Careful

I’m an older person so I get to shop at the store at privileged times. That’s cool and/or not since it’s from 7 to 8 am and I like to sleep in. BUT if it comes to that… Someone complained on Facebook about young people showing up to shop at that time, and I thought, “There are a lot of people out there with invisible disabilities.”

I’m one of them. I have AERD, Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease. Aspirin will kill me. It will throw me into anaphylactic shock, close my airways, compress my lungs. Not just aspirin, though. All NSAIDs. Anything that is overloaded with salicylic acid. The disease causes nasal polyps another enemy to breathing. Another symptom is hives. I’m lucky because it’s been controlled pretty easily. Other people have it much worse. Doctors don’t diagnose it easily; many have never heard of it and don’t think of it. I was lucky to have found a great ENT in San Diego who sent me to a brilliant allergist. That was after two years of very scary moments in which I literally couldn’t breathe.

It’s impossible to know if the young person shopping during old person’s hour is suffering from AERD, or Lupus, or any number of other invisible illnesses that make him/her vulnerable if attacked by any random respiratory illness. This virus is especially dangerous because hospitals don’t have the equipment they need.

I found myself incredibly angry at Offal today. Reading that he’s offered help to North Korea when he has done little to help the people in his own nation sent me into a quiet rage. He knew about this MONTHS ago (we all did) and only an idiot thinks a virus respects national borders. MONTHS ago he should have been ramping up the production of ventilators, pushing for a vaccine (and not by trying to co-opt a German company), and producing tests that would make the daily statistics meaningful.

So I’m being careful. Not rabidly careful. I realized, from the process of educating myself, that one could, in order to protect themself from this virus, spend every moment of their lives cleaning something. While that might be the vaunted “abundance of caution,” if I’m going to die from this, I’d rather have lived a little life during this time. My care is pretty much limited to just avoiding people and staying at home, venturing out only to wander in the Big Empty. Thank God there’s a lot of it here.

My next trip to the store is a week from today. No one will object to me taking my old self through the front door early in the morning. I just think it’s important to remember that a lot of people are secretly, quietly, invisibly, messed up.

Anyone who votes for Trump this November after this, is, IMO, an enemy of the people.