I initially shied away from doing a post about Covid-19 (a.k.a the coronavirus) because I didn't want to add to the overwhelming amount chatter but after Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), I felt like I should discuss it.
I'll admit when I first started hearing about the coronavirus in early to mid-January I wasn't very concerned because most of the reported cases were in China and it had not come to Canada yet. I became much more vigilant at keeping track of the virus once the numbers started rising, and especially when the first cases were found in Canada. To date, there have been close to 200, 0000 cases worldwide, almost 8000 deaths worldwide and about 569 cases in Canada, and numbers are rising daily. In other words, shit got real.
Luckily, as soon as the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, my boss (a.k.a. my sister Mary) told me to work from home for the foreseeable future out of fears of me possibly contracting the virus. I use accessible public transit (TTC Wheel-Trans) to and from work every day, and oftentimes there are other passenger pick-ups along the way from nursing homes and hospitals, so my sister's concerns are completely valid. I feel very fortunate that I have the ability to work from home, as I know that many people don't have that luxury.
Even though I don't like to look at myself this way, I am at a higher risk of getting Covid-19 than your average person. I don't get sick often, but I'm still immunocompromised. I've been on a preventative antibiotic my entire life so that I do not develop urinary tract infections. At one point a few years ago, in an effort to avoid antibiotic resistance and possible long-term lung problems, my doctor took me off of my regular antibiotics and I got a urinary tract infection within a week. In addition, when I had my scoliosis surgery, I developed an infection and pneumonia. What I'm getting at is that my body doesn't necessarily have the antibodies to fight off illness and disease. This is why self-isolation and social distancing is key in preventing me (and others with compromised immune systems and seniors) from contracting the coronavirus.
In recent weeks I've heard everything from sheer panic and believing that the coronavirus is some sort of biological weapon to people saying that they are not worried at all because they are "young and healthy." While both extremes are not great reactions, the latter concerns me the most. Yes, being young and healthy might mean that you are at a lower risk of getting the virus and it will likely be a mild form if you happen to contract it, but that might not be the case for the person with the immune deficiency or senior that you passed it to. Without sounding like a total fear-monger, it is extremely important to follow the guidelines of health and government officials in combating the spread of Covid-19.
The other aspect I feel like people need to remember is to exhibit thoughtfulness, compassion and kindness during this time. We've all heard of and seen people stockpiling toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays or worse medical supplies (like surgical gloves and masks). All this is doing is making it hard for people who need it to stay healthy or do their jobs (i.e. medical professionals). I still feel like the majority of people are kind-hearted and thoughtful. We all need to work together to ensure the health of everyone.