I don’t have the virus … yet

After a week of self-isolation caused by observing people showing no regard for others in a public gathering (before they were banned) by blowing their nose, wiping it with a hand, walking by hand sanitizer and fixing themselves coffee from a public pot, using spoons for sugar and creamer etc., I needed a few household supplies.

I ventured to the big three markets across from West Florence High. I was the only person in any of the stores wearing a mask and gloves. WHY? Self-preservation and a desire not to spread the virus caused me to wipe down the cart with provided wipes, but there was no hand sanitizer anywhere (except in my pocket). There was no distancing and few products available. The shelves were barren in many areas, and people picked over (with their bare hands) what was there.

I’m not sure why you need a six-month supply of toilet paper for a disease that is pulmonary, not intestinal, but that’s a different issue. I also noted that people around here don’t eat fish or shrimp, as the freezers were loaded with them but little else.

They are saying that disasters bring out the best in people and their communities, but obviously that doesn’t apply around here. Selfish hoarding and wanton disregard for their own health and that of others prevails.

There are not huge numbers of cases here YET, but there will be, as long as we take a cavalier attitude that it can’t happen to us. Social isolation and sanitary behavior are the only things that will contain the spread of COVID-19 until science comes up with an actual vaccine or a PROVEN treatment. Wishful thinking and pipe dreams will not work (see comments and behavior of the president) and, by the way, showing a nurse, handing out prescriptions, while not wearing a mask sends the wrong messages to the community.

When teaching patients about safe sex, I was taught that contact with anyone without protection is like being with everyone they were ever with. The same is true of COVID-19. If you are in close contact with anyone, you are in contact with everyone they were. And don’t forget your ATM, post office, etc., touch screens that aren’t sanitized between users.

We don’t want to be saying “It’s everywhere! It’s everywhere!” but if we don’t do as the CDC, DHEC and others with the facts say, we will be saying it with our last gasps.

HARVEY N. BROWN, MD

Florence