Aging / Coronavirus / COVID-19 / Humor / Mask-wearing / Pandemic / Public Health

Coronavirus: I’m paranoid, but not paralyzed!

I’ve been on lockdown for over five months, so I’m entitled to a little paranoia. In fact, paranoia has become the norm.

Stay home, public health officials say. Your age and underlying health conditions put you at high risk of contracting the deadly virus.

If you do go out, they say, avoid closed-in spaces with poor ventilation; get in and out quickly at the store; and, for God sake, RSVP “no, thanks” to any backyard barbecue invitations. Crowds, large or small, could be the end of you.

And, finally, don’t think for a minute sneaking a little hug with your grandchild is without risk. It’s not. Remember, young kids go to day care and school, where the virus lurks.

Whew! That’s a lot to absorb!

But, there’s more. I just learned that as many as 10% of Americans could be infected with the coronavirus. And they’re not walking around with a huge sign around their necks. Now I’m even more paranoid, but not paralyzed.

Survival instincts are kicking into high gear, and I’m becoming smart about how to deal with this pandemic.

Smart enough to ask my wife to change her clothes right after work. She’s an essential worker and may unknowingly bring home the virus from an asymptomatic colleague.

Smart enough to do a deep cleaning in our apartment at least once a week, focusing on food preparation areas and daily cleaning of all high-touch surfaces.

Smart enough to wear a mask, even in the car picking up food at the drive-through. Restaurant workers don’t always wear their masks properly.

Yes, the coronavirus is out to get me! But I’m fighting back with all the tools I can put to use.

So, you see, paranoia can be a healthy thing. It can get us through the pandemic. It can give us a sharpened sense of can-do. It can be a real life-saver. It can….

Sorry to interrupt this column. But, dear reader:

Did you just cough?!

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