I will admit that I suffer from anxiety, the origin of which can be traced back to my mother’s uterus; it wasn’t big enough and I was forced out. Since then I’ve wondered, what does the future hold? Who, what, where, how, why, and when can I take another Xanax?
Not knowing what is going to happen from one moment to the next can be crippling for some of us. And so I scour the news looking for answers. Every news story contradicts the next. What is the truth?
We all know the number of victims, infected and dead, is wrong. COVID19 testing has been limited, which has resulted in the numbers being underreported, intentionally underreported. The rate of death caused by pneumonia has seen a sharp increase, and it is safe to assume the difference in those numbers should be added to the pandemic numbers.
It seems to me that there is a collaborative effort among the media to maintain a common milieu. Yesterday the news theme was optimism. The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, etc., all credible news sources, stated the pandemic prognosis is much better than experts had predicted. We have flattened the curve.
COVID-19 related hospitalizations in New York are “flat” but today’s death toll is the highest so far. So, if the pandemic were Sisyphus, he would be pushing that giant stone across a flattened mountain, but a flat mountain made up of dead bodies.
What is really going on? We are in a fight for information in this country, and the tendency of the news media to give equal time to lies as truth is confusing to even those of us who believe we are informed.
Is the lockdown end in sight? CNBC says “Italy could relax lockdown measures within weeks,” but France just extended their lockdown.
One study claims lockdowns can not end until a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, mass-produced and administered. Scientists say that will take 12-18 months at best.
I need to know things! When can I take my dogs to get their nails clipped? How much time do I have to grow out my eyebrows? And how far do I want to take this eyebrow thing anyway? Do I want to go full Frida Kahlo unibrow? Will I get a relief check from the government in time to buy new dress sweatpants before my current dress sweatpants are so worn that they look like regular sweatpants?
Speaking of the economy, it is another source of confusion. According to an April 06 story in the New York Times, the unemployment rate is “probably around 13%,” although charts still say it’s at 4.4%. Today’s news contradicts that number. Over six million more people applied for unemployment, bringing the total number of new claims, since COVID19 took the helm, to 16.8 million new claims. Multiple credible sources have predicted that before this is over, the rate of unemployment will reach 30%. Despite all that, the stock market is up today.
Doctor Fauci says shaking hands should never resume. It makes me think about smoking. Seeing people smoke on tv shows or movies stands out as dated and odd.
Someday we’ll look back at people greeting each other by shaking hands and think about how odd we were.
I need a change of scenery. Today or tomorrow I plan to move to the other end of the couch and have boxed up my necessities: phone charger, tea, sparkling water, notepad. My dogs with the overgrown nails are confused, as am I. I need a Xanax.