Monday, February 22, 2021

Getting Tired of Covid

 I am losing my patience in dealing with the Covid pandemic. Yesterday my wife and I went on some errands to replace a modem and buy some data, and I came home very frustrated.

We mask up when we go out in public as requested by Ghana's government and as required by the larger businesses in the area. When we arrived we did our usual hand washing routine outside the store before an employee pointed his thermometer gun at our heads to get our temperature, and then he squeezed two big pumps of sticky hand sanitizer on our recently cleaned hands. We then walked a few paces into the store and were met by another woman who informed me that I was not social distancing, since I was standing next to my wife. She had us separate and stand on some floor stickers further away from each other. She then said we had to sanitize our hands. We explained that we did so 15 seconds ago by another employee and pointed to her coworker standing near the door, but she insisted we add more sanitizer. My wife did so but, before I could, I was told only one of us could come in the store, so I sat in a waiting area outside the store. 

I know these precautions are an attempt  to slow the spread and protect people. I also respect private businesses to enforce whatever rules they decide. It is their business; "no shirt, no shoes, no service comes" to mind. Even though I see where they are coming from, I am getting sick of this. In that moment I had some empathy for the people I've seen on the Internet complaining about the loss of freedom and making a scene in public places. 

Here is my problem: If this disease had a high mortality rate and there were dead bodies stacked in the streets, I would be the first to wear a full hazmat suit, if I even dared to leave my home at all. Ghana has over 30 million people and over the last year there have been 565 deaths from Covid. In contrast, they experience about 2,000 deaths from traffic accidents a year. I am much more likely to die driving my car here than I am from Covid.

I understand the mortality rate changes significantly when comparing different countries, age groups, and those with existing health problems, but I just don't feel it is the threat that we are told it is. I think the way this pandemic has been handled has been more detrimental than the actual disease. Isolation, inactivity, uncertainty, loss of livelihoods, and damage to the economy has caused an increase of stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide for many people. We can't be blind to all the collateral damage that has occurred.

I'm also frustrated by the many conflicting messages from the "experts". At first we were told we don't need masks, then you were a grandma killer if you don't want to wear one. Within the last week, "experts" suggested we wear two masks! Whenever scientists, virologists, or doctors share opposing views and data, or question the efficacy of masking for this particular virus, they are often crucified by the mainstream media as being quacks or conspiracy theorists. 

I just wish there was more "science science" and less "political science" when it comes to Covid. For some reason, the disease is no longer a threat once you walk in a restaurant and sit down to eat. A group of maskless friends can sit next to each other for hours eating and laughing with no problem, but if I'm driving with my immediate family in my car with the windows up and come to a police check point on the road, they want to know why we are not wearing our masks. 

I have seen many arbitrary and illogical rules as well as a good share of hypocrisy and abuse of power from leaders and experts around the world when it comes to Covid precautions. That makes it all the harder to jump on board and do whatever we are told for the greater good. 

Luckily there is a vaccine available now. I am not an anti-vaxxer but I am not excited about injecting myself with an experimental vaccine that has been tested for less than a year, with no long term studies. I would actually jump at receiving it if it solved the problem and I could return to the normal life of pre-2020 but, after receiving the vaccination, I am told you still have to social distance, wear a mask, and you can still get Covid!

When I went to the mall last week I noticed the sign above. This has been up since last March when the Pandemic hit. This is what "science" is saying here. I guess I will stay away from our goats and will make sure to cook my eggs very well to protect me from the virus. 

I believe this virus is real and can be deadly to a certain segment of the population. We should all take common sense steps to protect ourselves and we should do more specifically for those high risk individuals who are the most vulnerable. Whatever we do, let's handle it with actual science and truth, not just fear or good intentions. We've experienced a year of contention, judging, name calling, fear mongering, and virtue signaling and I'm sick of it. Protecting lives doesn't have to be done at the exclusion of our livelihoods, standard of living, or freedom. 

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh Tom! This makes me roll my eyes lovingly at you. Just wear the mask and stand clear of your wife for a minute. I'm frankly glad that there are stores taking those precautions. When I was in Utah recently I counted 15 people not wearing masks or not wearing them properly just from the plane to the car rental. I was shocked at the non mask wearing people in UT. They are everywhere and it's just irresponsible!
Take Care