By Cal Orey
It's been a few days since I've been here--with you. I remember I left my last words as, "I wish it would rain." Well, watch what you wish for, as someone once said. Our first real winter snowstorm (maybe rain first) is forecasted to hit the sierras this weekend. Actually, I'm looking forward to it. It will give a sense of normalcy, which we certainly do not have around Lake Tahoe, Reno, America and the world.
I noticed my article on coronavirus in a magazine did not include my prediction this madness would turn into a pandemic. Well, it was announced just that this week. And, of course, glued to the news on the TV and online with social media I can tell you the world is unbalanced. Like the films I've seen and now watch happen here in our town--panic buying, fighting over toilet paper, people in denial one minute and the next minute apologizing. Then asking, "What should I do?"
Oops, I Drank Hot Tea
I sipped a cup of chamomile tea. For some reason, I played out the character's role in "Contagion" and took my temperature. Yikes! 99.4! Low grade fever. I never have a fever. A call to ER...phones are jammed with the worried well or really sick. I call the pharmacy. The robotic pharmacist said call your doctor. It's not my job. I asked, "Could the hot liquid cause a spike in body temperature?" She took a pause, "I don't know." I hung up and did a quick online search. Yes. Five minutes later: 98 degrees...That was spooky...
Meanwhile, I am trying to be chill, prepared for the worst but hoping that this too shall pass like most challenges.
At South Lake Tahoe, talk of closing the schools, social distancing, the hospital is getting prepared, and a few cases in Washoe County--not elderly but 20ish. Toilet paper and soap is no longer on the shelves. Places close to me on a map of the U.S. have big circles like the USGS map: Washington, New York, and here, south of my home state and in the SF Bay Area. I strongly sense we're going to be quarantined--mandatory. "Be prepared and be smart" are words on the local TV station. Canceled events around town, the state, the country, and the world. Our planet as we knew it is scrambled like a snowglobe turned upside down.
And not only do I not have the pool to swim...Delta, my number one airline has made 40 percent cuts. No Northern Lights. No Seattle. No Canada--if Californians are not allowed to leave the state. This scenario is too much like a montage of "Outbreak" and "Pandemic"--but I am in it. And I wait.
Others Are Freaking Out
People are scared. Ironically, me the sensitive one is trying to help some who come to me for answers. I go into chill mode like I do when I read people. But it's scary like the aggressive earthquake swarms--yet worse. Like a sci-fi film? Certainly. For now it is our life. We will learn gratitude for what we had. We will learn how to become more self-reliant. We will learn to be more compassionate.
Yep, I have been buying food for the dog and cat as well as me. But the millennial clerks say nobody is buying extra pet food. Just me. They are not aware of a virus. Life goes on. More interest about love, parties, snowfall... I get it. When I was in my late teens, I too, thought I was invincible. Hitchhiking with a dog, casual sex, drugs, rock and roll. It was the seventies! We lived for today. As I should now but with wisdom.
Stocked Like for Y2K--the Unknown Future
The pantry looks the way it should. It provides a sense of security, sort of. One box of bottled water sits on the floor in the kitchen. It reminds me of a newbie prepper--not a prepper's paradise... As a health author, self-professed hypochondriac I continue to misread allergy symptoms (I give thanks to my double-coated Australian Shepherd and shedding). And less than more vacuuming due to all the changes and trying to make sense of it all. When I watch footage of China and how they're shooting pets due to fear they may have the coronavirus and will spread it--I am heartbroken for man's best friend.
I'm glad I live in America. We will get through this. Just a feeling. Hey, it's going to rain and snow. So now I wish this madness to peak--it will--and decline before summer. My Mantra: Hakuna Matata. (It's like the scary parts of "The Lion King". I will focus on the end when the world is reconnected--and peaceful.)