Updated below (on Sunday, April 5, 2020)
I broke down and just placed an online order for the face mask as modeled above. I’d like to avoid stink eye when I have to go out in public, and if I have to wear a face mask, it’s going to be something unconventional and maybe even mildly humorous…
Every day, more than 1,600 Americans die from cancer and more than 1,700 Americans die from heart disease. Every day. One-hundred thirty Americans die of a drug overdose every day. Ninety Americans die in automobile accidents every day.
Thus far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website as I type this sentence, 6,593 Americans have died in the coronavirus pandemic.
You’re much more likely to die from heart disease or cancer or from some other cause than you are from the coronavirus — yet you probably still smoke, still drink, still eat junk food, still don’t exercise, still are addicted to a prescribed (or otherwise legal) or an illicit drug, still work in a job that exposes you to carcinogens, still drive recklessly (perhaps even drunkenly sometimes), still breathe polluted air, still drink questionable water, etc. (Well, I mean, probably at least one of those things applies to you.)
I’m not saying that the coronavirus is nothing. Especially if you are sick from it or dying of it or if a loved one or even just someone you know (knew…) has died from it, it is a big deal to you. But statistically, so far, anyway, as plagues go, the coronavirus, by comparison, is peanuts.
Don’t get me wrong — the coronavirus is on course to change at least U.S. if not also world history (aside from tanking the U.S. economy and causing record U.S. unemployment, it has really fucked up the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary season, for example), but unless you are in your 60s or older, your chances of dying from the coronavirus are low.
If you are aged zero to age 59, the maximum chance that the virus will kill you is 1.3 percent. If you are 80 or older, you’re at much higher risk — an almost 15 percent risk of dying from the coronavirus should you contract it.
I don’t like wearing face masks, which the CDC now recommends that we do when we must go out in public, especially if social distancing (maintaining six feet from others at all times) is difficult, but I suppose that I will start to wear one if during my next fairly rare outings I get stink eye for not wearing one. (That and no, should I have the virus, and any of us could, I wouldn’t want to give it to anyone else, probably not even to a baby boomer, even though I loathe the fucking baby boomers.)
To that end, I just placed an online order for a non-medical-grade face mask (as pictured by a model above), per the CDC’s new recommendation so that I at least have it already if I feel pressured to wear it.
To be honest, whenever I have seen someone wearing a face mask in public (pre-coronavirus pandemic especially, I mean), I have wondered about his or her mental health, but, as I have noted, the coronavirus already has changed history…
We’re already seeing a lot of coronavirus-pandemic-related firsts, such as, during my lifetime, anyway, restaurants and movie theaters and shopping malls being shut down indefinitely, and so wearing a face mask in public, even though I’d rather not, probably won’t be what kills me.
P.S. “President” Pussygrabber, always setting the best example for the American people, says that he won’t wear a face mask. If that increases his chance of contracting and succumbing to the coronavirus, that’s great.
Update (Sunday, April 5, 2020): The Washington Post reports today:
U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams [today] said the coming week could be a national catastrophe comparable to Pearl Harbor or 9/11, as covid-19 deaths countrywide pushed past 9,200 — more than triple the toll of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Experts say the true count is certainly higher.
Other officials including Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, echoed the grim predictions: “This is going to be a bad week,” Fauci said. …
Right now the CDC’s website puts the coronavirus death count in the United States at 7,616.
Even non-medical face masks are hard to find. The website on which I bought mine yesterday now reports that they have none left.
It is interesting that the United States of America, which “President” Pussygrabber allegedly has made great again, can’t even supply a basic face mask to all of its denizens, even when the CDC has recommended its use.
P.S. Comparisons of the coronavirus pandemic to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor are a bit stupid, in my book. Again, we routinely ignore the often-non-dramatic but very real risks to our mortality, such as drinking, smoking, overeating, over-stress, opioid addiction and even driving or riding in a car.
Indeed, apparently the top 10 causes of death of Americans are as follows (2017 figures):
- Heart disease (23.5 percent of deaths)
- Cancer (21.3 percent of deaths)
- Unintentional injuries/accidents (6 percent)
- Chronic lower respiratory disease (5.7 percent)
- Stroke and cerebrovascular disease (5.2 percent)
- Alzheimer’s disease (4.3 percent)
- Diabetes (3 percent)
- Influenza and pneumonia (2 percent)
- Kidney disease (1.8 percent)
- Suicide (1.7 percent; Per the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017 “Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.”)
These top 10 causes of death are responsible for almost 75 percent of all of the deaths in the United States.