Health Report

symptoms 0320

Don’t worry: I’m just late, not stricken with the coronavirus. I think. I found a handy-dandy chart on the county’s Heath and Human Services (HHS) page, but as I study it, I have no idea how any of us ever know what we’re sick with.

In the years before I got a flu shot, I once went to the doctor feeling quite sick. A very snotty nurse, who if I’d been feeling better I would have complained about, asked if I’d gotten a flu shot. What I should have said, had I been feeling better and more on my toes, was “No, but Lynn did, and she’s the one who gave this to me.” But I just said no, and then she went into the hall, where I could hear the disdain dripping from her voice as she informed people that I hadn’t bothered to get a flu shot.

They diagnosed the flu without giving me a test and sent me home to die. Lynn, who went to the doctor a day or two later with the exact same symptoms but with a flu shot, was diagnosed with bronchitis and given medication. Whatever it was, it was during the Winter Olympics and we spent the duration of the games sick as dogs, who don’t really seem to get nearly as sick as humans despite some of their questionable actions and associations.

Based on this handy chart, I doubt I have covid-19. I’m less sure about co-worker James, home for the third consecutive day. He has or had a sore throat, but when he phoned our county call center, they diagnosed flu and told him to stay home. They asked if he had a fever, but he doesn’t own a thermometer. Pat’s dispatched someone, I’m guessing Gilly, to go buy him one, along with some basic sick supplies like juice and crackers, but there was not a thermometer to be had anywhere in town. Kara sent hers over, and if he had a fever yesterday it is gone this morning.

It would really be nice to live in a country where this was recognized as a crisis rather than a plot to make the president look bad and a concerted effort was being made to get test kits everywhere they’re needed. Fortunately, it is still America, and if the feds won’t come to our rescue it sounds as though Bill Gates might.

The most interesting thing I’ve read so far came off the county HHS Facebook page. I gather some person who was coughing and sneezing wanted to get on a plane at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, an intention that those around him (or her) objected to. (Although if you’ll review the chart above, sneezing isn’t a covid-19 symptom.) Law enforcement was called, but somehow, despite the police station being now a literal two blocks from the airport, the individual was able to rent a car and drive off before officers arrived.

We do have a drive-to testing clinic now, but you’re supposed to call the call center and get permission to drive there before going. Denver opened one yesterday and was swamped with people willing to wait up to four hours in their cars to get tested. Today Denver’s test area will be open for two hours and cut off after 150 cars.

CBS Denver sent its investigative reporter out to buy black-market toilet paper and hand sanitizer. When he told one purveyor who he was, the guy turned around and drove off, but I was heartened by one other “vendor” who expressed regret, bought back the overpriced sanitizer he had just sold the reporter, and said he wouldn’t do that anymore. I’m going to believe he meant it, even as I figure he just went elsewhere and started up again, checking better for cameras. CBS Denver said it would be donating its overpriced toilet paper to charity.

Locally, the cancellations are starting to roll in. Our K-12 school system. The college, I mean university. The Gunnison Arts Center, although classes might continue at the instructor’s discretion. At least one bank is only interacting through its drive-through. The first event Pat’s Screen Printing was printing shirts for.

I think the job got stopped as the first shirt rolled off the press, so no one’s out much, and the organizer is planning to host the event at a later date. But Kara and I did decide we ought not to print anything with a date on it too far ahead of time. We did that last year for a race in Lake City, which ended up cancelling due to an overabundance of snow and fears of flooding. The shirts are still sitting at Pat’s, planned to be overprinted with this year’s date — assuming we’re back on track by June.

My sister Tia’s family is feeling this impact a lot sooner than the rest of us, I think. My niece Ellie, so excited to be on a semester abroad in Paris, ought to be on a plane home today. The “change fee” for her ticket, which I thought airlines were waiving, was $850. (Yes, that’s with an 8.)

You would think the airlines would be so appreciative of any business that they would be offering discounts, not trying to make up all their lost income off the backs of college students trying to get home before the world shuts down.

And Tia’s husband Don is more or less out of a job today, since he operates cameras and edits tape for live sporting events. He is self-employed, contracting (because all these film companies figured out long ago that contractors are far cheaper than employees) for the various sporting events, so no payroll tax cut will help him. There’s not even a company to offer sick leave or a paycheck.

(Denver’s CBS, which usually doesn’t even know that women participate in sports, was “reduced” to covering the state girls’ basketball playoffs on this morning’s newscast. Those games took place yesterday in mostly empty arenas, with each player allotted four tickets for family members.)

It’s a brave new world out there today, whether we want it to be or not. We will need to be brave along with it, and mindful not to buy more supplies than we need no matter how tempting it is to panic. We should all be in this together. By ourselves at home.

It’s all pretty entertaining, but if you go to the end of this clip you get a funny line-up for the now-cancelled Coachella music concert.


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