I was talking to my mother last night as she prepared to go to another city (also in Taiwan) where she did some teaching. She and my father were going, and they were going to have dinner with some friends they hadn’t seen in some time. The reason it’s notable, of course, is because we’re still in a pandemic, but it’s one that Taiwan handled admirable and is mostly past at the moment. That’s not to say they can’t have another spike or they should relax their strictures too much, but for the moment, they are sitting pretty.
So much so, my parents can’t quite seem to grasp how terrible it still is in America. I can’t really blame them, though, because many Americans don’t seem to get it, either. My dad keeps talking about when they can come back to visit, and I just wanted to scream at him. My parents are almost eighty and both had major surgery in the last two years. My mom’s had two in the last year. My father is in terrible health in general, and did I mention we’re in the middle of a pandemic? Not to mention that it’s nearly 24 hours of travel, and it’s easy to see why this is a terrible idea. They usually come at the end of July/beginning of August, and I really stressed to them that it would not be a good idea, and then my dad was like, “Maybe October?”
I just can’t. We haven’t even hit our peak yet, and the prediction is a spike in fall. I am emphasizing that Christmas is the earliest feasible time, and even that seems to be too soon for me. If I can’t convince them not to come, then I’m just going to stay in the basement all the time and not interact with them.
That aside, we were talking about what Taiwan had done in the early days (aggressive tracking, masking, and fining for breaking the rules) to be so successful and how that wouldn’t fly here because of American exceptionalism/individualism. I pointed out that with the various social issues America has, tracking could be problematic. That aside, however, I agreed that America was too individualistic for something like that to take effect. It doesn’t help that our pols are either clueless or willfully ignorant, and the pros have been offering conflicting information since the very beginning.
I mentioned that I felt hopeless about the whole thing because I was doing my bit, but it didn’t matter. Things were opening up, and we were going to see more cases in the near future. I went to the pharmacy and the gas station today, and there was a worker at the pharmacy who had her mask dangling by her ear. I internally rolled my eyes, but I didn’t say anything. Then she came out into the lobby to fiddle with the merchandise (probably restocking). Did she pull the mask back on? I couldn’t tell, but she didn’t have it when she came out the door and passed by me within three feet or so. In a fucking pharmacy! What is the fucking point if you’re going to dangle it from one ear? Then, at the gas station, the workers weren’t wearing masks (though behind plexiglass) and less than half of the customers were wearing them. I got out of there as quickly as possible, and I breathed a sigh of relief once I got home.
Why the fuck am I bothering? I’m really frustrated because I’m being very strict with myself and no one else seems to give a shit. My mom pointed out that I was helping by not making things worse, and weirdly enough, that actually brought comfort to me. She’s right. I’m not spreading the disease. I’m not contributing to the problem, which makes me a very tiny part of the solution. Additionally, I’m keenly aware that I like alone and that Shadow is not going to take care of me if I get the ‘Rona. Plus, I have a shitty autoimmune system, and I have sinus issues to boot. If I were to get the ‘Rona at its worse, it would be so difficult for me to deal with. In addition, if I had to go to the hospital, who the hell would take care of Shadow? Since it’s fairly easy for me to arrange my life so my going out is severely limited, that’s what I do. I’ve found that I don’t mind it so much, but it’s frustrating to see other people going out and doing whatever they want with no regard to others in the world. Or worse, the assholes who are being nasty to essential workers. The ones who cough in the faces of grocery store workers (on purpose) to make a statement about something or other. Usually what a big flaming asshole they are.
We haven’t even hit our fucking peak yet in Minnesota and people are acting like the novel virus has come and gone. It’s tiring. I read the article about the health care worker that went out with a bunch of her friends one of the first nights her state reopened and got the Covid-19. They didn’t wear masks, and they didn’t remain 6 – 8 feet apart. Hard to do in a pub. The woman and most of her friends got sick with the Covid-19, and my instinctual response was, “Serves you fucking right.” I’ve seen posts with a similar take to mine, but I’ve walked it back a bit in my own mind. This woman said she had been doing everything right up to that point (which, I have my doubts, but I’m taking her at her word for now) and when her state opened up, she and her friends went crazy.
I can empathize even if I’m not there. I know most people are not like me. Most people need human interaction and contact and whatnot. And, if she’s telling the truth that she had been self-isolating for months up to that point, well, I can see why she went out in a moment of weakness. That said, she was still a fucking idiot and part of the problem. She’s a healthcare worker for fuck’s sake. She should know better than that. Then again, she lives in Florida, so maybe enough said.
I’m not disputing that for many people, staying isolated is fucking hard. Add into that being a parent or worrying about your job, and it’s a tough road to travel. The thing is, we have to do it. If we want to flatten the damn curve, we have to be as thoughtful as possible. I’m also darkly amused that the same keyboard warriors who declare they will do anything they can to defend America are bitching and moaning about not being able to get a goddamn haircut. A goddamn haircut!! Of all the fucking petty ass bullshit….
And yet, I know it’s not petty. I know it’s not about the haircut. I know it’s about the community and missing the daily interactions. I know all that, and I still become incandescent with rage that people are being asses about it. Again, I’m not talking about people who are worried about work or struggling with their kids. I’m talking about the ones who are whining because their favorite restaurant isn’t open.
I am fucking doing everything I can to minimize the chance I’ll get the ‘Rona. But it doesn’t fucking matter because the minute I leave my house, I’m putting myself at the mercy of everyone else. Yes, that’s the case in general, but in this instance, we know the basics of what we should do. Stay home as much as possible. Wear a mask when out. Stay at least six feet away from each other inside (ten is better). If you suspect you have the ‘Rona, stay the fuck home!
My god. The amount of people who knew or suspected they had it but didn’t tell people before having a big-ass event….I just can’t. The bottom line is to assume if you go out, someone in the near vicinity is a carrier. That’s why I’m not going out at all. Well, one of the reasons. It’s just not worth it to me. But I don’t know what I’m going to do as this drag on for several more months and maybe years. I can’t live in a hermetically sealed vacuum (though I’ve thought about it in the past) for the rest of my life.
Oddly, I don’t miss human interaction that much. What I *do* miss is sex. That’s not just pandemic-related, but it’s intensified. I want to fuck someone. Oh, side tangent. I hate that in sex advice columns, it’s always stated that 70% of women don’t come from vaginal sex. Or rather, I hate that it’s used to comfort dudes (and it’s always dudes) about women not coming during sex. Why? Because I’m a woman who can come from vaginal sex, and it makes me feel as if my experience doesn’t matter. 30% is a minority, yes, but it’s a sizable one. It’s my preferred method of coming, and just because it’s not the norm, doesn’t mean it should be easily dismissed. I had issues when I used to hang out with queer women groups back in the…um…late nineties? Early aughts? A long time ago. Saying you liked to be penetrated was somehow selling out to ‘the man’.
Don’t get me wrong. I like many other forms of sex as well, but I really enjoy penetrative sex. With a dildo or a penis. It’s all good. But I prefer to be penetrated. I don’t feel as if this is ok to say in some progressive circles. Also, I hate dating online. I really wish I could just have two or three fuck buddies with whom I could have dinner, watch…um…cooking competitions, fuck, and then have them go home. Not now, obviously, but if we ever get back to normal times.
That’s the issue for me. I don’t know what will make me feel safe to leave my home on a regular basis. This soft opening with no strict rules/fines isn’t it, though. So for now, I’ll continue to stay at home.