A Great Wave Washes Over

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At the end of “Star Wars: Rogue One,” two characters, Jyn Erso & Cassian Andor, cling to each other as they face a wave of destruction that hurdles towards them. Time is over, but though they face the inevitable, a strong part of their faith lies with the hope that a message will be delivered into the right hands to save the universe.

I saw that as an analogy for the current situation facing our nation and ourselves. There’s a big wave of not only a disease hurtling towards us, but unless the right information seeps through all the misdirected messages and lack of proper leadership, it’s going to be a while before our universe is saved.

Earlier this week, I thought I was exposed to the Coronavirus. I’d been mixing with a crowd on Friday, and again on Monday. And then, shortly after, I couldn’t breathe, my throat was sore, and I felt feverish. What to do? What to think?

I work in a cooperative work space. That means we’re all people who share a good-sized building, complete with desks, kitchen, copier, bathrooms. I tend to find the spot where I can work alone, away from everyone. Since the vast majority of what I do is writing, I need quiet. There was a huge grant that needed to be done and between my boss and I, there was a lot of heavy thinking going on.

We had disinfectant wipes and I wiped them all over every surface I could find – the desk, light switches, door knobs, the toilet and sink. Did it repeatedly.

But then, I started to feel funny. My throat tickled. My nose ran. My lungs hurt. Felt feverish.

Rather than panic, I tried to reach my doctor. I have asthma and it is just about spring. Pollen is everywhere. But I’m sure he was completely overwhelmed, because no one from his office returned my call. So I waited. I got worse.

I got scared.

As it happened, my boss had the same symptoms I did. She, too, was among crowds of people. She began to worry. And if she worries, so do I, because we work together and we could’ve passed it onto each other. Wise woman that she is, though, she managed to get in touch with a medical doctor she knows. It turns out she has an ordinary winter cold virus going around and it’s not Coronavirus. Didn’t even need to be tested because the symptoms aren’t consistent.

That’s what I appeared to have too, plus with the flying pollen I must’ve inhaled, worsened my lung capacity.

My doctor’s nurse called me back, several days later after I placed a call to his office. I kid you not. The poor woman sounded utterly exhausted. I came right to the point. She confirmed what my boss’s doctor said – I had a bad cold – and my symptoms were not consistent with the Coronavirus.

Instant relief, even though I felt simply awful.

I did ask the nurse about what was going on with the Coronavirus in my neck of the woods. She did give me a word of warning: it’s everywhere. Much more than anyone realizes. So stay home. In my state, there are nowhere near enough tests, otherwise she would’ve suggested I come in and take one, just to be safe. But she reiterated I wasn’t experiencing the symptoms, so I shouldn’t worry. She did say to stay home, rest, drink lots of fluids and try not to go out.

My boss got in touch with me and asked me how I was doing. I told her what the nurse said, including how the Coronavirus is much more widespread than we’re being told. She said her doctor repeated the same information. It’s bad, it’s going to get worse, but if we’re careful, we’ll be safe.

It sounds like good advice. I have no problem working from home. I can always take a walk outside once I’m better. My town is small enough that I can walk to anything I need that hasn’t been stripped from the shelves (I intend to go shopping later on in the week, anyway). My freezer’s full.

Once people stop panicking and start hearing the message that doctors are giving to us – those on the front lines – we’ll all be better for it.

And we’ll all be saved from the great wave of destruction that is panic and misinformation.


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