Wait ‘It’ Out! (COVID-19)
Even though we have never experienced anything like this novel Coronavirus pandemic, we really want to rely on our instincts. But instincts are largely learned, not innate, and without a way to have learned the timing of COVID-19 (and when it might be over), we have no experience with how long it is supposed to last. Waiting out COVID is a real challenge.
We have learned
That we can hold our breath for a minute or so. Then we HAVE to breathe. Our lungs give us a signal when they want more air. So, we have the instinct that holding our breath is good for about a minute. COVID-19 does not care how long you can hold your breath. It will hang in the air for about as long as it takes to get into you when you breathe back in. If someone near you has COVID and breathes out, or sneezes, or sings (yes, the forced air movement of singing can carry the virus into you), then the best thing you can do is to wear your mask. Think about it before you come near other people, and protect your own breathing.
When you are out driving in your own neighborhood or town, you get real used to how long you have to wait at stop lights. Sometimes the wait is longer, sometimes shorter, depending on which intersection at what time of day. But usually the wait is less than a minute. It often seems longer when you have a destination in mind and are forced to wait, but by and large, red lights are not very long. It’s pretty easy to respect traffic lights and not “run the red,” because it’s also much safer to stay out of the way of oncoming traffic. It’s fine to trust your own driving and also acceptable to be very wary of other drivers!
Keep in mind that COVID-19 respects no one. It is totally a-political, not religious, and its only goal is to multiply like crazy, preferably inside you. Just as you wait at stop lights, wear your mask when you are near other people. Stay 6 to 10 feet away, if possible. Do not touch them or breathe near them, and wash your hands frequently. COVID-19 timing is a 14-day quarantine or stay at home after any exposure to other people. You can’t tell who has the virus and who doesn’t. So be safe, not sorry. Social distance and wear your mask. Here we are, waiting out COVID.
If you watch most television, you get used to seeing commercials. Even public tv runs them, and it is usual for them to last 5 minutes or more at a stretch. Watching cable or on-demand may net you fewer ads, but that might just make broadcast tv harder to watch. Familiar channels have familiar sponsors, and you can sometimes tell when the program is coming back on. But you must be patient.
The end of COVID-19 is not predictable. We just can’t predict its end without a vaccine. Unless most or all people wear masks, social distance, and stop congregating, the infection rate will continue to rise, stressing the health care workers and us. Don’t be A PATIENT, just be PATIENT!
Summer vacation blues
Schools may or may not start up in August or September. The end of summer vacation may end up looking a lot like our home-schooling efforts in March, April, and May. In a way, that is comforting; it is something we can actually plan for. Keeping kiddos safe at school will be difficult, even with masks and distancing. But school this fall will never look like school last fall. Even though we can’t estimate the end of the virus, we can make real plans to adjust to online learning. Instead of hoping for a return to how it used to be, make strides with how to cope with how it is now!
So just wait
But while you are waiting, be sure to live well, stay healthy, and keep away from that virus. We don’t know how life will change this year, but stop trying to live in the past. It’s a new reality. Waiting out COVID takes work.
Several companies around the world are working to develop vaccines for this virus. But until a vaccine is readily available, keep your distance and wear your mask!
We’re still developing an instinct for when the virus will end. In the meantime, stay safe!