Yes, I live in the same county as the recent deaths from the Coronavirus. No, I am not sick. I mean, I was. Two weeks ago. I know it wasn’t that particular nasty, though. Why? Because I was tired and severely congested, but I had none of the symptoms. No cough, no fever, no respiratory problems.
I took a day off work, because that’s me being responsible. I would’ve been miserable. Management probably would’ve taken one look at me and sent me home. The company has a policy of ‘we’d rather do without you for 1 day than have you get 2/3rds of the store sick’. They’re smart about these things.
I’m not part of the vulnerable population. I’m not elderly, or extremely young. I’m still overweight, but I’m otherwise healthy. I do have a history of fighting battles with the evil Lord Bronchitis, though. Because of that, I’m proactive about vaccinations. If I’m due for it, then poke me. I’ve had that particular nasty enough to go into my doctor as soon as I get a cough that makes my lungs feel like they’re trying to exit my body through my throat.
Authors write about a disease based apocalypse all the time. It’s a common plot device. There’s scores of books and movies about a virus causing the dead to walk, or what our world might be like if the population was devastated by plague. This is not it.
Has there been death from it near me? Yes. Two confirmed cases. Two. Not twenty, two hundred, or two thousand.
There is no reason for us to be speeding to a grocery store and buying them out of hand sanitizer and bottled water. If you need some, great. Get the amount you’d normally buy. Don’t get 50 cases.
Because that elderly lady behind you? She needs it more than you do.
That dad who has a newborn at home? He needs it more than you do.
Our first instinct in times like this is to protect ourselves, our family. What we should do is stay abreast of the news (reputable sources only – PLEASE), be smart. Does it take your family a month to go through a single bottle of hand sanitizer? Buy two, not two dozen. You’ll have enough. And so will the person who truly needs it.
Us authors are taking notes, observing. Would you rather we see you as a hero in a story, the one who took care of their neighbors and started a colony of survivors? Or the villian whose hoard was overrun because of their own paranoia?