I’ve been in lockdown longer than most.
Back in early January, I had been following the story of the outbreak as early as when it was just limited to 47 people who had visited Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.
I also was watching the daily vlogs of a Chinese man in Wuhan named Hai Tang, about his wife, Li Ting, who is an emergency room nurse there, and who had become infected herself with the Wuhan Virus, and his struggles to keep her isolated in their flat and take care of her.
I think at the time, I had a level of morbid curiosity about the outbreak, so I read everything I could about it, but I quickly realised that this virus had the potential for a massive global epidemic, and I started to feel alarmed, so I quickly purchased N95 masks for myself and my entire family, and since I had to ride the Metro on my way to work every day, I started wearing a mask as soon as I approached the station and taking it off upon exiting.
By the end of January, I had started wearing my mask at work to meetings or whenever I felt I had to encounter any gatherings of people. People definitely looked at me funny, and some even laughed and made comments, but I explained it away by saying I always wear a mask in flu season, and I avoided shaking hands, and began a religious routine of washing and sanitising my hands multiple times a day.
I had mentioned to some people at work that I thought the virus outbreak in China could possibly reach the United States, and as the quarantine measures in Wuhan intensified, that we may possibly have to do the same thing here, but they laughed and dismissed it as ludicrous. Someone even said “They only do that in third world countries, this is America.”
After that episode, I decided to keep my concerns to myself to avoid looking even more weird to my coworkers.
Well, here we are.
All working remotely, all locked down at home for almost two months now.
Not to say I told you so, but something else that really bothers me is that I’ve been wearing a mask every day since January.
At the time, many people challenged me about it and said it was overreacting, and the World Health Organisation and the CDC at the time had also put out directives saying that masks were not necessary and could not prevent people from getting sick.
I don’t claim to know more than the WHO or the CDC, but I’ve never seen such a blatant breakdown in basic common sense in my thirty-one years on this planet.
I knew since early January that the Wuhan virus was airborne or at least, transmitted through droplets, and had some limited capacity for airborne delivery over short distances.
I also knew since early January that the Wuhan virus entered the body primarily through the nose and the mouth, and occasionally through the mucosa of the eyes.
I’ve never been that great at maths, but this was honestly the most glaringly obvious case of one plus one equalling two, yet these two supposedly reputable organisations sat down and blatantly lied to the entire world and even discouraged people from wearing masks which could have protected them.
It only follows that a virus which travels in droplets over the air, and enters through the nose and mouth, can be impeded to some degree by covering the nose and mouth with a barrier sufficient to filter out at least some of the virus.
Yes, not every mask would have worked, but any mask let alone an N95 mask is better than no mask.
I’m really glad I realised from day one that what they were saying goes against basic science. It’s just so disappointing to see supposedly scientific bodies fall victim to corruption and politics.
Disappointed, but not surprised.
I hope everyone is staying safe and more importantly sane in this lockdown.
How are you managing?