COVID-19 PANIC

Take care of ourselves and each other! Let’s do what is needed no matter how tired we are!

You can say I’m hysteric and yes, I know I am but I can’t do anything about it I get scared every time I hear a cough nowhere near me, and that I try to avoid this happening the best I can. Like I sometimes jumped from one side of the street to the other, if someone is coming up, dodging the oncoming (like yesterday). Nor do I like to talk to strangers (sounds very Finnish, right? but that’s not usually how I am. Normally I like to talk to people and actually many Finns, specially women do talk to people). However, these days when I wouldn’t want to do that, I sometimes find myself in situations where I have to, like last time yesterday…

I was coming at market and I was about to go to another convenience store pick up a few things. The store is on the way back home. It’s expencive and small so I usually make my main purchase at that bigger market but there’s few things I can buy at that small store. (I don’t have to carry all the shopping for such a long distance, nowadays I shop less often and I buy more at once so this makes it a little easier. Going to that store is just worth scheduling so that there is no congestion of any kind, (the best time is in the morning) otherwise you don’t dare go there because the store is so cramped.) So I was on my way to that little store when I saw that there is senior woman walking towards me. I turned back (mad? I know but I’m afraid of getting infected so much) and went around the corner (to a safe distance) to wait for her to pass by. Suddenly she stopped and I heard her yelling something to me. I wondered why she was yelling at me. She was worried that I was about to cross that slippery path I stood at. ”Don’t go there”, she yeld. ”It’s really slippery.” It really was. So I said back to her: ”No I won’t go there, I’m just waiting”. I don’t think she heard everything cause she continued talking. I don’t remember everything she said but it was something about I should get around from the other side. I repeated that I am not going on a slippery path and I started to get annoyed. I probably sounded like that too. Luckily we had a distance of two to three meters and both had masks but still…I didn’t want to get stuck in there to explain that I was just waiting for her to pass by and that I was on my way to the store. Luckily I didn’t have to, because she finally understood to continue the journey…and I, too, was able to continue mine. It is sad to get angry about so small things. However, I am so frustrated and I don’t miss any extra discussions. I would like to say: ”take care of your own business” but I did not dare to do that. Anyway I went to that store and made my shoppings. Everything seemed to be quite fine before…

*We still live in exceptional times. Don’t forget that!!*

I was at park near by our home, more specifically, I was in the park gazebo. There I usually put my mask on and also take it of when coming back. By doing so I can breathe in the fresh air for a moment. I can’t keep the mask for very long or I get breathing symptoms so this is my habit. Also that usually is a very peaceful place where you can be at ease. So I went there to take of my mask. I got it of and listened that peaceful silence. I greedily breathed wonderful fresh air when some man with dog suddenly appeared in front of me (I had not seen them). That man walked along the path ahead and I just prayed the god he would not cough. I turned and walked few steps farther (as far as I could) but I couldn’t move very far cause I was in that gazebo and the exit was in front of where this man just was and where I didn’t want to go. I waited for a moment and just when I thought I survived…it happened…a cough…I’m not sure where he was at that moment but it sounded like he was quite near. However, I did not dare to turn and look, because then I could have been infected. I was already almost at the breaking point. I was pretty sure he was almost behind my back. I was just wondering why this was supposed to happen when I was almost home. Why he couldn’t wait a moment and cough away from me (there was no one else nearby). Well, I had to come back and try to calculate the distance between us. I realized it luckily must have been 2-3 meters atleast, maybe more if he had walked farther but those who move with a dog often keep stopping when they walk, so I’m not sure if he stopped behind me…Well, I guess two meters should suffice unless it is a British variant…Fortunately, there is probably not so much of it in Finland yet…

*Only by doing the right thing can we overcome this situation and return to normal!*

The other day, instead, I felt I was receiving protection from an angel. I was in the park even then and I had taken off the mask. For some reason, I felt it was better to go home another way than usually and so I did. I went a small path next to the kindergarten, instead of going the actual way. A short distance away I heard a cough from the road. This man would have come against me if I had gone down the road. He would probably have coughed on my face. On that day I really felt that I was protected from above…

By the way, my mom got that vaccine already (in the nursing home) and she’s ok what was great to hear! I first thought that maybe I dare take the vaccine now with a better mind. Though, I don’t think I’m going to get the same vaccine, so the effects may be different…Well, let’s see…anyway I can’t live long like this or I will go crazy soon, so I think the vaccine is just a must take…

Stay safe everyone! I hope the Guardian Angels are with you!!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

https://tanssitytto.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/advent-calendar-7-door-korona-aika-covid-time/

30 ajatusta artikkelista “COVID-19 PANIC

  1. Do the math. The probability of somebody exhaling the virus at the very same time as you are there to *inhale* the virus is incredidly small.
    So much so, that when ”social distancing” was first coined, the WHO guidelines stated ”not closer than 1m, for more than fifteen minutes”. So again, catching it from somebody passing by for maybe half a second seems improbable.

    • That’s what I thought also but I don’t really trust even experts anymore (and even less to my own calculation skills) cause it seems like nobody knows the absolute truth! Even the instructions are constantly changing. Like first they said (atleast here in Finland) that the mask is not working, now it’s highly recommended. Well, I have used mask from the beginning. I was sure it will help!

      But those variants infect much more easily and that 1m is not enough, specially inside. There the distance should be atleast 2m but actually that’s not enough either WHEN SOMEONE COUGHS. I read an article where they said that those DROPS CAN FLY INDOORS UP TO 6 METERS or maybe EVEN MORE. So I don’t really trust those ”so called distance limits”. I think these minimum limits are only used to reassure people when longer distances are starting to become quite impossible to maintain…and I don’t think that timeline is reliable anymore because of those variants…but thanks for taking part in the discussion!

  2. I understand you concern for catching the virus, I too go to great lengths to make sure I don’t interact and touch things. It does sound like you are a little more stressed than normal. What is normal, who knows but you do sound like you are over focused on getting the virus. Just keep yourself safe and know that if you wear a mask all the time and someone coughs it won’t affect you. Always be washing.cleaning your hands so any germs in the air won’t get on any surfaces you touch. If you do those things you are really protecting yourself. I think your okay with talking to people if approached, if they don’t have a mask on just tell them your are concerned about getting the virus and need to stay your distance. just an observation. Have a great day. 🙂

    • Well, I didn’ have my mask on when that man cought. I was in my own ”safe place” or I atleast thought it’s my safe place. There’s never anyone, speacially now on the winter. So I took the mask of (because I have to get some fresh air outside for a while).

      Outdoors the virus shouldn’t be so easily transmitted, but he just suddenly came so close that I was scared. Also I’m not sure how far he got when the cough happened. Well at least I had time to turn around and go about a meter further…

      By the way, not nearly everyone in Finland is using mask (not this man either). Here it is not obligatory. We have only a recommendation to use mask. There is no law we can force people to use it which is silly, I think!

      Thanks for your support and you too have a great day! (It’s actually evening here already, I don’t know what time is there where you are but anyway…)

  3. We must be careful and alert while in public places but getting so much terrorised would only make us forget, how to live our life altogether. Hopefully the vaccine will help us allay our fears. Pray, angels are with the entire mankind!

      • Easy to say but much harder to implement! However, this is such a serious matter that I cannot just ignore it, and be as before! That is certainly true that ”fear make us dead before death” as you said. I think I’m already half dead…(a lot more has happened in my life lately than covid -19, and it all affects.)

        On the other hand, a return to normal would already be difficult once you are used to living in your own bubble, without hurry and normal schedules.

  4. It was good of you to talk about this. It is important.

    Even though my wife wore a mask at her health care job every day, she tested positive back in December. Nobody else got tested in the house, but we stayed home for 11 days.

    I felt fine. I am assuming I had it. If something is lingering inside me, I cannot worry about it. What is done is done now.

    I have been doing what you are doing with shopping. I found a grocer that is smaller and away from the highway, and I have going there for almost a year. I try to avoid crowds as well.

    Control what you can, and manage what you cannot. 😊

    • Thank you for your great comment! So the mask really don’t give you complete protection. I myself have never believed in it (even I these days do wear only FFP2-FFP3 masks which gives you the best protection). Some rely heavily on its effectiveness and it will certainly be easier for them to live their lives but you are living proof that it alone cannot be trusted. Nor is it always possible to keep distances in nursing. Especially those susceptible mutations are frightening. One can only hope that vaccinations will gain momentum and that they will really help!

      • I hope the vaccinations do work. I just don’t want you to worry too much, but it is good to talk about your concerns. Since I had it (I am assuming I had it), I still feel fine. I just do my best to stay safe.

      • Well, it’s good to hear you’re fine! What about your wife?

        I’ve heard the virus is usually not so bad for women so maybe I could survive well even if I got it…(This is what my husband always manages to remind me of as well as my good genes).

      • She had 1 or 2 days of weakness and a slight fever, but otherwise she was good. She has got her vaccine shots now. Since I am not working while watching our son, I did not get the 2 shots yet.

  5. It’s easy to become hugely paranoid in this situation. My husband is, and he’s working from home, so any risks, for him, seem to be quadrupled… but you must calm down, reset your mind, and take a deep breath outside, where you feel safe, and know, this WILL end. Love and hugs 🤗

  6. Paluuviite: NEVER ENDING STORY – Tanssitytön blogi

  7. It takes time for enough information to be collected and processed and then tested to better understand what the real risks are. This knowledge evolves over time so it may appear that change in recommendations means best guessing, and this is certainly true when the situation is new, but what it really means is that likelihood of what works best rises and falls with more and more information gathered from the real world. That’s a good thing.

    The distancing, for example, works well against droplets and the mask works well to stop a cougher from spraying. That presumes the virus comes in droplets and is transmitted when these droplets enter another body either directly or indirectly with surface contamination. This seemed to be the case as the virus spread back in early 2020. Now, however, we have enough information to alter that model. We are finding out there is growing and compelling evidence that the virus transmits by aerosol. Not primarily by droplets. Aerosol.

    Aerosol are particles that stay airborne independent of the much larger droplets. and concentrate into a cloud with enough virus to be contagious. Not for a few minutes but for hours. This means being outside reduces the aerosol concentration very, very quickly… especially with a breeze. It also means that being inside with little air flow and a Covid positive person is a vastly greater risk for contagion, which is why air flow really matters. Prison guards, for example, who spent more than 15 minutes in total in the presence of Covid positive inmates became infected many degrees greater than those prison guards who did not… but were in closer proximity! Aerosol concentration seems to be the risk, the cloud of exhaled air allowed to stay in place and have more and more virus added to it over time. For example, people on airplanes with Covid positive passengers seated more than two seats away almost never became infected because airplanes have one of the best air exchange systems (from floor to ceiling and keeping aerosol concentrations extremely low). Those sitting closer had only a slightly increased risk. Neither of these well documented situations fits the droplet model, nor does the majority of actual transmissions. Even age versus risk has changed… for the original strain the elderly, for the B117 variant the younger!

    So, please, enjoy the outdoors. Your risk with simple precautions (like having even one shot of vaccine and keeping some distance from others and avoiding the air cloud of anyone coughing) will mitigate the risk tremendously. The mask is not a barrier that protects you; it is a barrier of your droplets from reaching others. So being outside should not require masking unless you have a cough! And by outside risk, that I mean the risk is almost zero even if you pass by a Covid positive person (hopefully not, but with 5 days of pre-symptomatic spreading, one never really knows if one is positive). Also, and just for interest’s sake, wearing glasses also has a known reduction in infection rates! We are nearing the end of the Covid tunnel and I suspect for many of us it will take some time to begin to feel (relatively) safe again in social settings. But just that first shot alone has reduced your risk more than ten times already! Multiply that outwards for everyone who has received one shot, and you begin to appreciate just how amazing vaccination is, how clever people really are, to beat back these kinds of viral eruptions. Thank you for doing your part by getting your first shot. By such a simple thing, you have done what you can do to save people you do not know and will never meet by doing your part to reduce the transmission pipeline from person to person. We’ll get through this together.

    • Thank you for your comment! FFP2 masks which I use almost always (atleast in indside) are actually protecting yourself! All FFP masks do protect you! Those are the best masks. Also now they have found out that surgical mask is protecting you quite well too. (I have lately actually used both-one FFP2- and one surgical mask, this is because of the virus variants). Fabric masks is not good, they give only 20% protect. Also you should make sure the mask is closely on your face so that there are no leaks!

      Fortunately we are already on the winning side (atleast here in Finland) and soon I will be vaccinated (or atleast should be)! Hope your situation is also good!👍😊

      • I mention this stuff because I am constantly made aware of the changing landscape of Covid in terms of public health. (My spouse and up to date health data access I mentioned in Snowbird of Paradise’s blog is responsible)

        Yes, the FFP2 masks are quite good but still have a leakage rate of around 8%. C’est la vie. Here in Canada, the equivalent is the N95 mask and is very snug when properly fitted. But, as you know, it makes one very aware of every breath! It has been assumed that the droplet size is about 50 microns and so these masks were considered sufficient as both protection for and from Covid; however, the latest data is showing aerosol particles of >5 microns. This means masks need to be the FFP3 (or N99s here) style with fitted goggles (because the eyes easily absorb the 5 micron level virus).

        So the point here is that protection regarding masking has been directed based on a presumption that the virus spreads by either airborne droplets (bigger droplets and smaller that precipitate out usually within 2 meters) or by transferring surface concentrations of the virus to the eye/nose/mouth. So we’ve been told about the importance of the 2 meter distance AND washing hands and sterilizing surfaces. Well, washing hands is never bad advice!

        But the aerosol factor changes everything. And your government – and the healthcare advice they give – will catch up with this understanding sooner rather than later. I mention this because I want you to know that being outside and lowering your exposure to concentrated/un-circulated air means your safety is almost assured. And that’s without a mask. Add in the first shot of the vaccination and you have no scientifically valid reason to fear others when outside… presuming basic precautions. The risk is far, far greater that you will be struck by lightning (I’m not joking)! So if you take basic precautions against lightning, your risk is minimal. The same is true for dealing with Covid and its variants of concern when you are outside. That’s why I say it will be challenging for us who have followed best practices strictly for over a year to change our behaviour and start to let go of our fear when we’re outside but still practice basic precautions.

      • Well, some nurse said to me that she don’t see the reason why the virus is not spreading on outside as well as inside so I’m little bit sceptic with that…

        FFP3 masks are not available almost anywhere anymore and also those are difficult and inconvenient to use and those don’t fit very well for me…Anyway, it’s over 90% protect with FFP2 also and like I said I have been using also surgical mask lately on FFP2 mask. Should be good combo! At one point I was also thinking about buying a vizier. That would be a good combination with a mask but at the worst time we ordered food home (mainly), (otherwise we have been mostly at home) and then the situation got better…BUT today the number of new infections in the metropolitan area had more than tripled from yesterday so don’t know what’s happening anymore. This seems to be going up and down again and again…Moreover, now people are celebrating the beginning of summer with a crowd when the warm air came. Not good. It’s too early to party in a gang! Well if it’s safer outside, fine. I really do hope so but I can no longer live in constant anxiety!

        As far as distances are concerned, I do not rely on two meters. Even one doctor said it was not worth counting on. If only vaccinations progressed quickly!!!

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