I’ve had a Corona, and I’ve had a virus. Both are pretty bad. Drinking a Corona while having a virus? One can only imagine the horror.
There was a time that I enjoyed a cold Corona with a wedge of lime snuggled into the opening of the bottle. My tastes changed, however, as I grew to like different styles of beer, particularly IPAs. I don’t think I could even drink a light, tasteless beer like Corona any more.
In early January, after spending a weekend with two sick grandsons, I could feel my body coming down with something. My wife and I were on our way to Jackson, Mississippi, for a business event. Our plan was to stay with friends of ours who lived in the small town of Flora. I could feel it coming. I started getting the chills followed by a low-grade fever. My joints started to ache. My head started to hurt. When we got to their house, I apologized for not feeling well, ate half a bowl of homemade chili, drank a cup of hot tea with lemon and went to bed at 7:00 p.m. I didn’t get out of bed until 4:00 o’clock the next afternoon. And then the fun started. Fever spiked followed by chills that made my teeth chatter. A pounding headache exacerbated by a deep, barking cough. We headed for home the next day, praying that our friends wouldn’t be affected by any germs that jumped ship and stayed behind. Luckily, they were both spared.
I have a healthy immune system, and I could tell it had launched a full-scale frontal assault on whatever virus had invaded my body. Still, I was miserable for the next few days and spent most of my time sleeping. Gradually, after a week or so, I started feeling better. I could tell that my body had, for the most part, vanquished the germs that had laid me low. We had another business trip scheduled, and I felt good enough to travel again. When we got to the hotel, as perky as I had been feeling, I could tell that the virus had rallied and had engaged in a sneaky counter attack. The fight was on again. For another week, I felt lethargic and weak. All told, the virus that attacked my system caused symptoms that lingered for over a month.
Then came news of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, a new strain of virus that had supposedly originated somewhere in China. Alarm bells started pinging all over the world. Fears were stoked by a nervous (but gleeful?) media. Once the first case of Coronavirus reached our country, the necessary concern and caution gradually morphed into full-scale panic.
As I type this, we have descended into an abyss of terror. The stock market has been eviscerated and companies around the world have lost trillions of dollars of value. Entire industries have shut down and may never recover. Schools all over the country have sent students home and closed their doors. Restaurants and entertainment venues are shuttered. Big box retail stores have seen unprecedented runs on many essential household goods. Hospitals systems are gearing up for increased admissions. Pharmaceutical companies and private labs are working day and night to prepare more test kits and develop a vaccine. Social distancing, a newly minted concept, is the new norm. Stay six feet away from other people in public. The government has started calling up the military to be ready for whatever might come next. It’s nothing short of madness. My wife wouldn’t even let me go golfing yesterday.
Don’t get me wrong, I know this virus is serious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in large, crowded places. If a family member or loved one of mine was exposed or infected, I’d want to do everything to protect that person. Still, the numbers just don’t add up.
I’m sure most people have seen some of the comparable statistics bandied about relative to deaths caused by the Coronavirus versus deaths caused by influenza, cancer, heart disease, SARS, Ebola, and many other infectious and non-infectious conditions. While the rate of infections and deaths caused by Coronavirus are still climbing and have not peaked, the numbers are miniscule compared to other causes of sickness and death around the world. The numbers just don’t add up.
Each human life is precious. However, I can’t help but think there is something nefarious going on that would cause such unprecedented responses in our country and around the world. There’s a little voice in the back of my brain that keeps saying, “The numbers just don’t add up.”
My wife and I are hunkered down in a beautiful spot. We have cancelled a recent trip. We have plenty of food and water should things devolve further. My hope is that this pandemic recedes quickly so everybody can get back to school, back to work and I can make a new tee time!