The “Rona” and my family

In late Feb through early March my entire house was plagued with a 2 week long illness. We knew about coronavirus and isolated ourselves.

I used sick pay. My husband got co-workers to cover his shifts and together we waited out the worst flu-like illness either of us have ever encountered. The kids got a few symptoms. The toddler had the least, with a slight fever and a need for excess sleep.

The older kids were sick for about 3 days each, with headaches, a fever, and exhaustion, as well as pink eye.

My sister used to get conjunctivitis all the time when we were kids. I never got it. My husband had never had it, but we both got it too, in addition to lung pains, shortness of breath, fevers, and ringing ears, as well as exhaustion. It was no fun, but we rested, took turns looking after the kids and kept ourselves shut up in the house.

The coronavirus hotline said that unless we had traveled not to consult a doctor, and I usually avoid seeking medical attention unless my body doesn’t offer signs that it is healing.

I was raised poor where we didn’t always have insurance and I hold to a 3 day rule. If things don’t seem to be changing for the better after 72 hours, or within that period then it’s time to worry. Listening to my body also helps. I had pneumonia and was very sick when I was 9 years old. It was during that period that I learned how healing is not just an all or nothing process. The body gets better and then regresses a little. It goes back and forth.

There will be spikes in a fever and then it breaks and relief comes. That’s the sign of an immune system working.

After 2 weeks of this everyone was mostly back to normal, but neither my husband’s nor my lungs felt fully back in business until after 4 weeks-right around the time that the lockdowns started.

Imagine finally getting better and THEN everyone else gets sick. haha

This is what would happen.

When H1N1 hit I worked at the St. Louis Galleria. At the time it was the main spot for tourists and travelers to come and shop. My doctor didn’t think I was a candidate since I hadn’t traveled (a common mistake in the US medical community every time a new virus sweeps through).

All it takes is one tourist to exchange money with a few shops in a local hot spot and numerous people will get sick.

That’s how these illnesses work. They are viruses with a purpose and unfortunately that purpose is to spread and infect. Knowing that, I did what I learned to do as a child and took care of myself at home. That was a 3 day aching fest of fever hell, but I got through it just fine.

3 days is very different than 14. I can’t know for sure if my family had COVID-19 or not, but hearing from friends and acquaintances who are now just catching it or hearing from others, our symptoms and the length line up.

What I read from recovered people is very less apocalyptic than what is being reported. Yes, it’s a rough virus. One that will hit hard and most likely hinder or kill anyone who has a weak or vulnerable system, but on the flip side the recovery numbers are promising. 96%-98% of people survive it.

It is not a plague scenario. H1N1 killed between 170K-500K people (the exact numbers are unknown). But like the WHO reported for coronavirus, it is more of a threat to people in impoverished areas who do not have access to healthy resources or proper medical care.

Instead of reporting death tolls (which are inflated with cases of patients who were already battling terminal illnesses), why aren’t there more reports of the recovered?

Coronavirus-skydiver-death.jpg (543×403)

I can’t wait for the antibody test to be made available.

We now have a situation where everyone, even those who are recovered, are under lockdown for an indefinite amount of time because fear and panic have been led by the news media.

And no, this is not me being a “selfish asshole.” I accepted long ago that I will die someday, maybe even today. If it’s the virus that gets me or not, I don’t believe in living in fear or giving up my freedoms for a little temporary security.

There is some shady shit going on under the guise of public health.

Just two weeks ago a video surfaced where the WHO director announced that they should come into people’s homes and “separate and isolate” those thought to be sick. He didn’t say “test and treat,” or “transport for medical attention.” He said, “separate and isolate.”

How would that work since there aren’t enough respirators for everyone?

What about the people who are better off healing at home due to the more common mid symptoms instead of life threatening ones?

Are they going to separate children and put them in solitary confinement, because that’s not healthcare…

This should concern everyone. The states choosing now as the time to suspend constitutional rights like the right to abortion or gun sales is happening all around us, but many people are so busy posting #StayHomeSaveLives selfies that they aren’t even looking into the fact that cancer testing and treatments are being pushed off for this pandemic. YES, cancer, which kills more people than coronavirusm is now playing second fiddle.

My ex-husband’s father had tumors removed recently but can’t get his cancer results as fast as usual. I guess quick treatment doesn’t matter. Who cares that the sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner treatments can be scheduled. Who cares that mass hypochondria is causing symptoms in healthy people. I personally know a guy who went in for coronavirus testing 3 times in one week.

Government forced closures is something that some people praise while others wonder if things will ever go back to normal.

Sure, closing corporate businesses that cater to hordes of people is smart, but small businesses that serve the people on a lower scale?

And leaving liquor stores open while closing clothing stores is questionable. I’m 4 months pregnant. Ordering maternity clothes online is a virus nightmare. Let me just order 10 dresses, try them all on, and then return the 9 I hate, all the while spreading germs and having to go out and stand in line at the post office. (That place is packed recently and looks like a totalitarian nightmare)

I guess I’ll just fashion some dresses out of vodka bottles.

Institutions of education are now ending the school year early. What happened to distance learning? I guess the teachers got overwhelmed? Maybe the students didn’t do so well…

There are many reasons I started homeschooling my children, one of them was that I believed I could educate my children better than the public educations system, and since I didn’t have money for private school I dove in. I’ve never felt more validated.

How are public school kids going to keep up if they are moved into the next grade after missing 2-3 months of lessons?

What about the students who just had a rough time and are stuck with a failing grade because no one is giving them a shot to make up for lost time?

I do NOT envy teachers right now. Next year is going to be an uphill battle, if there is even a new school year next year.

At this point I really wonder what is going on.

It’s a tough situation, but online learning isn’t that hard. It takes time to get used to, but who cares, right? Just end the school year. It’s easier. Parents are home anyway. They no longer need government run education to babysit their children…

Every parent whose kids just got an extended summer should be livid.

But I guess so many of us are so concerned about making ends meet, that it’s a low priority? Just so long as grocery stores and big box chains remain open we’ll all be “safe.”

Let the corporatocracy ring.

Walmart and Target have everything anyway. Sweat shop clothing is all the rage, didn’t everyone know?

Why not bring technocracy to our shores too and force everyone to carry a gov issued card that presents their health status? Oh wait, they already implemented that in Germany.

I’m clearly not one for supporting totalitarianism, fascism, or Starbucks and other big name chains that destroy local mom-and-pop shops either.

But honestly, my life hasn’t really changed much.

I love cooking, teaching my children, writing from home, and spending time with my husband. To me the only reason these are “trying times” is because I was already quarantined before this really started, and the uncertainty is alarming.

Thankfully I live in a state that knows its people are smart enough not to need the government to tell them what to do. Our state parks are still open and my hiking and fishing routines haven’t changed. They are a necessity. We need fresh air and sunshine away from everyone.

Before all this, I kept my distance from other hikers anyway. Sure I love to stop and say hi to people but I don’t go to the woods or lakes for social interactions.

I let myself get talked into moving just outside of St. Louis a couple of years ago. I never thought I would “cross the river” and go further into Missouri, but now I’m glad my husband suggested it because STL has closed all its parks and that would kill me.

All the parks in my area are still open and thriving. People are politely keeping their distance and somehow my area has less coronavirus cases and deaths.

States and cities that close taxpayer funded parks and beaches are very concerning. “Outdoor exercise” is a health essential. Natural vitamin D keeps a person going. Getting out and seeing that the world is still there matters. But when closing parks we just force people to walk closer together. Narrowing options does nothing to prevent spreading the virus because screaming “stay home” sounds more and more like prison. Locking people away and limiting their options in a free country can work for a small period to bide time, but for how long. Suicide rates have already gone up. Looting in L.A. and Philly already started. What’s next?

I’ve also heard numerous people talking about, “when the virus dies.”

That’s a great hope, but that’s not how viruses work. Coronavirus has between 6-8 different strands. Much like the Flu it evolves and changes to keep up with us.

It’s here and it’s not going anywhere. People can worry and freak out about it, but what we all need is a long-term game plan. The government cannot support everyone indefinitely; it’s already in debt.

My eldest child started making a list of things we will need if society collapses due to this. haha

She kept it a secret at first. When she showed it to me we joked and laughed. “You know that’s probably not going to happen, right?” I asked her.

She smiled. “Yeah, but just in case.”

This is where we’re at. I’m planting fruits and veggies like crazy. Our emergency response kits are all updated. The virus isn’t what scares me, it’s people’s fear of it and how fast I see them turning on each other, and things aren’t even that bad right now.

Months ago a socialist twitter follower called me “irresponsible” for owning my own land and having a plan to take care of myself instead of relying on the government. It is a common misconception that people who value self-sufficiency don’t care about others. My neighbors know I’m ready to help them if they need it. A sense of community is important to me, I just know a large government body cannot force it. That causes resentment or a sense of obligatory burdens. It also allows for opportunists to take advantage of others. I really hope everyone has the means to keep themselves safe and healthy during this and if not, I’ll do what I can to help.

You don’t have to be rich or super well-off to cut the fat and keep afloat.

I’m 98% positive that my household already had coronavirus and is fine, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still keeping my distance. At this point I do whatever others wish. If my neighbor walks into my bubble to talk, I don’t freak out, but I also understand my mother-in-law’s obsessive need to make everyone masks.

Right now respect and understanding is what we all need most. Not just for ourselves but others. Some of us joke to lighten the situation. Others feel the need to use social media like a therapist.

The block and mute functions clean it all up to focus the messages to our specific tastes. But unplugging is what really connects us.

There is nothing more humanizing that taking a walk and waving to a neighbor, or delivering goods to someone in need. Our inherent rights still belong to us. We can still pursue happiness even if others have given up on it.


4 thoughts on “The “Rona” and my family

  1. Lo Potter says:

    I love your posts on this. Living in mostly rural states we are blessed by governments that leave the locals to “continue social distancing since before it was cool” as my husband would say. Keep hiking. Keep avoiding breaking routine as long as possible – it’s healthier for your whole family and it is so amazing to hear about someone that has been so successful in keeping things “normal”.

    Socialist Twitter is a strange place – I’m assuming you mean the, “I’m Tuxedo Mask, I will throw a red rose at you!” types. I try to avoid going there for anything other than Comrade Britney’s memes and other ridiculous pictures that make me laugh. What matter is this:

    “My neighbors know I’m ready to help them if they need it. A sense of community is important to me, I just know a large government body cannot force it.”

    This describes how the entire state of Montana operates. It’s good to hear other places are too. My hope is that people will calm down from the panic eventually and start thinking with their brains. As always, a pleasure to read your thoughts and writing.

    1. JessicaMarieBaumgartner says:

      Yeah, I am surprised by how quickly people in certain areas panic and just give up their rights due to fear. Yes, we need to be smart, but I know people who won’t even let their kids leave the house to play in the backyard now and that can’t be good for them. I’ve never been happier to live in a rural state that considers all the possibilities. I’m glad you’re doing well in Montana.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s