My last post was about the Corona virus, and how insecure I feel in the face of such uncertainty. Today I’m writing about self-imposed isolation.
Jorge and I are not sick (at least we hope we’re not) but COVID 19 has an incubation period of 14 days and so we’ve decided to stay home, at least until we have a better idea of how hard the pandemic will affect Mexico. In the face of such uncertainty, we do NOT want to risk our health.
I look at the progression of the virus outbreaks – first in China, then Europe, now the USA and Canada – why should I imagine that Mexico will be any different? In fact, because Mexicans are not at all used to social distancing, if the virus gains momentum, the velocity of the spread could be catastrophic. We could be looking at many weeks of this self-imposed isolation.
On Facebook, I saw a graph; it was created by Dr. Reem Ghalib, an eminent physician in Texas. These numbers are a worst case scenario, but nonetheless, they are possible:
Suppose you catch the virus. You will give it to 3 other people, and they will each give it to three others, and so forth. Here is how the math works, where you, the “index case,” are the first line:
1 … 3 … 9 … 27 … 81… 243 … 729 … 2,187 … 6,561 … 19,683 … 59,046 … 177,147 … 531,441 … 1,594,323 … 4,782,969 … 14,348,907…
So, in just 15 steps of transmission, the virus has gone from just one index case to 14.3 million other people. Those 15 steps might take only a few weeks. The index person may be young and healthy, but many of those 14 million people will be old and sick, and they will likely die because they got a virus that started in one person’s throat.
I am lucky because I enjoy staying at home. We have many comforts, including a pool. I’ve got my paints and my laptop, so I can write or paint as much as I want. Jorge has also been writing and he reads a lot. However, we have established a routine, so that we stay engaged in different types of activities. We ration the “fun stuff” somewhat because we’re sure we’ll eventually feel bored, even with activities we really enjoy.
I ask myself if I am going overboard with my concern, but this outbreak is such an unknown experience for us all. We have no precedent to work from. Initially we’ve given our housekeeper two weeks of paid leave. We figure it must be risky for her to travel on public transport, and also we worry she could bring the virus to us. Once this trial period is finished, we hope to have some idea of just how dangerous it really is (for all of us) if she comes here three times a week.
We’re finding it’s not difficult to keep on top of things; we do the housework after breakfast. Yesterday was laundry, and today will be mopping and bathrooms. Jorge waters the garden in the afternoons and I cook all our meals. We take a long siesta after lunch and then watch the news. Once the sun goes down, we’ve been walking around the neighbourhood. When we get home again, we bath and settle in for the night; usually we watch Netflix.
Have you self-isolated? If so, what’s your routine? We should share good ideas, recipes and so on, because it looks as though we may be in for a long haul.