Today I went out. In the car. My car has dodgy electrics and, if left to her own devices, will develop a flat battery in a week or two. So I have to run her regularly. As long as I stay in the car I am still self-isolating. It was good to get out.
Interestingly the roads around here did not look deserted. There were cars on the road, and people walking around town. My local Tesco looked quite busy, which suggests that they may have food.
I think I am finally beginning to understand this virus thing. This article by a GP was a big help.
As was a Twitter thread by a professor from Yale that, annoyingly, I can no longer find.
Here’s where I think we are:
1. The virus is massively contagious, at least in part because no one has any immunity, but also because most countries have been way too slow to respond.
2. The vast majority of people who contract it will survive. I now suspect over 99% because I think we are massively undercounting the number of people who have it.
3. Typical symptoms are an infection of the upper respiratory tract which leads to a dry cough.
4. It only gets bad if the infection migrates to the lungs and you get pneumonia and need to be on a ventilator.
5. The biggest danger is that large numbers of people need hospitalisation at the same time, because of the rapid rate of infection, and that health services are overwhelmed. This is why slowing the rate of infection is so important.
6. People with a mild case of the virus will take days, maybe even weeks, to recover. That’s partly because this is a new thing that our bodies are struggling to find antibodies for, and partly because we don’t have medication to help (or the capacity to provide it to so many people in such a short time).
7. But people are recovering. We don’t as yet know whether those people are immune, and if so how long that lasts, but as the stock of recovered people grows we should be able to start getting the global economy back on its feet.
8. Our ability to understand and cope with all this is critically dependent on testing so that we know who has the virus and who has recovered from it. The UK government is still reluctant to spend money on testing.
I certainly have the respiratory infection and cough, but nothing else. A lot of the problem with the cough is that a badly inflamed respiratory system is easily irritated, and that leads to coughing, which is a further irritant. Hydrating more seems to help. I have also found that sucking a Fisherman’s Friend is a good way to calm things down so that I can get back to sleep.
On the food front I am now out of most fresh fruit and veg, but I have canned and frozen so I’m not worried. I also have the ability to make yoghurt so I am going to experiment with smoothies. I ate the last of the curry tonight, so will be going onto fish and pasta for a while before the haggis. It is nice to have time to cook.
But I am also very bored of being sick. I should be exercising more, but any sort of physical exertion is a bad idea right now.