“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” ~ Harry S Truman
On the last day of a two week long MS related hospital stay, I got a visit from an infectious disease doctor. He told me I was at risk. I was immunocompromised.
But that’s nothing new. I’ve been that way for years. So, what’s different now?
He said the cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Orleans were increasing. And because I had a suppressed immune system, I was a candidate to contract the virus. I needed to stay away from large crowds of people.
I was confused.
From my perspective the infection didn’t seem that bad. I had been stuck in a hospital bed. Doing nothing but reading books and watching television. I really had no idea how far reaching the virus had become. I was mainly entertained by Golden Girls reruns, Oprah recommended Kindle books and Big Bang Theory marathons. I think Sheldon is hilarious.
Also, I watched some news reports and comments from politicians. But their statements implied the coronavirus was no worse than the flu.
Besides when I entered the hospital, it was Mardi Gras time. The hospital was on a parade route and I could hear people partying outside my window.
How did things change so fast?
Since I was in a high-risk category of developing the virus, I asked the doctor if I could get a COVID-19 test? He said only a limited amount of test were available. But I should be fine because I had no symptoms. So, there was no need for me to take a test.
That reassurance was short lived when my husband mentioned seeing reports about professional basketball players and whole NBA teams being tested. Most players said they had no symptoms but still were tested.
Wait! I’m confused again.
Asymptomatic healthy world class athletes can get the test but immune compromised hospital patients cannot?
During my discharge, the doctor came back and instructed me to go straight home and stay in the house. And that is where I have been. Staring at my four walls. Isolated from the world. No visitors.
My husband has gone to the grocery store and the drug store a couple of times. Every time he gets back home, I ask him to immediately take a shower. When I say it out loud it sounds crazy. But I’m scared of what he has picked up from his outings.
My fear of the coronavirus might be irrational. But it is fueled by my lack of information and conflicting messages from the media.
So, I guess, for now, all I can do is stay at home confused and compromised.
This post originally appeared on My New Normals on March 23, 2020. It is republished with permission.