The coronavirus, in my opinion, is here to stay, and panicking is futile. It’s pretty much everywhere, and honestly, I am worried, but I’m not out there panic buying pallets of toilet paper. The reason why the coronavirus is here to stay is due to the nature of corporate capitalism. Example:
Whole Foods CEO suggests employees who are not sick "donate" their vacation time to employees who are sick: https://t.co/Aw2gUqEpCD
— Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler) March 13, 2020
This may seem like a good suggestion at first, but it isn’t. Why should someone donate their sick pay time to someone else — what if that person donating it got sick? How about this: Instead of working employees to death, companies give them paid sick leave and zero penalties for calling out sick?
You see, corporate capitalism mixed in with selective healthcare (health care for those who can afford it — to hell if you’re poor) equals a toxic societal culture that is defenseless in the face of a pandemic. This is why many are panicking — they can’t afford to go to the doctor. What they can do is make sure they have plenty of toilet paper to wipe with. Hence the result. Add in something else to that mix: rumors and misinformation. One of my neighbors came over around midnight last night and told me that nine people in Baton Rouge had the coronavirus. That hasn’t been confirmed by any news source. It was just something she’d heard from someone she knew.
I don’t blame her for telling me that — it’s scary. Eventually, it will be true if it isn’t yet. When I wrote that article agreeing with Elon Musk that we shouldn’t panic (I still agree with him), I didn’t know anyone who had it. Now I know at least three people who have either been tested and it came out negative or tested and it’s positive. We now all know someone who may have it. Or we know someone who does. It’s getting personal.
I went to Walmart to buy household stuff and there was no toilet paper, no cough syrup, and no Vitamin C. I grabbed some Vitamin D and some more Echinacea supplements. Then I went to Albertsons (it’s like a Publix or a Kroger), and while I waited in the long lines, several of us had a conversation. The theme was the coronavirus and panicking.
👐 Wash your hands
🦠 Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
🤭 Cover your cough or sneeze
🏠 Stay home when sick
🤝 Avoid close contact with others pic.twitter.com/LYCjutYUoH
— Gov. John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) March 12, 2020
“Panicking is futile,” one woman said, “We are all going to get it and will still be expected to go to work,” said another. I agreed and told them that we need to be proactive about our health. There’s no need for excess toilet paper when there is plenty of soap still on the shelves. Both Walmart and Albertsons had a lot of soap. I went to Dollar Tree and it was the same thing. There was one disinfectant spray left on the top shelf and there was one lady trying to get it. Instead of fighting over it, a crowd worked together to help her get it. This is what humanity truly is — helping one another.
Elon Musk is right — I still agree with him that the panicking is dumb. However, panic buying gives people a sense of control. It’s not real control but it feels like it. So they go and buy. This fear is stemming from one main thing — something that everyone here knows: half of us could get the coronavirus no matter what we do. This is not me hyping up the situation but being realistic.
Louisiana just had a major holiday: Mardi Gras. My neighbors and I discussed this at least a hundred times: Mardi Gras provided the perfect breeding ground for the coronavirus and it wouldn’t be long until the news would break about people being infected at Mardi Gras. Thousands of people flocked to New Orleans and many drove from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, and other places to take part in our festive traditions. This news broke today: “Four people in 3 states test positive for coronavirus after traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.”
In my opinion, Trump’s travel ban is irrelevant. It’s too late for it. As for those staying at home, that’s great, but eventually, you will probably still get it because of how America treats its working poor when it comes to insurance. I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. I am one of millions of uninsured Americans. If I was to get coronavirus, as of right now, I wouldn’t be tested for it. I can’t afford it.
I am not the only one. In fact, I have the luxury of being able to work from home and survive without interacting with thousands of people a day. (And I am grateful for it!) However, millions of Americans are working at jobs that will not allow them to work from home. People who work in service industry jobs — bartending, hotels, servers at restaurants — they can not afford to miss work. They don’t have paid sick leave, and if they miss one day of work, they might get kicked out of their apartment. Add into that mix that they don’t have insurance and will most likely not be tested.
Then there’s the working homeless. Yes, there are homeless people out there working — sometimes two or three jobs in larger cities. There are also those who are homeless and not working, people on the streets with nowhere to go. How can they “work from home” when they don’t have a home? As of 2019, Statista reports that there were 567,715 homeless people in the United States. These, again, are people who don’t have a home to go to, who live in homeless shelters, or who are in places that are not meant for human habitation.
Think about the number of homeless for a moment and then think about those who help the homeless. Churches, mostly, and other nonprofits give them food, water, toiletries. If anyone in those numbers is infected with the coronavirus, then it’s pretty much a wrap.
The coronavirus is here, and panicking is futile. There is too much information about it being pumped out by every news outlet, every talk show — and the truth can get mixed up with rumors. It’s a scary time for us, so what we need to do is to protect ourselves. The best way to do that is to listen to what the CDC says, even though a few weeks ago our President dismissed all of that. Stay at home. If you are unable to stay home, then you, in my opinion, need to be hypersensitive to your immune system. Find ways to support it naturally until you can see a doctor.
I’m not worried that I will get it — I know that it’s inevitable. I’m worried about those who will and can’t be taken care of. I worry for our country and how far behind we are when it comes to healthcare. The mentality is that healthcare for all is abhorrent to those who think paying a tax for someone else to have universal healthcare is a negative thing. They don’t understand that if they are to pay for my vaccine, they are preventing me from giving them or someone they love a disease that could kill them. They don’t understand that the system that allows them to benefit and prosper so much also leaves tens of millions of people unable to get adequate healthcare. People don’t see others as humans whose lives matter — and their selfishness is what could kill us all. America’s refusal to be proactive about the health of its citizens is, I fear, something that will harm us all.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.