Keep on social distancing and washing your hands . . . let’s not surrender the ground we have gained!

Reminder

A dear friend of ours ventured into a large grocery store on Saturday. Considering the times in which we are living, he didn’t have a pleasant experience.

Afterwards, he wrote:

“Question: With 95 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., who is policing the social distancing in the retail sector? I was in a major outlet today. They were letting everyone in. No social distancing except at checkout. What the heck? This pandemic, in Kamloops especially, is going to get out of hand. Makes me want to hurl canned goods to protect my six feet.”

That drew this response from someone else:

“Relax . . . and try not to pay too much attention to the CBC or Global news. The numbers in the Interior are relatively tiny and frankly the possibility of you running into someone who is infected are somewhere between zilch and zero. Social distancing does absolutely nothing if no one is infected. If you’re that worried about it just stay home and have your groceries delivered.

“There are currently 150 cases in the entire Interior of which 90 are recovered. So if you spread those 60 people out over the entire interior including Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, etc. etc. And since they have tested positive it’s highly unlikely they’re out shopping.

“The grocery store I visited was doing the distance thing but because the checkout had small lineups that went back into the aisles because of the 6 ft rule it made keeping distant almost impossible if you wanted something in that aisle. They’re trying but really it’s becoming a bit much, worrying about how many feet away you are from the next person.”

These are the people who make we want to puke. They really do.

This person writes: “Social distancing does absolutely nothing if no one is infected.”

That’s exactly the point. We don’t know who is infected. We aren’t testing everyone, and there apparently are people walking around who have the virus and don’t know it. That is why we social distance, along with the fact that we don’t want people coughing or sneezing all over us.

The responder to our friend also wrote: “. . . the possibility of you running into someone who is infected are somewhere between zilch and zero.”

Look, when I buy a lottery ticket, I want to win. When it comes to this virus, that’s a lottery I don’t want to win, and the odds being “between zilch and zero” is still too high.

Look, social distancing works . . . social distancing and properly washing our hands. So let’s keep doing it so that we don’t piss away everything we’ve done to get to this point.

——

After this shopping trip, our friend also suggested: “What’s worrying me is people’s disregard for the rules and especially those wearing masks who waltz around the stores like they are indestructible.”

I have gotten to the stage where when I see someone wearing a mask I think: 1. Does that mean the person is infected?, and, 2. Is that person going to cough or sneeze?

So I try to steer clear of those people.

——

You will recall that Stephen Gillis, a Vancouver minor hockey coach, underwent a kidney transplant on Feb. 18.

This means that he, like so many transplant patients, has to take anti-rejection medications. These meds suppress a person’s immune system in order to keep his/her system from rejecting the organ that, after all, is a foreign object in a new setting.

Having a compromised immune system means one is much more susceptible to illness and infections than the average person.

And that’s why it is so frustrating to see the way some people carry on during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a couple of recent Facebook postings by Gillis . . .

“So did the restrictions change in BC or Vancouver? Cause there is currently 8 guys playing soccer, all beside each other, at the park near my house where I take my dog. . . . Hey A-holes, I haven’t been distancing and isolated for almost 40 days so on the first nice day you can play footy. . . . I won’t be surprised if there is another spike, because many people are acting like the pandemic is over.

“The amount of people who don’t keep their distance lately is insane. They’re all out strolling and walking right by me. Do I have to wear a sign or a scarlet letter to let them know I am immuno-suppressed and if I get COVID-19 I could very well die? I know people who have passed or had people passed. You call 311 and in very Vancouver fashion you get a msg that neither the city nor police will enforce it. Then what’s the point?”

My wife, Dorothy, received a kidney more than six years ago. She takes anti-rejection meds twice a day, so lives under the same conditions as does Stephen.

Dorothy hasn’t been in a grocery store in well over a month; you have no idea how hard this is on her because she loves to shop for groceries, which means browsing and taking her time. These days, we order groceries online and then we pick them up. If an item or two is unavailable, I will make a quick run into a small store, get what we need and get out.

Also, don’t forget that when restrictions are loosened and things start to open up again, Dorothy and Stephen — and thousands of others like them — will be among the last to leave their homes in search of some sense of a new normalcy.




If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca



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