Coronavirus: Obsessive Hand Sanitizing and Other Observations

And they’re so colorful and cute!

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t kill you. And just because it seems like there’s no leadership for us in this country doesn’t mean–oh, yeah, right. It does mean there isn’t.

Harvard dorms will empty out until further notice. The Denver St. Patrick’s Day parade and Pearl Jam concerts are cancelled. A state of emergency has been declared. I was sitting in the Pepsi Center during the Oprah Winfrey event, silently meditating with 15,000 people and there were cough spurts all through the venue.

In defense of the virus–they’re extremely effective little beasties and they’re almost alien in their abilities to live without air, moisture or any of the statis elements we think of as supportive of life. They’ve dug them up in Egyptian tombs and reanimated them. I am not fucking kidding. The Egyptian tomb bat actually carried a strain of the MERS virus of 2013–and is widely considered one of the sources for when the virus “jumped” changing from a zoonotic to human-to-human transmittable form. Excuse my science, it is only from the years that I spent as an influenza spokesperson. Those years are the reason that I’m so scared. Even when we worked on the H5N1 vaccine in 2007, scientists were saying a new global pandemic was not an “if” scenario but a “when.” That when, friends and neighbors, may be now.

While the CDC and other scientific communities have been literally gutted by the anti-science Trump administration and the administration’s diplomatic policies have virtually alienated most of our allies, a global emergency has arisen. That requires a global response. Here is a found poem from Snopes.com:

“It is also true that in 2018 the Trump administration fired key officials connected to the U.S. pandemic response, and they were not replaced.

Also in 2018, news reports circulated about an 80% reduction in the CDC’s program that worked in various countries to fight epidemics. That was the result of the anticipated depletion of previously allotted funding. “Countries where the CDC is planning to scale back include some of the world’s hot spots for emerging infectious disease, such as China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda and Congo,” the Washington Post reported in 2018.

The fact that epidemic prevention-efforts were scaled back in China gained new significance in February 2020 as coronavirus spread globally after it was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

U.S. legislators in late February were discussing billions of dollars in funding for coronavirus response.”

Chilling AF to me, I don’t know about you. Then Kellyanne Conway became the Trump spokesperson on the situation and assured us all it was “contained.”

She blinded me with science.

I’m not going to make a run for toilet paper. I will wash my hands, use hand sanitizer, avoid crowds and try not to panic, even though our leadership right now thinks it’s appropriate to brag about how the people at the CDC couldn’t believe how much he knew about the virus.

I’m thinking we all should all forego a Princess Cruise, too. But that’s not much different than my normal operating procedures. Cover your mouth using the vampire sneeze, people. Stay home and chill as much as possible. And follow these scientifically vetted rules that have us all erring on the side of caution.

  • Wash hands and don’t touch your face
  • Cancel unessential travel
  • Avoid crowds and especially nursing homes in Washington
  • Don’t believe Kelly Conway
  • Don’t believe the conspiracy theories
  • Don’t buy out toilet paper, that’s mean
“I vant to save your soul”

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