The Coronavirus Rules

I’m discovering that life under the stay at home policies isn’t much different than being a SAHM, except I can’t go anywhere.

In seriousness… We’re living in unprecedented times right now, and everyone is justifiably stressed and scared. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of our modern lives: how we shop, what we shop for, the way we do business, teach our children and do our jobs, attend church services, and communicate with friends and family.

I worry for my grandmother, who can only see my aunt from a distance when she stops by with groceries because my uncle is an essential worker. She’s lonely and depressed, and doesn’t even have any technology to video chat with us. (My aunt would facilitate that, but again, social distancing.)

I feel terrible for Babycakes, whose kindergarten year is effectively ruined. She misses her teacher and her friends, is sad and lonely and can’t even play with the girls next door (at least they have each other). Fortunately I used to teach kindergarten so we have  no worries about her academics. But school has done wonders for her socialization. She’s afraid she won’t be able to go to first grade or that she won’t be able to have her birthday party in August. That trip to the beach we have planned for June? She so wants to go and we just don’t know if it’ll happen.

Sugarpie is a challenge. What I wouldn’t give to be able to escape to Target for an hour. The one time I ventured there to get a chocolate bunny, I was so stressed and a bit freaked to see certain aisles look like something out of a Soviet bloc country. At least I can work on her sleep habits, right?

People are comparing this to the Spanish Flu that struck at the end of WWI, and in some ways it’s as scary. But we do know more about how viruses work, and there are teams of scientists around the world working on antiviral treatments and a vaccine. That wasn’t happening in 1918. So there’s a better chance of us getting this thing under control if we work together globally.

We also need to follow the rules. It’s annoying and intrusive, but everyone needs to do what they can to flatten the curve. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can start getting back to life as normal.

So speaking of the rules, here’s a list that’s making the rounds in Facebook. It’s very tongue in cheek, but humor is an important coping mechanism. The flood of coronavirus memes is evidence of how much humanity needs to find a way to laugh and connect at a time full of so much seriousness and isolation.

The Coronavirus Rules (according to Facebook)

1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.

2. Masks are useless, but maybe you have to wear one, it can save you, it is useless, but maybe it is mandatory as well.

3. Stores are closed, except those that are open.

4. You should not go to hospitals unless you have to go there. Same applies to doctors, you should only go there in case of emergency, provided you are not too sick.

5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

6. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help.

7. Everyone needs to stay HOME, but it’s important to GO OUT.

8. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.

9. The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.

10. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

11. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms. Oh, my..

12. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand and it’s better not to go out, well, but no…

13. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you get looked at very wrong when you get some fresh air, and most importantly, you don’t go to parks or walk. But don’t sit down, except that you can do that now if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant (but not too old).

14. You can’t go to retirement homes, but you have to take care of the elderly and bring food and medication.

15. If you are sick, you can’t go out, but you can go to the pharmacy.

16. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to have your groceries decontaminated outside for 3 hours. Pizza too?

17. Every disturbing article or disturbing interview starts with ” I don’t want to trigger panic, but…”

18. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but you can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.

19. You can walk around with a friend but not with your family if they don’t live under the same roof.

20. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.

21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.

22. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.

23. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of…

24. We have no treatment, except that there may be one that apparently is not dangerous unless you take too much (which is the case with all medications).

25. We should stay locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve collective immunity, so when it circulates… but we must no longer be locked up for that?

(If anyone knows where and with whom this list originated, please let me know. I’d like to give proper attribution.)

How are you and your family holding up right now?

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