This post is going to be a brain dump. I can just feel it. I’ve already written about coronavirus, more in the respect of keeping your mental health and anxiety in check. I’m a health anxiety sufferer and the recent Covid-19 outbreak is like fuel to the fire for anxiety! But there is also a fascination for me; fascination and fear of Covid-19. I’m probably making no sense, so will try to explain.
I blog. I write. I am a dietitian when I go back to work but my University background is Biology. I studied for three years at York University, as when I finished college, I had no idea I would become a dietitian. I was and am still fascinated by cell biology, biochemistry and metabolism. The immunology and infection modules blew my mind when I was studying. The complexity; how insanely evolved and clever our immune system is and of course when it goes wrong in allergies and auto-immune conditions, like the psoriasis I have.
I studied infection. I studied parasites and took part in dissection, as was allowed where I was studying. I studied virology, the study of viruses and these little critters are a whole other topic of fascination to me, yet are something we should fear at the same time.
What fascinates and terrifies me concurrently is how something so small, so so so small – Covid-19 is causing so much chaos in our lives. Panic, isolation, fear, insane bulk-buying, myth spreading and the most horrible feeling of uncertainty. A virus is doing this. A teeny virus. We are no longer at the top of the food chain; the ones with all the power. We have tumbled down from this position and are living in a pandemic, once again caused by something 1000s of times smaller than a grain of salt
This in my mind is crazy and horrible but yet strangely something I want to learn more about and this overcomes my fear of Covid-19.
More About Viruses
You may think I am insane right now. Fascinated by something that causes so much trouble but I think it’s important to learn and have knowledge. Plus you can’t help being interested?
I was quite terrified when Ebola was rife in Sierra Leon a few years back but at the same time, was reading up and learning about it. My husband had a really charming book all about disease. I remember reading about how Ebola can make you fit as you die, to ensure more blood droplets are spread! To spread the virus more. How on earth has it evolved to do that?
I can’t stand it when our family succumb to norovirus, the horrible sickness but I remember reading up on it; my brain taking in all about it and learning how it spreads. Ages ago when the gremlin was small and I don’t think I was even pregnant with middley, we were invited to a party for the first birthday of one of my Uni friend’s daughter In the end we couldn’t go. Ironically my hubby had a weird virus and we didn’t want to drive down. A week later my friend text me and told me I was saved by not coming. One child was sick at the party with suspected norovirus and the entire party load picked it up; all adults and children! That virus had managed to infect an entire party with one child vomiting everywhere; norovirus is that virulent. This blew my mind (and I was very relieved of course!).
Viruses themselves are so clever! They are parasites, much smaller than bacteria. The polio virus is 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. Coronaviruses are 4 times bigger than the polio virus, so of course still teeny!! What is so interesting about viruses, is they cannot survive and reproduce unless inside of someone or something else. They are parasites and use our cell machinery to replicate and reproduce and then of course spread.
This little critter that has turned our lives upside down, hasn’t even go its own equipment to reproduce. It is using what our cells use constantly. Bit cheeky eh? All so it can spread and survive.
We are facing a battle to beat it; a long battle. A battle with something that uses us to survive but yet causes so much damage.
Fear of Covid-19 – Our Reaction
I’m not going to write a huge article about Covid-19; what it is and how it works, as this information is easy to find.
In fact another blogger shared a really good summary here from another writer and it was written really well without lots of jargon. Definitely check this out for more information.
The human reaction to Covid-19 has surprised and shocked me, as I know will have so many. I understand the fear of Covid-19 and anxiety, as I feel it now. That horrible knot in your stomach and constant worry about the unknown and the lockdown we are likely to be facing weeks from now.
But the panic and the stock piling of food has been insane. I’ve honestly been too scared to shop at the busiest times and have relied on reports from social media, friends and photos sent to me of our local stores. I am quite lucky (though I didn’t know it at the time) that my husband is quite a stock piler anyway. We have tonnes of rice, pasta, Passata, tinned tomatoes, baked beans and quite a bit of toilet roll!! My hubby thought it maybe a good idea for Brexit but then he admitted he did it for a situation like this.
There is nothing wrong with buying a few extras in case but the lengths I have seen people go to. Taking everything. Taking all the Calpol (when children are meant to be very mild if they contact Covid-19, or not get any symptoms at all!), taking all the baby formula and taking not just one extra but loads.
The virus isn’t my worry. People are my worry. The pack mentality is crazy. One person starts and even the most rationale person can copy, as they feel they have to. They panic. I used to watch The Walking Dead with my husband and always say, the zombies never scared me. The other people scared me. It was dog eat dog and this is what Covid-19 feels like.
Even if we lockdown, we are still able to pop to the shops. We will still be able to eat. We may not get absolutely everything we want but still. My Grandparents survived the war and rationing. I’m embarrassed to think what they would say about us right now!
So although I’m trying to steer clear of social media and the news, my fascination with this virus and our reaction to it, still draws me in.
I know I need to pull away, or will have a good few weeks or months feeling anxious and ill!
But it pulls me back.
How about you? Are you fascinated or have a fear of Covid-19?