As far as I can tell from the Michigan HHS information, there are no reported cases of COVID in my particular area yet.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t coming, of course. Just that it hasn’t been detected here yet.

Also, incidentally, the breath mask I’m wearing in this photo won’t help me worth jack, as I’m understanding from doctor friends. The masks will keep me from giving anything to anyone else, but they don’t work significantly in reverse. All the doctors who need masks to keep from passing on possible secondary bugs to severely infected patients don’t have the gear they need because of hoarders and “opportunists.”

Images like this will be with us for a while, I suppose, even in Second Life. Search “coronavirus” in the Marketplace, and you’ll find 122 items as of this fast article. (Thanks to Daniel Voyager.) And there’s even a Second Life Flickr group, believe it or not.

This pandemic will be one of the memorable moments in our lives, obviously — in fact a series of moments, based around events inspiring, painful and horrid. We can make it through, though. We can make it if we do some basic things:

  • Do the basic sanitation measures prescribed by the CDC (Conan put a link to them in his article a few days ago), and follow the isolation procedures also recommended by them. The best defense against this damned bug is to slow it down, and that can be done only by personal sanitation and limiting your contacts. Restaurants, bars and sports events are being closed or postponed for a reason!
  • Don’t go out and about any more than necessary — in other words, to purchase (where you can, assuming the hoarders haven’t picked the shelves clean) needed food or other supplies. (And I’m not meaning a case of beer; I mean legitimate staples, prescriptions, and so on.)
  • DON’T hoard! All you’re doing is creating shortages for others. Once we get to the other end of this, you’ll look pretty stupid sitting in your Fortress of Unneeded Toilet Paper; and, worse, you’ll have a rep.
  • Stay calm. If you start showing real symptoms, self-isolate; but don’t drown doctors and hospitals for minimal or stupid reasons. COVID’s symptoms are quite similar to a simple cold or the seasonal flu; that’s the problem in diagnosing this bug. Call your own doctor before going to the hospital, demanding to be tested. Though this is no guarantee, the odds are so far 4 to 1 against you’re coming down with the severe form of the disease. If you do fall ill, then is the time for the face mask, so you don’t infect someone else!

This is by no means everything. Get yourself informed, from reliable sources such as the CDC or your local public-health people, and follow their suggestions — especially if those suggestions turn into orders for the public need. Six counties around San Francisco have been ordered to “shelter in place” now. There will be more, but we might be able to keep it to a minimum.

And keep your spirits up. Since this is aimed at an SL audience, try to spend some time in world when you get a chance. (Though it’d be best to keep it in evening hours, when demand on the Internet is lower. There will be a lot of online teaching and telecommuting going on over the next months, and they have a right to bandwidth more than us in this case.) Read; or, if you’re like my family, start watching down some of the accumulation of movies and TV shows on your DVR or DVDs. Hell, play a game of chess or Candy Land with your kids, or call your parents and actually talk to them! Be human for a while instead of electronic!

Posted March 17, 2020 by Morgan Vanderzwaan in Personal, Real Life

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