The growing seriousness and death toll of worldwide problems today caused by coronavirus is a reminder. It happened to my family 102 years ago during World War I. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected 500 million people worldwide, and killed 20 million, including 675,000 Americans.
It was the year my dad and mom married, both in their early twenties and living in Philadelphia. When he was drafted for Army service in 1917, he was rejected because of severe kidney damage, probably the result of effects of the flu. In 1920, my mom gave birth to a daughter, and in another two years my older brother. I was born in 1925.
During those years, my dad’s fragile health continued to deteriorate. Probably because of the physical damage caused by the Spanish flu a decade earlier, dad died in 1929 at age 36. He left behind my mom with three young kids, just in time for the Great Depression and following years of poverty. We can only pray this current spreading outbreak of the coronavirus won’t become so devastating to American families. http://www.cnn.com/2020/03/15/us/philadelphia-1918-spanish-flu-trnd
To prevent the spread of the worldwide illness, health officials recommend that we stay that safe distance away from each other. Of course, that’s easy to do in social gatherings, work, transportation and other daily and night time happenings.
However, should this emergency go on for many months, forbidding a vital human reproductive activity could have a devastating effect on our future. If the rule also applies strictly to married and other potentially romantic couples, the world population will suffer a serious lack of replacements. http://www.cnn.com/2020/03/24/health/six-feet-social-distance-explainer-coronavirus-wellness
This toothy feline is complaining because he’s not allowed to wash his paws, then dash out into the woods to chase squirrels.
The governor issued an order that encourages people to stay safe at home. Many non-essential retail businesses are to be closed. Still allowed open and functioning include dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and convention centers.
Additionally, essential services still available include gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks, laundromats/laundry services. Also, essential state and local government functions, including law enforcement and offices that provide public services are open. This is now in effect throughout California and in many other states.
Every day the news gets more frightening, and as a resident of a senior community, I fear everything is falling apart. I’m worried about my extended family, pension, finances and heath. What do you advise? TRMcD, Newark NJ
A: Since you can’t do anything about the international insanity, keep mind and body working. Even if it’s just squats in your bedroom, or shaking your body parts like you’re warming up for basketball practice. Exercise will help get the worries out of your system and ease the panic.
Anything that will give you physical and emotional boosts can help. Talk to family members on your smartphone. Cook yourself something nice, have a hot bath, or listen to songs you enjoy. Old movies and TV shows may help. Remember that your anxious state isn’t permanent. And some day soon, we hope, the virus will go away.
Now that you’re stuck in the house, try some new activities to help pass the boring hours of forced isolation.
1. Go online to find classic movies and books you can enjoy again. How about “Singin’ In The Rain”, “Citizen Kane”, “The Best Years Of Our Lives’, “Stagecoach”, “The Producers”, “The Wizard Of Oz” and/or other favorites from long, long ago.
2. Learn a new language. Now you’ll have plenty of time to practice reading and speaking like a native. How about getting into Spanish, Italian or more complicated Chinese.
3. Renew old friendships and contact with distant relatives. Go online and phone to recontact school, service and college buddies. Exchange photos, videos, Trump opinions and family updates.
4. Be a creative author! Write articles about subjects of interest to you. Submit them to websites that accept and/or pay for them. Get really ambitious and write that book you’ve always wanted to use to expand your creative talents. For example, write about the time you spent in uniform during that war nobody wanted and everyone has since forgotten.
5. Enhance a physical skill. Get back on at least a one-hour daily exercise workout. Also revisit a physically-challenging hobby, such as building miniature aircraft, boats, cars and other models. It’s crucial that you keep mind and body creatively active while being forced to stay at home.
I’ve stayed home while the news of coronavirus gets worse every day. I used to jog for an hour each morning, but now I’m frustrated as hell when I look out the window. I still see older people out running, biking and walking dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do? PLK, Princeton NJ
A: According to most medical reports, it’s OK to resume your routine. Just be sure to maintain distance from other people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a distance of about 6 feet and no touching. In some communities where people are asked to stay home and shelter in place, it’s still OK to go for a run, hike or do other outdoor activities. Also avoid social gatherings involving more than 10 people, as well as all nonessential travel, shopping trips and social visits.