Taking the Full Course — Social Distancing and a Word of Caution
I know, I know, another COVID-19 post. I know we’re all tired of them. I know we’re also all already tired of having to cancel our fun (and in some cases our self care) in the war against this virus.
Which means nobody’s going to like this post. I don’t either, but it has to be said by somebody. Excuse me while I go into storytime.
Taking the Full Course
A few years ago I got bitten by a blackfly while riding. Stupid thing was presumably aiming for my horse. It’s an occupational hazard and no big deal — I react to the bites, which is annoying for a couple of days.
This time, the bite site was red, swollen and warm to the touch a full week later. Uh oh! I went to my primary care physician and the conversation went something like this:
Her: What’s up?
Me: *rolling up my sleeve* This
Her: Uh oh.
Me: I got bitten by a fly over a week ago.
Her: Let me take a look.
Me: I think I need antibiotics.
Her: Sure do.
(Note, this is the only time in my life I’ve gone to my doctor and requested antibiotics).
We were both right. She gave me a seven day course (I forget of what) and I dutifully took them.
Almost immediately the swelling, heat, and itchiness was gone.
So, did I stop taking my antibiotics? No! Because I’m smart and I know that if I stopped taking them the infection would come back…and worse, the same antibiotic wouldn’t work on it this time.
So, what does this have to do with COVID-19?
Why we Need to Stick With It
The average incubation period of COVID-19 appears to be 5 days. (Don’t wave studies saying it’s 14 at me. Official incubation periods are the typical longest time between exposure and infection, not the average).
So, if we lock everyone down, then in, say, a week, we should be seeing a distinct drop in new cases.
The easy temptation would be to see that and go “Oh, hey! It worked, now…”
But remember those 14 days? Yup.
If we go back in public too soon because it looks like it’s not working, then we might as well not have done this at all, which given the economic hardship is only going to make this worse.
I know how much it sucks. Our instinct as social animals is to gather together when under stress, and we’re all under stress. But the more we lock ourselves down, the sooner this will be over.