Ooof. It's been a rough few
decades weeks, hasn't it? Things have taken a depressing turn since we began living out the plot of Contagion in real-time, and it's not just the virus itself -- the last month or so has brought up some really unpleasant realizations about ourselves as a society. Things like ...
First things first, bad hygiene is the main thing that spreads viruses like this around and apparently Scrubs taught us nothing ...
... because a lot of people pre-Covid didn't think washing their hands was such a big deal. (And considering that hand sanitizer sold-out a hell of a lot faster than hand soap, people still don't.) There was a horrifying Michigan State University study where researchers hid around public restrooms and found out that only 5% of people properly washed their hands long enough to kill infection-causing germs and bacteria.
Now think about how much handshaking, oil wrestling, or accidental physical contact you make with relative strangers. Think about how many people have touched that counter at Taco Bell before you ordered, or the one at the pharmacy you went to buy diarrhea medicine from cause you ate Taco Bell. Getting itchy yet?
So besides turning full germaphobe, what's to be done? Just regularly wash your hands before you touch your face, mouth, or food you're about to eat and make sure you're doing it right. Lather up the soap, get under your fingernails, and scrub those mitts for 20 seconds, or as @ohdamnjam on Tiktok proved: the length of Nicki Minaj spitting straight fire.
In uncertain times, there's an odd familiarity in knowing that one thing we can always rely on from garbage people is good ol' school racism. Since news of the virus first started coming in from China, hateful acts against Asians have been on the rise. It's not just against Asians either; when the virus hit Italy, their former interior minister put the blame on African migrants even though absolutely nothing linked it to them, and Africa has fewer Covid cases than all of Europe.
Italy might actually be the most dangerous place to be right now, yet no one's cracking jokes about "killing off those lasagna eating bastards," or yelling at mustachioed Brooklyn plumbers to "Go back to the Mushroom Kingdom!" Instead, we just have a lot of irrational violence and anger, unleashed upon random innocent Asian people, to the point where human rights commissions are starting to get involved. A man got sprayed with air freshener on the subway, and a woman got punched walking in the street, then a family got stabbed in a grocery store. And, honestly, none of it shouldn't be a surprise when the president is doing shit like this:
With millennials having spent most of their formative adult years working multiple jobs to the point of exhaustion, basic cooking skills have been looked at as less of a necessity and more of a luxury. And it's one that we don't even really think about that until all restaurants are shut down.
Now we're all stampeding grocery stores to panic-buy enough toilet paper to tp Godzilla into a mummy, and stockpiling foods we think we might need, but aren't entirely sure of, because we've seen the delivery guy more than our parents. What's to be done? Stock up on things with really long expiration dates, like canned fish, beans, rice, and pasta. (You can still enjoy fruits, vegetables, and bread just remember they won't last as long.) Then: Learn how to cook.
If you go to YouTube, past the movie trailer reactions and the movie trailer reaction reactions, then past the weird conspiracy videos, there are a ton of recipe and basic cooking skills videos. For those of you that want to go at a slower pace, just Google "_____ recipe." Once you scroll past the seven-page story about how the recipe reminds the author about hiking in Colorado or whatever bullshit they're on, you just do what it says and *boom* you've got food.
Governments all over the world are insisting that even people who aren't sick should self-isolate and quarantine themselves in their homes to keep everyone safe, leading to a lot more internet time for the average person. Whether for fun and games (Netflix, video games, etc) or working remotely (Skype meetings, Slack, emails, etc) we're definitely going to be spending a lot of time "logged in." Meaning data cap hoarding by phone and internet providers needs to finally die off because times like this show just how much the internet is a resource we can't live without anymore.
Luckily, companies like AT&T are starting to suspend data caps because something about the fact that we're dealing with a global medical crisis has softened the hearts of the C.E.O.'s in charge of those businesses. Well, either that or the 17 US Senators sending a letter to eight US service providers demanding they suspend broadband data caps and fees. However, when reading the details, most of this is related to home internet which will still leave a gaping hole for mobile internet users -- i.e. poor people.
It's become common knowledge that the coronavirus is less of a death risk if you're not elderly or immunocompromised which means besides being uncomfortably sick, the majority of people who test positive for the disease will be okay.
This has led to a surprising amount of
people assholes throwing their fist at "big government" and refusing to socially distance themselves by doing things like getting drunk at St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, getting drunk on the beach in Florida, or getting drunk at the bars in New Orleans, simply because this virus isn't really going to affect them (Though cirrhosis might). The problem is if, on the streets, they brush up against an old person, or someone with cancer, that person will land in the ER and/or deathbed while Patient Zero is taking shots and dancing to Post Malone.
Guys, compassion is the name of the game here. It won't kill you to spend a little more time at home but it might kill your or someone else's nana if you don't. So go home, wash your damn hands, get into your pj's, make yourself some pasta, and catch up on Netflix until this whole thing blows over. It's literally the easiest thing you'll ever do to save someone's life.