I haven’t blogged in a while. I’m going to actually write a little for this one. I also have some pictures to upload as well. As usual, I expect I’m just writing to myself. But there is no harm in that.
The main topic of the day is the global pandemic involving a novel Coronavirus dubbed CO-VID 19. The whole world is apparently infected to some extent or another. Some places are harder hit than others. The United States is in the early stages of infection at this point, or at least it seems that way. The initial response to the virus was a bit lackluster on the part of government. The virus was not taken seriously until well after it should have been, which is my opinion. Then there are many other people who seem to think the government and general society are overreacting. This isn’t a political blog though. Only time will tell what the macro-level outcome of this pandemic will yield.
On my micro-level, this pandemic has already had a significant impact. Most notably my full-time job has been suspended. I am currently working as a school bus driver for the Houston County Board of Education Transportation Department. That is quite a mouthful. Anyway, I got a robocall from the school board and a mass text from my supervisor on Sunday night informing me that school was closed until further notice. On Monday or Tuesday of this the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, shut down all schools until at least March 31. Happily we will continue to receive our base pay as full time employees. Not much else is known about how this will affect the school year or employment situation at this point. Spring break for our county school system was scheduled from March 30 to April 3rd, so it seems likely I will not be working for the next few weeks.
Also of great concern for me is my parents, whom I live with. They are in the high-risk group of people likely to succumb to this deadly virus. While the percentages of mortality of those infected seem relatively low at 3.4% that is significantly higher than the common flu. The older and more fragile you get the higher the rate goes. And my parents are both on the higher end of the age bracket and each has other health conditions that make them more vulnerable. So I pray for them daily. And furthermore I am trying to be hygienic and avoid crowds. So, it was a blessing that school was suspended. Riding around in a school bus with dozens of children everyday was certainly a high risk scenario.
My sister and her family are taking this whole thing very seriously. Probably too seriously in my opinion, but there is no harm in over-safety. She has tried to convince us to follow her lead, and completely isolate themselves for who knows how long. I expect that this approach will only delay the inevitable infection, which is admittedly a good thing. The idea of spreading out the infection makes the possibility of health care more possibly available to those who need it when they need it if there isn’t a massive rush on the system all at once. And that is, it seems to me, the main reason behind the public campaign to isolate and self distance. Also, the hope that a vaccine can be developed quickly and be deployed before the whole world gets infected. Hard to say what the likelihood of that is, but I know there are top minds working on this problem even as a type this sentence.
As a group, my father, mother and I, we are not self-isolating entirely at this point. We do try to practice good hygiene skills though. If and when any of us leave the house, we encourage each other to wash our hands upon immediate return. At this point there are no known cases in the immediate area, so we feel fairly secure in our decisions to leave the house from time to time at this point. Of course there aren’t nearly enough testing kits available, and there are likely unknown and unmanifested cases out in the wild. We are strong with prayer and faith that God’s will be done, at least I am. We are not acting recklessly, but not in total lockdown mode yet either.
I’m tired of writing now. I am enclosing some pictures I took a while back at an interesting location in town here. I stumbled across this location while wandering around one afternoon. There are many other good photos I got from that day, but these will do for now. They reflect a bit of an ominous mood the country is experiencing at this time.