Staying Alive

As I sit at my computer, now and then, I glace out the window. An occasional car will pass by and I wonder from where it's coming. The time is 4:50 in the afternoon so whoever is driving, must be heading home. But, from where? We are not under a mandatory quarantine but under the circumstances, I wonder if that is wise. I know there are “essential” workers, those who keep our markets open, mail delivered, truck drivers, medical personnel, etc. We need these people more than we ever thought about. We always took their services for granted. Not anymore. I finally realized how important these people are to my everyday living. Then there is another group of people whom I haven't yet been able to categorize. One example is my friend and neighbor from across the street. Every day she hops in her car and is gone for at least an hour. She says she's tired of being “cooped” up and just needs to go for a drive. Is that really a wise thing to do? What would happen should her car break down and she needs to call for assistance? Using gas to just “get out” is also, in my opinion unwise. Now, you're touching the gas pump, which might transfer bacteria to your hands for you to transfer to everything else you touch. Bacteria can live on certain objects for at least 12 hours so even if you wash your hands, the bacteria are still on whatever else you touched before – just waiting for you to touch it again. This is a critical time in the lives of everyone. No one yet knows how to eradicate the virus that is infecting the world, so caution is our best defense. My husband and I chose to stay at home as much as humanly possible. If we have the need to venture out, we wear masks and gloves which we deposit in a plastic bag we keep in the car. We wipe everything down with alcohol and shower as soon as we get home. Are we being overcautious? Maybe. But we're still here and healthy. Isn't that what counts? People who have never had a serious illness take breathing for granted. Over 30 years ago, I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia administer to me before surgery. My heart and breathing stopped. I was placed on a ventilator. After eight hours, I began breathing on my own, but the incident was an experience I'll never forget. Have someone hold your nose and cover your mouth for 20 seconds. 20 seconds isn't long but when you know you can't breathe; it seems like a lifetime.

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Alissa Mak

Don't underestimate the power of young minds.

Hong Kong, China