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Who knew the world would change?
Patty Leon

Who knew that the whole world would change in a matter of days? I never thought something as simple as a virus could shut down society in the manner that the latest strain of coronavirus did.

But then again viruses are not simple at all. Much like the influenza (flu) virus, coronavirus tends to mutate and develop into a new strain. The problem with coronavirus is that we don’t know enough about it yet to develop a vaccine like we have for the flu. That will take some time and in the meantime, unfortunately, people will die.

Coronavirus was first identified and found in humans as far back as the 1960s. In 2002 the coronavirus morphed into Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) rapidly spreading through China and the world. In 2012 coronavirus once again morphed into Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) spreading across Saudi Arabia and as the name implies the Middle East.

Our current pandemic is from a new strain of coronavirus and has been identified and named COVID-19.

But who knew we would be so ill equipped at handling the distribution of necessary testing and personal protective equipment? I mean seriously, we are months into this pandemic and testing is still sparse and hospital personnel are begging for PPEs and equipment needed to combat the disease. This better be on the after-action review once this all blows over.

Who knew those pesky little bottles of hand sanitizers we would get from attending business networking events would one day be a blessing to have on hand? Also, what happened? Did they stop making this stuff because I ain’t seen or been able to procure a bottle of hand sanitizer, and Lysol spray for that matter, since this whole thing started.

Who knew a line from Seinfeld, “I’m sorry I don’t have a square to spare,” would really be a thing thanks to people hoarding toilet paper? Why toilet paper when diarrhea in coronavirus patients is a symptom that is rare to minimal? This one still baffles me.

Who knew we would start to define new heroes? I don’t know about you but the cashiers, food workers, farmers, postal workers, delivery drivers, truckers, garbage collectors, store clerks and everyone else in the frontlines (especially medical personnel, police and first responders) deserve a big shout out. They are the ones keeping the shelves stocked, supplies restored, people safe and healthy and the country running.

Who knew we were all so creative? We had to adapt on the fly, and we’ve been doing it. People setting up their home offices to work remotely. Teachers educating children through the internet and homeschool. Restauranteurs setting up curbside and take out options to stay afloat. People sewing masks to distribute to hospitals. People making masks from household items to protect themselves and others.

Who knew liquor stores were essential? Okay, yeah, I knew they were, but did you?

Who knew Governor Brian Kemp would tell us all to shelter-in-place and then tease us by opening the beaches? ***crickets*** Yeah, I didn’t understand that either.

Who knew that by staying apart we would still find a way in coming together? This physical/social distancing thing is what we need to do right now to get through this. It’s hard because we are social creatures. But it’s great to see so many people banding together, albeit still apart, to do what is right for the greater good. This pandemic has brought out the best in people. Folks helping the elderly by picking up and delivering their groceries. Folks delivering and handing out food to the needy. Folks supporting and helping those in the frontlines.

I really hope we can continue this trend of caring and watching out for one another when this is all done. Just when will that be?

Who knows.

Leon is a senior editor for the Coastal Courier and managing editor of Liberty Life magazine. 

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