This is the fourth pandemic of my lifetime. The first emerged in the days of black-and-white television and early surfer films shortly after I emerged squalling indignantly into open atmosphere–smack dab in formative years of the age of computing. I was aware of none of these things going on in the world but I was eventually very taken by Sandra Dee as Gidget.
That first pandemic (H2N2 “Asian flu”) killed at least 1.1 million people world wide and I dodged it. The next pandemic ten years later (1968 H3N2) came in a close second killing 1 million world wide and I somehow dodged that one too. Forty-one years after that I did contract H1N1pdm09 and rode it out alone up here just as my little company was getting started amidst the great bankster/carmaker rescue without knowing I was a pandemic participant. All I lost to that one was my voice for about a week from all the necessary coughing to expel phlegmy aftermath from lungs, but boy did it piss me off to feel so sick for so many days (and so totally crapped on by banksters, carmakers and that nitwit GW Bush).
Now this dandy pandemic has arrived a decade later while a narcissistic brand-focused fool is at the helm of the nation, and I think that instead of having caught hantavirus–as I suspected had been the case in early January (passed by a sneaky dear mouse in the house which I finally managed to kill in a trap)–it may very likely have been a relatively mild case of COVID-19 that snuck up on me. Initially, sudden strange abdominal pain and a shivering chill sent me straight to bed. Weird all-out-of-sorts sensations kept me there for four days with a low-grade fever never rising above 101ºF and more chills. No headaches, sniffles or lung congestion ever developed which made me think it couldn't be influenza. But it happened in early January before news of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak had become mainstream, which means I contracted it on December 23, 2019 during my last trip to town for propane and groceries before Christmas snowfall. Recent news it actually hit the USA earlier than previously thought makes this a strong possibility. Fortunately, if it was a case of COVID-19, there was no 2nd-week crash and I was back up and at it in notably good spirits by then.
I may never know for sure, though, since available antibody tests are still so inaccurate and inaccessible. Regardless, I’ve stayed completely away from people and towns for forty days and nights now, and intend to carry on in isolation here as long as the food supply lasts while keeping tabs on progress of this seemingly unstoppable pandemic as long as my internet connection stays up.
Yesterday, news of New Zealand's victory preventing community spread was encouraging. But breaking news here in the USA of premature business and public space re-openings is pretty somber with models predicting another explosive outbreak spread as a result. Too many ignorant, selfish people are willfully disregarding fervent advice from pandemic experts to continue isolation and distancing. The science-based outlook is very grim indeed.
So, I’m afraid millions will die during this outbreak before it’s over—if it ever is really over. I hope I have already contracted COVID-19 and survived it but prefer not to take chances testing that supposition, and some studies of recovered hosts are indicating I am by no means now immune to SARS-CoV-2. I've enjoyed a decent life through to retirement riding scends of the age of computing on a fascinating career in computer science and information technology while surviving these periodic pandemic scends. I want to keep on riding for a couple more decades in hobby mode–or three decades, if I'm lucky. Maybe four if I'm really really lucky.