By Evelyn C McDonald
April 30, 2020
There is a lot of controversy about the coronavirus: how to treat it and how to manage the pandemic. There are discussions about individual rights and the community good. There are a lot of comments I could make but I decided not to take that route. I simply want to say “thank you.”
Let me explain what I mean. I am in the high-risk group (AKA 15% mortality rate) though I’m a reasonably healthy individual in that group. However, I was in New York City the first week of March when the virus appeared there. I have no idea whether I caught the virus and got over it or just was lucky. Understandably, I’m staying at home as much as I can, washing my hands often, and wearing masks when I have to go out (even though the word “dork” occurs to me when I see myself in a mask).
It’s thanks to the people who continue to work in grocery stores and restaurants that I am able to stay home and survive and not risk spreading the virus. I realize some of them work because they have to but they are all taking a risk and I am grateful that they do.
Most of them wear masks and gloves when they interact with me. They do this even though most know a mask isn’t going to protect them from getting the virus but might protect me from getting it from them. I wanted to say thank you to them for doing this for the benefit of all of us.
I know someone who is a medical professional and is daily on the front lines of the war with the virus. What doctors are observing is that the virus is doing things no one thought it would be doing. It’s moved beyond affecting the lungs to being involved in heart failure, blood clotting, kidney damage and other areas no one suspected.
We truly are dealing with an unknown disease, making it hard to understand and counter its effects. We’ll get to that understanding and develop weapons and techniques eventually. Social distancing may be the best shot we’ve got to give Medicine the best chance to find the answers and treatments. For me, it’s worth staying home and why I express my thanks to all who help me to protect myself.
Evelyn McDonald moved to Fernandina Beach from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. in 2006. Evelyn is vice-chair on the Amelia Center for Lifelong Learning and is on the Dean’s Council for the Carpenter Library at the UNF. Ms. McDonald has MS in Technology Management from the University of Maryland’s University College and a BA in Spanish from the University of Michigan. She serves as a Fernandina Observer Arts & Culture reporter.