This is a terrible time to have your immune system suppressed. My husband just had a kidney transplant and is taking medication so he doesn’t reject his new organ. Then the “corona” virus broke on the scene and scarily, had nothing to do with Dale’s favorite beer, and everything to do with our worst fear. Coronavirus has not only stole our peace of mind—but emptied the grocery store shelves of toilet paper.
“What’s with people hoarding toilet paper?” my daughter asked me over the phone. She’d called to check up on her dad.
“I’m not sure. Herd instinct? No one’s stocking up on toothpaste.”
Recently, I saw a YouTube of an employee at a Costco store awarded a three-minute shopping spree—but toilet paper was not on her list. In three minutes time, the employee and her designated helper managed to grab over $25,000 worth of merchandise, including flat screen TV’s and computers. She evidently missed the message that T.P. stands for Too Precious and is currently being scalped online for outrageous sums.
In the age of the coronavirus, our big shopping spree likely would be through the pharmaceuticals. In fact, our survival stockpile should include a three-month supply of Tacrolimus, Carvedilol and other exotic-sounding medications my husband takes daily to keep his immune system from staging a revolt. With our current pandemic, we’ve been a little concerned about a breakdown in the drug supply chain. On the evening news though, I heard the government had protocols in place for any supply chain disruption.
Maybe my anxiety about the coronavirus partly stems from watching too many apocalyptic movies and reading horror novels. In the 1980’s I read a horror novel by the King of the genre (first name Stephen) entitled The Stand. The terrifying beginning of this book had to do with a cold-like virus that ran amok, nearly wiping out civilization. I’ve thought about The Stand several times watching the rapid spread of this bug. I have to remind myself this virus is, relatively-speaking, mild, and only fatal to less than 2% of those who contract it.
Actually, I may have been thinking of the wrong horror novel with the coronavirus—but I hesitate to tell my husband this. Dracula might be a more fitting literary link. According to the Center for Disease Control, bats have been considered a possible source of COVID-19.
“Bats? I hate those creepy creatures!” Dale shivered.
Bats may be creepy but they’re actually related to lemurs and other small monkeys. They’re mammals (like us), but I didn’t mention this to my husband. Dale has every right to feel freaked-out over bats. When I first fell in love with him years ago, I was a young woman in college in Virginia, and he was a farmer from Idaho. One night I got a long-distance call from an Idaho hospital and Dale was on the phone.
“Hey,” he said. “Just thought I’d call.” He sounded muffled like he had an entire pack of chewing gum in his mouth. He told me he was having trouble talking because his face was swollen twice its size.
“I had a reaction to rabies treatment. I had this problem with a bat…”
Then, the whole sordid tale came out. Dale had been living in a little, rustic cabin near his farm, and sleeping in a sleeping bag on the cabin floor. One morning he woke up, felt something moving in the bag, and leaped out, scratching his leg in the process. A bat flew out of the bag behind him, and then Dale whacked it with his boot. The bat, unfortunately, turned out to be rabid. Even though Dale wasn’t bitten, it was close enough to his scratched leg, he needed a course of rabies vaccines.
Since that time, bats have been the least favored of all of God’s creatures for my husband. With the coronavirus our current plague, I’m beginning to not like bats much either.
Image credit: Diana Hooley Image credit: The Stand