As I sit at home and watch all that is unfolding in the world around us, I have to wonder if I shouldn’t also create a website entitled ‘CovidTimes.’ No matter how we choose to refer to it, this is most certainly an extraordinary time to say the least.
While now having to cope with COVID-19, I still have been dealing with my daughter’s issues with Lyme disease. Shortly before the Christmas holiday Kathleen had a major seizure and it felt like a major set-back. She had gone almost one year without any seizure activity and I thought for sure that we were totally on the path to full recovery. After her seizure, however, I was not feeling as good about our situation.
Though, Amy and I now believe that Kathleen’s seizure was the result of Kathleen neglecting to take her antiseizure medications the day before the seizure occurred: and, as sad as it may sound, I was relieved to think that she had forgotten to take the medications since the alternative thought (i.e., that the diseases were progressing) was so much worse.
Personally, I believe that we, as a species, have altered the ecosystem to a point of no return and that we have finally reached a day of reckoning. For decades scientists around the world have been trying to warn us of the impending doom, but, collectively, we were not listening. Now, each and every one of us will need to do our level best to try to figure out how we can survive this mess.
Not long ago I read an article which essentially said that if bugs were to be completely eliminated from Earth that the planet would be thrown into absolute chaos, but that if human beings were to be rendered extinct, the planet would return to a state of equilibrium. The article made me think of the movie “The Matrix,” when the fictional character “Agent Smith” said: “Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.” But, unlike the movie, there is no one other than ourselves, individually or collectively, who can resolve the issues; and, sadly, there are so many of us who seem unwilling to accept the grim reality of our circumstances.
To be perfectly honest, there have been days when I have seriously wondered if I did not make a mistake by bringing a child into this world. Putting aside all of the various health issues that so many individuals are enduring, our world has become a very unstable place — economically, medically, politically and socially, and I worry about the quality of life that Kathleen and so many young people will have in the future.
Putting aside the recent seizure, for me and my family things things have been going pretty well. Kathleen has been taking an antimalarial/antiparasitic medication for the past seven months to kill the babesiae, and she has been doing so much better — thank God! For a time, I took comfort in the idea that she may be protected from COVID-19 because of her blood type and because of all of the treatments that she has undergone for Lyme and the co-infections, but I am unsure if my sense of comfort is only wishful thinking, especially given the way in which the virus has been mutating. As of the time of this writing, scientists have discovered three different mutations, one of which, out of South Africa, may be resistant to antibodies, and that is very worrisome.
Much like Lyme and other bacteria, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, prefer certain blood types, but no matter what blood type one may be, the absolute best advice that anyone can offer would be to do all that you can do to avoid being afflicted with any of these diseases, bacteria and viruses alike.
Sadly, though, people are getting very tired of masks and social distancing; and being able to stop the spread of the virus is still very much contingent upon everyone doing their part to avoid being infected and thus spreading the virus.
And, to complicate matters even further, because of the slow roll-out of the various vaccines that have recently become available, all of the preventative measures (i.e., wearing masks, social distancing, etc.) will need to remain in-place for years to come in order to beat this thing.
Not long ago, Amy, who works for a fairly large manufacturing company that does a great deal of work for United Technologies, learned that a coworker, located at an office in Florida, died from complications due to COVID-19. The coworker was a sixty-five year old male with no known health issues, and the virus killed him within two weeks of learning that he had been afflicted with it. Not good!
Up and until the time of the news of his passing, Kathleen had planned to return to classes when schools in our area reopened, but news of his death caused her to change her mind. Fortunately, the high school she attends has done a very good job with online classes and she has, in fact, been doing great academically. The bad news is that I have returned to driving a school bus and my family and I are now more exposed than ever to contracting the virus.
Management has formally indicated that, per CDC guidelines, drivers are required to open all of the windows on the busses when they are in operation — regardless of weather conditions — and, as one might imagine, many drivers have not complied. The heaters on all of the full-sized busses were never very good at keeping the busses warm under the best conditions, but add having to drive around with open windows in dark, damp winter conditions and most will find that transporting children to and from school has become a sloppy, uncomfortable mess that no one really wants to do. There are certainly better ways to earn a living.
So, for the moment, I am now holding-out hope that a vaccination is forthcoming and that I will not contract the virus before I am able to get vaccinated. In other words: I’m currently working on hopes and prayers.