Even before COVID-19, when someone in the gym or grocery store had a runny nose or was coughing and sneezing in public, my defense mechanism kicked in and I practiced social distancing even before it was a thing. A mere 6 feet would be nothing compared with how I adjusted. I'm not a germophobe, per se, but just resorting to common sense to avoid contacting unnecessary germs. Again, it was a personal safety concern to avoid a possible cold or seasonal flu. One could also argue I was also trying not to spread germs to others because at some point, especially during a bad flu season, how would I know at the time whether I was asymptomatic and could negatively impact others?
During this pandemic, in March and April, fewer motorists were occupying the roadways so logically there should be fewer accidents and less road rage. One exception may be for some drivers to drive faster than ever because fewer cars are on the road. To the best of my knowledge, this phenomenon has been reported in several locations in Canada and the United States where some drivers have been clocked at 130 MPH or greater. Getting back to my protection, my insurer, Amica Insurance, allowed me to lower my automobile premium costs by taking a defensive driving course. I learned several interesting tidbits about defensive driving but my biggest takeaway was you can’t control how others drive but you can control how you react to how others drive. Even after taking this course, there’s sometimes a temptation to confront other drivers when they behave badly. Because I don’t have a badge, I’m not authorized to correct or tell others when they are acting rudely or illegally on the road even though I feel law enforcement should be doing a better job at this. My role is to avoid them and continue to drive defensively. Part of defensive driving is predicting and anticipating what may next occur on the city street or interstate highway. Again, safety and health.
I’m fortunate my parents engaged in cleanliness and health 50 years ago. Whenever my dad came home from work or from working in the garage, the first thing he would do was wash his hands. His good habits were intertwined between setting the example and telling all eight of us to wash our hands regularly. One anecdote, he did not miss a day's work in 37 years, just luck and good fortune? When Dr. Fauci and other medical professionals are talking about washing your hands for at least 20 seconds during this epidemic, I’m already there regarding his advice. I believe regular and effective hand washing is a wise approach to protect yourself and others from needlessly spreading around germs.
If a family can afford health care in the United States, they should be grateful and not take it for granted. Having said that, just because someone has health care doesn’t mean you have to take advantage of it or abuse it. I know there are some urgent matters that require a visit to a hospital or ER but I’m also aware there are things a person can do to mitigate utilizing the health care system. This includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. As parents, we tried to set a positive example for our now adult children so my hope is that our modeling and occasional gentle reminders will have a positive role in their lives.
Perhaps I'm just old but I'm a lot more skeptical these last few years about eating at restaurants. I love getting together at restaurants with special friends and family but I often ask myself what is the overall protocol of how my food is prepared and served? Is good hygiene followed? Do the food cooks and chefs treat this food the way they would want it prepared for their family? Do I regularly know the quality of vegetables and other ingredients that they are using? Do I become much more discriminating about which restaurants to frequent? Too many questions, not enough factual answers. Should I continue to infrequently frequent restaurants -- be choosy about where to go. Another step could be to eat our less and sharpen all my kitchen knives, go to work on our cutting board, and create various soups in the crockpot (can't forget to say that listening to interesting podcasts makes this task a little more palatable).
Who says the USA is not Number 1? With cases and deaths associated with the Coronavirus. Ok, pardon my flippancy but how do we effectively handle this pandemic? Indeed, many conscious individuals will leverage online resources to learn how to best protect ourselves. Social distancing is critical as well as hand washing and using anti-bacterial soap but as I mentioned earlier, for some practical people, social distancing was invented many years before. Of course, this isn't just the seasonal flu; it’s a highly contagious virus so the utmost preventable measures have to be employed. By being prudent and alert for the foreseeable future, we are trying to be safe and protect our family and others as much as possible. This is something that will help our family and listening to health experts on how to engage in public during an epidemic, which may help flatten the rate of transmission allowing our health care facilities the resources to effectively fight this pandemic. So yes, we’re maybe a little more self-centered to a point to protect our family and also help mitigate the number of cases and rates of infection.
Even before the Coronavirus, to protect oneself and family, your focus should have been on Safety, Security, and Health. This priority should apply to social situations, shopping malls, places of worship, driving, restaurants, work environments, and overall health. Perhaps, with the introduction of the Coronavirus, many people are much more conscious of their own diet and health assessment and become more aware of protecting their health. In many areas, festivals and concerts are cancelled this summer because their revenue stream is dependent on a large turnout which is less likely this year due to a certain segment of the population being leery about large social gatherings. Some individuals who feel safest at home will turn to gardening or acquire a new hobby or project. If there’s any silver lining with the Coronavirus, this improved behavior is not a bad thing.