Coronavirus: my early April thoughts – and fears | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Palo Alto Online |

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By Diana Diamond

Coronavirus: my early April thoughts – and fears

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2020

I wake up in the morning. Is it Friday? Or maybe it’s Tuesday or Wednesday. What day was yesterday?

Is yesterday just going to be like today, and what about tomorrow? Will it all be the same?

I get up, grab a cup of coffee, read the paper, get dressed, and no longer ask myself what I should wear today. Yesterday I wore my white sweater, but what difference does it make? I used to dress according to what I was doing that day, but now, no one sees me, except on Zoom, from shoulders up.

I am not complaining, just housebound, bored and trying to have some sort of virtual social life. I am especially appreciative of my TV, my news channels, my newspapers, Zoom, Netflix, Kindle, and, of course, my telephone, which is next to my ear a good part of the day.

I am one of those people who need social contact. My husband doesn’t. Opposites attract.

The times are a changin’, as Bob Dylan wrote. We are entering a new world. People in hundreds of countries are affected by the coronavirus, and no scientists have yet come up with a way to control it – other than self-isolation and self-quarantines, which Californians and locals are doing a great job of.

I went to Safeway yesterday, because I was out of fresh produce, which should help us stay healthy. I was halted at the front door by an employee who said we had to wait until enough customers came out before we could go in. Good idea. I stood patiently. I was told I couldn’t bring my recyclable bags in because they may carry germs which could affect the baggers. Okay. I was told the county imposed a limit on the number of people in the store to 60 plus staff – but it seems there were a lot more inside. I wasn’t nervous until checkout time. The new rules are that only one customer can be at the checkout stand at a time, and Safeway said the rest of us should stand on one line until the next checker was available.

Okay, except there were 30 people on line, stretching from the checkout stand to the milk and egg shelves in the back. The six-foot apart rule was ignored. I asked the person behind me to please stand back and he declared, “No way. I am keeping my place in line right next to you.” I was uncomfortable about the lack of distance.

I am sure Safeway will try to iron out these distance wrinkles.

We are living in dangerous times. This awful virus isn’t going to quell until all of us in the U.S. self- isolate, and governors in the 10 remaining states (as of writing this) finally decree a stay-at-home policy.

And then there is the facemask issue. At first the CDC ((Center for Disease Control) told us face marks are not necessary unless you think you have COVID-19. This week the CDC apparently changed its mind telling us to wear masks when we go out. Were they telling us the truth from the beginning? Or were they trying to prevent people from buying masks that health officials needed more? I can accept the latter, but would have preferred knowing their rationale from the beginning. Can I really trust the CDC as much as I once did? Being honest brings credibility. And BTW, where are these masks – four weeks after the outbreak? CVS and Walgreen tell me they still don’t have any (or hand sanitizers). My neighbor is making her own and kindly gave us two masks.

As we all know, this virus knows no boundaries, no state lines. It travels whimsically, and frighteningly; it morphs along the way, so scientists are constantly tackling a new and recreated version of the virus.

I am angry that our government still cannot provide us enough hand wipes in our stores, that decent facemasks are hard to find, that medical personnel cannot get enough gowns and gloves to wear – how can we not have enough medical gowns? They are a cheap disposable product that we can’t seem to manufacture. And the most recent shortage: nose swabs, it was reported, are unavailable around the country. How in the world do these shortages occur? What happened to planning ahead for a pandemic outbreak?

These are my worried emotions this early April day. This federal government seems so absent in protecting us against this horrible virus. Dr. Fauci has pleaded with the president to take more action. Trump said he doesn’t want to wear a facemask.

What a terrible symbol that is for Americans who wan this virus to end.