By Caitlin Kelly
I won’t belabor you with the endless details of the coronavirus pandemic — trusting that you’re paying attention to reliable sources of news like the World Health Organization.
If you live in the United States, where millions — like my husband and I — have no sick pay or access to unemployment benefits since we are self-employed, this is very worrying.
Thanks directly to the coronoavirus, we’ve just suddenly lost a very large piece of paid work — with no access to unemployment benefits — that we’ve been counting on for months; unlike many Americans we do have savings.
The only people I know who aren’t panicking right now have significant savings or the ability to move back home with their parents to cut their living costs.
That’s a small percentage of Americans.
What worries me most isn’t just the lack of preparedness by the American government and the lying grifter in the White House “leading” it all — but the bedrock of traditional American values.
The “I”ll do whatever I want and screw you” behaviors I’ve seen for years.
Only now, they’re lethal.
If you’re on Twitter, as I am, you might have seen the hashtag #CoronaKatie, a young woman who tweeted:
I just went to a Red Robin [a fast casual restaurant chain] and I’m 30 [a very high risk group for spreading the virus.]
It was delicious and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America and I’ll do what I want.
Get used to being alone!
I can’t adequately express how angry this selfishness makes me.
I fully expect many of us, unwittingly, may have already infected others while we remained without active symptoms. I feel guilty and worried, and don’t even know if I should.
As one brilliant UK physician Graham Medley, a professor of infectious disease modelling, has said — stop behaving as though you hope to avoid the virus.
Behave as though you already have it and do everything in your power to not infect others!
I moved to the United States when I was 30 — but was born, raised and socialized in a country with two attitudes profoundly different from the United States, to this day, both affect how I think and how I behave:
cradle-to-grave healthcare provided through taxes
a national, equally bedrock concern for the common good, which this public policy makes abundantly clear.
Anyone who still insists on going out into crowded, shared public spaces — unless medically or legally necessary — is a fool and possibly risking others’ deaths.
If you’re OK with this, please stop reading and following this blog at once.
As you likely know by now, anyone over 60 — with a weaker immune system than those younger — is more vulnerable. Those with underlying conditions, especially respiratory, are very much at risk; my late mother, who died in a Canadian nursing home February 15, had COPD and other health issues. It may have been a blessing she died before this, as nursing homes are a petri dish for this disease.
I am scared.
Even though we have savings, we’re wholly self-employed and if our work dries up, we’re screwed. Whatever the U.S. government offers as help, it never — as usual — affects anyone self-employed.
For now, Jose’s two anchor clients are still going and he is able to work from home for one of them. I have work through mid-May, but nothing after that.
We will figure it out. We have to!
I pray that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.
36 thoughts on “Adjusting to the Covid-19 pandemic”
A thoughtful piece getting to the core of the issues. Take care.
Thanks. Stay healthy!
Doing all we possibly can.
Thanks! Stay safe!
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I saw that tweet, and I saw you retweet it with your thoughts. Yeah, there’s a lot messed up with America, and this obsession with individualism is part of it.
I am disgusted by this behavior. It is going to kill people.
Which is why my family is considering cancelling our dinner plans for this evening, even though we don’t see each other so much. Sucks, but better than spreading a disease, right?
Just do it.
Thank you for your good wishes. I wish you the same. 🙂
I just read about how that f***ing Tramp is trying to steal the German gov’t vaccine work and withhold it for the US only. Number one, I hope the Canadian vaccine development is successful first, and number two, I hope that criminal-in-chief gets it. I’ve never wished that on another human being before, but after withholding testing to most Americans and now this, (to say nothing of how he initially said the virus was a Democratic hoax) he deserves it. (Sorry for the rant Caitlin, but he’s really pissed me off with this latest.)
He is a piece of garbage. Many Americans will die because he lied and fumbled.
Just about everything feels shaky and precarious, but if anyone’s a survivor — it’s you.
Rant away, Lynette! I thought I had read about everything Tramp, but the German gov. vaccine theft effort is a new one. Love to read about it if you’d please advise where? Thanks!
Manhattan Over 60 Isolated Shut-in
We have stocked up on groceries and I plan to only walk outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine. No more spin class.
Very glad we own a bike and a training machine so I can set it up on our balcony and spin there.
I have 3 must-do appointments this week: the biometrics for my green card, notarizing a form to access an inheritance (thank God!) from my late mother and (unless cancelled) an MD appointment. Otherwise, it’s hermit time.
Here’s the link:
Thanks, Lynette. Poach… good word for chief criminal’s latest attempted crime. America first.
Btw, looks like a solid newspaper.
This virus is a disaster on every level and I fear we’ve only seen the beginning of a major social and economic impact. That selfishness you mention is incredible. We had an example here in NZ – an Australian who’d been tested for Covid-19 but didn’t have the results, who decided to spend a weekend in Wellington while he waited for them. He had it, and the question now is who he infected during his trail of café jaunts, taxi rides and so on. Moron. I guess there’s every potential for this crisis to bring out the worst in humanity – but, I hope, it will also bring out the best and we’ll see people acting not just responsibly, but generously. It’s something western society hasn’t been good at cultivating of late.
I hope all goes well for you and Jose. It’s tough times for the self-employed, especially in the arts. Take care.
Thanks…I agree. The behaviors are appalling and selfish and lethal.
The only upside to being my age (I hate to admit) is that this may force me to take Social Security early. I will permanently lose a portion of it, as a result, but it is the only guaranteed income I can get beyond Jose’s NYT pension — combined, these would still only meet barely one-third of our monthly fixed costs. If we had free healthcare, we would feel much less financially burdened.
Hoping the best for you as well!
I have read that some die -hard Trump supporters still think the virus threat is greatly overstated by the so-called fake news. If some of these idiots end up dying from the virus because they refused to take it seriously, that is Darwinism in action. I am not saddened by that, but unfortunately they may pass the virus on to other innocent people
The hell with every one of them. I am so disgusted with the selfishness and wilful ignorance….also staying home a LOT.
I’m grateful I can do something. Often I feel helpless in making contributions to changes I would like in the world. I’m canceling my monthly discussion group for tonight, and will be seeing clients through an online resource! We are fortunate for our online resources, aren’t we!
Caitlin’s un-isolating blog is a boon. I seem to have a bunch of pals (not all, but a bunch) who are scared silent, even online. It’s bewildering. Thanks to Caitlin et al for communicating, and meaningfully ! Be well.
I will keep blogging and NOT endlessly about doom and gloom. Bon courage a tous!
For now, yes. It would be impossible without them.
Same feeling here. I was discussing this same issue today with my husband. He was telling me how the law here in US protects the freedom of movement for their people etc… They can’t restrict anyone from going out but how some other countries have been able to curb the spread of the virus by following certain mandatory restrictions to their people. But here in the developed countries, if people are not sensible enough to understand the need of social distancing and learn to respect one another, then how can we call them developed?!
I hope people take this more seriously and act sensibly. I hope people value the selfless efforts of those hardworking healthcare workers.
Right? New York, NJ and Connecticut just closed all bars, gyms and restaurants tonight as of 8pm.
I really fear for everyone who runs a small business, like our NYC hairdresser of 20 years — with a monthly rent of more than $5,000 and three chairs. If we don’t go, he will surely have to close.
It is harrowing.
True. The effect of this is going to last for a long time even after everything settles down.
Toronto is closing restaurants (except for takeout and deliveries), bars, theaters etc… Like you, I fear the worse for a lot of these business whose margin are thin. And Canada is closing the borders except for US. A lot of people are puzzled and upset. It won’t be long before you see jokes about building a wall and getting Trump to pay for it.
I hope you will find a way to get through this. Stay safe.
Thanks…we are fortunate to have freelance work for the next few months and savings. We are easily able to self-isolate as we live in the suburbs so only have to go out to buy food or walk in the woods.
Same to you!
you are spot on with this and i understand why this time must be even more terrifying for you, being self-employed. this is truly bringing out the best and worst in humanity, and shows just how unprepared the powers that be, really are. stay well, stay safe, keep writing, and i wish you both the best through this incredibly challenging time.
If we did not have savings, I would be in a blind panic. If we did not have to pay $$$$$$$ for our health insurance, it would make an enormous difference as it is our biggest cost — and not one to scrimp on.
Seriously (ugh) considering getting SS early (and taking the financial hit) to get some guaranteed income. I can do it. Jose can’t.