Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

The Difference Between Fear Mongering And Reality

Right up front, I must warn you, if you are the type of person who just wants to hear about unicorns and rainbows, believes only in the powers of “The Secret,” or just a simply denier that bad things never happen, you will want to skip this post.

The reality is that the world, not just our country, is facing one of its worst crisis in history.  Any attempt to minimize the severity of the Corona Virus, is pure irresponsibility.  That said, it is estimated that a fairly high number of people will contract this virus and face any number of symptoms from none to mild or moderate, and recover.  And under normal circumstances to go on carrying on about life in care-free fashion would not even raise an eye-brow.

But there is a decent percentage of the world’s population, estimated at 20%, that is known to have major issues not just surviving this virus, but suffering through it, clearly an understatement.  Without going through all the histology of the virus, real simple.  It is not the virus that kills, it is the pneumonia caused by the virus that takes the lives of those who are vulnerable or elderly.  But why?  Why does it affect this certain group of people?

First, I want to be clear, as one of this 20%, I am doing nothing that should put you at risk or inconvenience.  I have been doing my part since the warnings were finally given, actually a bit sooner because even I was aware this was going to be serious even though those with the powers that be, would rather have downplayed it.

So, I am doing my part.  I am social distanced, physically isolated for the most part.  I have taken control of my outcome as best as I can.  Now to understand why I am doing this.

In the beginning of this outbreak, we were warned who was considered vulnerable.  The elderly.  Those with cardiac issues.  People who had pulmonary issues.  Diabetics.  Anyone with high blood pressure.  And of course people with compromised immune systems.  Six boxes of vulnerability, and I check of five of them, because I do not consider being in my fifties, elderly.

In 2008, I had emergency heart surgery to bypass the major artery to my heart, damaged from radiation therapy for my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma years earlier.  I had a second surgery in 2019 to correct another vital artery, also due to radiation damage.  To this day, I know that yet a third surgery will be in my future to correct more radiation damage, to the valves of my heart.  And if that was not enough, I also have to be concerned about my carotid arteries, also affected by the cumulative and progressive damage done by the radiation.

My lungs also have issues from both radiation and chemo therapies.  The lower left lobe of my lung is described as “dead”.  My last test of lung capacity measured was at 76%.  I also have unidentified spots on my lungs that have been watched for years.  In 2012, I nearly died from aspiration pneumonia, because it turned septic.  Nine months later, I would have another round of this pneumonia.  I get the vaccine for pneumonia, actually several boosters, but those are for viral.  The pneumonia I fear and experienced was bacterial.  It was caused by damage to my trachea and  esophagus from radiation therapy.  This has taken a huge toll on my lungs.

The diabetes diagnosis is something I still have not really accepted, and feel diet related.  But, unscientific surveys among other long term survivors, show that many of us have an issue maintaining our A1C levels, the marker for diabetes.  And blood pressure?  Well for the last several years, lifestyle changes have helped me manage though occasionally there is an asshole or two, that will test my tolerance.

And as part of my diagnostics thirty years ago, my spleen was removed.  Years later, medicine would soon realize just how important the spleen was in defending the body against infection.

These are facts, there is no fear mongering.  I personally know what I am up against.  I have followed advice of the CDC, and various health networks.  I need facts to be able to get through this.  I do not need false stories, worse, false hopes.  I need to know how far this is spread, how close this has gotten to me.  I have made every sacrifice I must to avoid being afflicted, including being distanced from my children, the toughest part of this.

So, pardon me if I have zero tolerance because you feel slighted and inconvenienced and choose to follow the recommendations.  There are many like me, who began to isolate ourselves once the numbers became obvious this was going to get out of control.  It is not us that have kept the trajectory of the virus going.  It is portion of the 80% who felt this was not going to affect them, who had this feeling of invincibility, immortality.  Fifteen days to slow the spread, has now been stretched to forty-five.  Why?  Because too many just did not care.  It was those who also were the first to use the words “fear mongering.”  And they are also now the ones offering false information from inappropriately wearing face masks to hoping for Spring weather.

If you want to make this go away, do as we have been told.  Your chances of catching Covid19 or spreading it, are near zero if you follow this guideline of social distancing, stay at home, whatever you want to call it.  Incubation period is fourteen days.  There is no reason if we have all done our part, by the end of April, we should see a huge drop in cases.  That is a fact.  I just wish it was more than hope that everyone would do it.

I am not a fearmongerer.  I live in reality.  I have to.  My life depends on it.

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One thought on “The Difference Between Fear Mongering And Reality

  1. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

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