Coronavirus – Don’t be like Karen

My last post ended with these words.

Don’t be like Karen. Act like you have the virus and don’t want to give it away.

Let’s just look at this realistically. I think I said that once before. This is a very contagious virus, much more contagious than the common flu or a cold. That means eventually everyone will be exposed to it.

I have displayed symptoms of the flu perhaps twice in my life. Others I know “get” the flu every time they are exposed to it. And since we have never taken steps to protect ourselves and others from the flu, we are well practiced at being exposed and exposing others.

So now we have a new virus that is very much more contagious and we don’t have a self protection habit. Thus we are already exposed. It just is what it is. And we started out with no immunity because this a new virus not before seen.

Categories of infection

A complication to this virus is that there is an “incubation” period, somewhere between 4 and 14 days, within which you have the virus but are not overtly sick. Then you drop nicely into one of the 4 categories below.

  1. Some percentage, perhaps 50%, of those exposed will get the virus and recover nicely because their immune system kicks in and protects them. They may not even know they had it. After that their immune system knows about this virus and everytime the virus is seen, their immune system knocks it down. Can’t tell you how important your immune system is.
  2. Maybe, like with the flu, they will get a bit sick but their immune system kicks in. Then they are immune. We may never know who/how many people are in category 1 and 2. Except we do know they aren’t in the hospital.
  3. Then we will have a substantial chunk of people who are going to be more than “just a bit” sick. This is analogous to the folks who get the flu, are laid up for a painful three weeks with a box of Kleenex, painkillers, and “drugs.” Then they come out on the other side with immunity.
  4. Clearly the concern here is the people whose immune systems are compromised and are headed for the hospital with the expectation that they will be saved. Some of these people will die.

All the people in category 4 are people we love. Our goal in life is to avoid speeding up their arrival at the hospital. All the people in category 1 – 3 were/are carrying the virus, exposing everybody else including those in category 4.

You are in one of the four groups. You are carrying the virus whether you know it or not. You are dropping off your virus on the counter at the store, when you cough or sneeze, every time you hug somebody.

If you are lucky enough to be in category 1 or 2 you will be fine. Even if you are in category 3 you will eventually, if miserably, be fine. This isn’t about you. This is about the people in category 4. They are NOT just people in the nursing home.

The immune compromised

Who are these immune compromised people? Well, yes they are frequently old because getting old all by itself reduces the immune system. But they are also the massive number of unhealthy people including children with autoimmune diseases, chronic diseases like diabetes/high blood pressure/heart disease, have or have had cancer. The very existence as well as treatment for all those conditions reduces innate immunity. These people are all around you.

So is the situation in New York, New Orleans, or Italy really a problem since obviously everybody is going to be exposed eventually? Indeed it is a problem. Why?


Why? Because when EVENTUALLY is NOW, when the number of cases in those places and other places exceeds the capacity of the hospital system, we can no longer depend of the hospitals to keep us alive. This is trouble!

Our goal in life right now is keep that from happening where ever you are. Act like you have the virus and don’t want to give it away.