Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Safer at Home Day 26

This is the 26th day of Phase 2 - Safer at Home in North Carolina (and Day 82 of restrictions), and the resulting COVID-19 statistics are a bit dismal. In our state there have been over 44,000 confirmed cases, with more than 1,100 deaths. In the United States, 2.16 million cases have been confirmed, and over 118,000 people have died. Worldwide, there are 7.69 million confirmed cases, with 428,000 deaths reported. 

There is no question that the number of coronavirus is spiking, but is all of it due to the fact that our country, as well as many others, are slowly reopening their economies? It is difficult to tell for sure. More tests have become available, so part of the increase could be due to better testing and/or reporting. My personal observation is that fewer people seem to be taking the virus as seriously as they had in the past. I am seeing fewer and fewer folks wearing masks in public, and there is a lot less social distancing taking place.

Linville Falls, NC
Sunday we went to Linville Falls, NC with another couple. We each drove in our own cars, and met in the park parking lot to hike to the falls. It was much more crowded than I would have liked, and very few people had masks on. While passing on the path stairs, it was impossible to maintain 6' of distance from others. What it made us understand is that we simply cannot go to outdoor public venues on the weekend anymore. It is a shame because we know it is safer to be outside with other people than in, and we certainly are trying to remain as active as we can in light of the fact that our fitness facility and group exercise classes are closed for the time being. But it became clear to me that I am literally putting my life into other people's hands, which they don't seem to get. I wear a mask to protect THEM, not me, and they certainly are not returning the courtesy.

What is the answer? We are months if not years away from a vaccine for the coronavirus. The way we have been living for the past few months is not much of a life at all. As humans, we have the need to be with and touch other humans, particularly our close loved ones. Is there a way to open up the country while still being medically responsible? I believe they will have to make wearing a mask in public mandatory and not just a suggestion in order for us to have any chance of beating the odds of getting the virus.

In the end, we all have to decide for ourselves what our risk tolerance is going to be. For now we will continue to mostly self-isolate, taking baby steps into our old life of being around other people. I guess we will be like the turtle - slow and steady wins the race.

backyard turtle

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