COVID-19 and us — 5.17.20


Well, here we are in the middle of May and the novel coronavirus is still with us. Tens of thousands are getting it for the first time and some are getting it for the second (or third?) time. Thousands are dying of it every single day.


In fact, more than a thousand are dying of coronavirus in the United States every day. As I am writing this, Johns Hopkins University says there have been 89,399 deaths in this country. At the current rate we’ll be well over 100,000 deaths before June.

As America begins to re-open without a vaccine for the coronavirus the number of cases will probably rise. People who have been cooped up in their homes and apartments and not exposed to the virus will come into contact with others who have the virus (but not the symptoms). The virus will spread. The more people come into contact with others, the faster the spread.

One sees the videos of people crowded into restaurants and bars, without facemasks, and wonders who among them have the virus. There’s no “V” on the foreheads of those infected. You just can’t tell — it’s a crapshoot. Take your chances; get infected and take it back to your wife and kids (significant other, roommate, parents, etc.).


They think it won’t (can’t) happen to them. Hey, less than one-half of one percent of the people in the US have COVID-19. Odds are they won’t get it.

Well, that’s not quite the case. Only 1.5 million people have been hospitalized or tested positive for the virus. With the limited testing we have there’s no telling how many people actually have the virus and are capable of spreading it to infect others.

But, let us go ahead and use the 1.5 million figure. That’s about one of every two hundred people in this country. How many people do you come in contact with each day you go and eat in a restaurant, drink in a bar or sit in a salon, hairdresser or barbershop? Five, ten, fifteen, more?

How about we say ten? After twenty days, you’ve come in contact with two hundred people. What are the odds now?

You’re a barber and cut the hair of twenty people a day, none of whom wear masks; in ten days you’ve come in close contact with two hundred people. Of course, there are two other barbers in the shop and they also cut people’s hair. How many people, in total, are you in close contact with in our large and roomy barbershops.

Nail salons. My wife typically spends an hour to an hour and a half getting her nails, fingers and toes, done. The same at her hair stylist. Talk about close contact.

How many people a day does a bartender, supermarket checker, factory worker, coffee shop/sandwich shop employee come into contact with?


Perhaps, we should consider schools — elementary and secondary.

During my teaching career, my classes averaged thirty-five to forty students each. Not bad huh? Well, I taught six classes each day and it’s not much different today in middle/junior and senior high school.

You want schools to re-open? Deal with those numbers.