A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.
The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.
Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.
How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?
From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"
Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.
Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years
It's still fine to go for a walk, just stay 2 metres away from people, as per Quebec's medical officer's advice. That is part of the whole "social isolation" thing. There's a difference between "social isolation" and "isolation." I have underlying chronic health conditions, as do many of the volunteers I work with. We take all the necessary precautions, both individually and as an organization. And we take those precautions seriously because many of us have pre-existing conditions, and, like many organizations, an older volunteer base. But we're considered an essential service. So we take the necessary precautions and still manage to have a bit of fun.
Clients are no longer allowed in the building. Basically, if you're not a regular volunteer, you don't come in. We tell them we're in lockdown, which is basically what it amounts to. People have no choice but to accept it.
It's a virus. Soap and water kills it better than even hand sanitizer. So does a 10% bleach/90% water, per the health minister. Cheap and easy to sanitize surfaces.
We're doing what I call the Karate Kid 2020 - soap on, soap off, soap on, soap off. We keep enough distance from each other. We wear latex gloves. We have someone going around sanitizing door knobs, etc. And we keep an eye out for each other, as always, because many of us have pre-existing chronic health conditions, and we're not getting any younger.
But I still walk my dogs on a regular basis. It's part of normal life - just don't get too close to anyone else. Don't have a dog? You can still go for a walk, and since Friday is going to be amazingly warm, I plan to go for lots of walks with the dogs. And all this is within the suggested government restrictions.
I really haven't noticed any real changes compared to our regular dreary winters, to tell the truth.
Thanks. You prompted me to find the Quebec government's recommendations [santemontreal.qc.ca].
Here's the relevant passage:
Elderly people 70 years of age and over are urged to stay at home, except in the case of necessity or in exceptional circumstances, such as a medical appointment. Such individuals can also go for a walk or go out to purchase food and should follow health recommendations.
However, one of my daughters is terrified that I might catch the disease, and I also have to deal with her. I'll have a talk with her over the phone.
She is an occupational therapist working at a CLSC. This effectively gives her additional moral authority over me beyond the influence she has as my daughter. I really don't want to dismay her by risking getting sick.
She, by the way, has volunteered to go round with a nurse for home visits testing people for the coronavirus. Doing it at home will reduce the chance of the virus being spread about as they go to a clinic. I'm both proud and worried about her. As she is worried about me.
If you're worried, talk to your doctor. Over the phone, of course. Phone consults are now covered under Medicare - they announced new billing codes during yesterday's press conference.
We're in for warm weather Friday - you should also open all the windows and air out the place. I'll be doing that plus washing the carpets and floors with a solution containing bleach to sanitize - gotta love my Shopvac. Carpets are disgusting, but at least they can be disinfected. (Test first, ymmv).
No carpets here. Gwen found them disgusting.