die, but the novel corona virus isn’t nearly as lethal as Ebola, HIV (untreated), or smallpox. Many who’ve tested positive have no symptoms at all. I’m not trying to minimize the threat — just saying things could be a lot worse.

I took off work starting 3/7 for Spring Break, before things got real. Other than outings early in my stay-cation, I’ve been sheltering in place ever since. Classes were suspended for two weeks after Spring Break and resume online on 3/30. We’ve been encouraged to work from home to transition from face-to-face to online teaching.

For most people the virus itself is less of a threat than its economic fallout. Sheltering in place and social distancing are with us for the foreseeable future. As a result, millions of workers aren’t getting paid as entire industries shut down — until further notice.

Refusing to give into the fear is relatively easy for me. Living like a hermit doesn’t bother me. Yes, the value of my retirement accounts has plummeted and the shutdowns and other restrictions are terribly inconvenient, but unlike too many, I have a regular paycheck, good health insurance, and everything I need.

Uncertainty about how long this will last and how bad it will get makes things worse. This, too, shall pass — but when?

My heart goes out to anyone who suffers from the virus, its economic impact, or the isolation. We’re all in this together. No matter how much help the government provides, it won’t be enough for those who need it most.

We need each other more now than ever before. Don’t wait for someone to ask for help. Check in with friends and reach out to others who might need a little help or human interaction. We’re all connected via social media. Make those connections count.


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