Empty toilet paper aisles at stores, as the world is currently being swept by a highly contagious viral respiratory disease. We’re on our third week of social distancing: staying home, avoiding physical contact with people (min. 2 metres distance), and only going out to stock up on groceries once a week or so.
Since we’re reclusive introverts who already wash hands frequently, living in a low-density neighbourhood with access to uncrowded outdoor areas, working jobs that can be done over the internet, in a country with free universal medical care, we’re adapting okay—but I wish we could say the same for others. Everywhere, thousands have lost work and income. In the US, it has not gone well.
The world has become a bit more fearful, our connections to each other turned tenuously electronic. “Together apart” and “flatten the curve” have become the catchphrases of the day, “stay safe” the farewell of choice. Weeks later, at least toilet paper is available in the stores again, though hand sanitizer is still in short supply.
Useful resources for this modern era of plague-avoidance:
- IBCC COVID-19 entry: lots of clinical info on the virus from a medical perspective, but much of it understandable to the layperson
- JHU COVID-19 Map
- Worldometer Coronavirus Tracker
- Locally, Nova Scotia has provincial disease charts and maps, and I’ve also been looking at these charts from Shotwell.ca
- Coronavirus symptoms compared with cold, flu, and allergies
- XKCD on the “coronavirus” name