This coronavirus flu pandemic is among the worst flu crises in the past 200 years. Able-body people are forced into quarantine lock downs at home, protective gear, social distancing, and closures of schools and businesses. USA was caught unaware. It was shocking. That includes access to supermarkets. It’s a hysterical situation. Imagine having motor and other disabilities. When those microbes flee and vaccines develop. Most people will gradually normalize. For many people with chronic disability challenges, many challenges that were once somewhat manageable are above and beyond possible.
Quarantines, social distancing, wearing (and finding) protective masks and gloves are large and bitter pills to swallow, even in this digital age. But compared to congestive flu, pneumonia symptoms and death, you deal with it.
When supplies run low, shopping online provides basics but if you have special, dietary needs or seek taste preferences, you may be out of luck. Most people can get to supermarkets and pharmacies that are better supplied and even wait on restrictive lines. People with visual, mobility, emotional, mentally, or otherwise impaired, those challenges are virtually impossible for adaptation.
The global lockdown and social distance is shocking to most people. This Coronavirus pandemic is impacting many lives. For the disabled and for those with chronic mobility challenges, this is even more devastating. Having myotonic muscular dystrophy, lack of accessibility is a permanent condition. Corona virus pandemic attacks the disabled and human civilization with greater than military impunity.
According to statistics gathered by the World Bank, One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. Of course disabilities cover wide ranges and few have been addressed as seriously as coronavirus-19 over the past 4 months.
Confronting dilemmas of coronavirus and disabilities is that disabilities are chronic with no treatments or cures. Acute diseases are the diseases that affects an individual for short span of time. Chronic diseases are the diseases that persist for a long period of time. They develop over a time and does not appear suddenly. For example, Heart disease, kidney disease, neuro-muscular diseases, among others are chronic. Coronavirus is a flu and is acute.
Although acute, and seeming temporary, each year flu can possibly kill many. CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 48.8 million illnesses, more than 22.7 million medical visits, 959,000 hospitalizations, and 79,400 deaths during the 2017–2018 influenza season. The coronavirus-19 (SARS-Cov2) of 2020 far exceeds that. Will microbes eventually be the end of human civilization through repeated attacks from infectious microbes? Each year there is a flu season. Some are prevented with researched vaccines. Each year, though, people around the world die from flu diseases. They may be brief but deadly to some. Coronavirus has demonstrated death tolls around the world. And science research is slow in finding weapons.
In the USA, scientific research is usually neglected. Many studies are small, short, and not representative samples of the population. When we debate health care, thorough research usually isn’t factored.
Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are contagious by contact with air, boards, and other materials. Chronic disabilities are likely in genetic or in-utero. Chronic disabilities are not contagious, other than family blood lines.
Both coronavirus and disabilities can shorten lifespan, depending on severity. Living in a quarantine-like environment such as coronavirus restrictions isn’t unique for those with chronic mobile disabilities. Doing things is just more challenging.
People with chronic disabilities need to adapt to the environment. In New York, I don’t go to stores. I shop online or by phone. The store delivers. Under the coronavirus pandemic, shopping is even more challenging because traveling to stores may be extremely difficult. More online stores have established restrictive policies.
People with disabilities aren’t seniors although many seniors have congestive diseases that can confound or amplify coronavirus symptoms. While death might have been accelerated by coronavirus, there may have been others that suppressed the body’s immune system. Generally, proper nutrition is supportive but not medically accepted.
As an acute disease, Coronavirus and lockdowns restrict access to laundries, barbers, hair salons, nail spas and other personal services that people with disabilities make use of. Yes, people on lockdowns are coping with all these services closed.
COVID stress gets worse as lockdowns become longer. People are required to think out-of-the-box to take care of needs they’ve always taken for granted. They must adapt to new and harsher realities as cases and deaths grow higher each day. They must adapt as soldiers without legitimate authority through lockdowns and mandatory social distancing for an undetermined time. Thank heavens for Internet and unemployment!
But this coronavirus pandemic will pass. Human civilizations will normalize. Economies will surge and lives will become better with achievements and joy.
Yet, for people with chronic disabilities who use wheelchairs, walkers, braces and other accessories for different challenges, restrictions will remain with prayers for some ease with access to foods and services. Of course we’ve adapted to problems with maneuvering and travelling in a world full of obstacles. These challenges are permanent (or can get worse). I am motivated to confront my challenges although many days I succumb to failure. Then try to re-adapt. Thinking out-of-the-box and supportive relationships help.
In a world of bullets and bombs, human civilization must appreciate this coronavirus pandemic as evidence that science research against infectious microbes must not be suppressed. The bible talked about breaking swords and making plowshares. Science, responsible lifestyles, and mutual respect may make a better garden grow, amidst climate change and world pollution.
The endgame, as this coronavirus pandemic passes, is that no lessons were learned. Better, more infectious microbes will evolve and attack every few years. Human civilization and our future generations must learn the chronic war against these infectious microbes and furtherance of overall human wellness. Or face extinction like the Aztecs.
The Biblical Book of Isaiah sheds a utopic view of the world. The famous “swords to plowshares” quote (Isaiah 2:4) is but one of its famous proclamations:
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4).
This goes back nearly 3,000 years. Reference to this or essences appear in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran. What is the plowshare we need?
Methodical microbial research will help human civilization span evolution better. Our economy must rely on research for our selves and future generations. This recent pandemic is far more destructive than bullets and bombs.. We must rethink and examine the prophets and create those plowshares to aid global civilizations on an ever-changing planet. Just because you can’t see the attack coming, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That’s how coronavirus worked this time around.
While climate change and environment are important, generations are best served by research to help prevent pandemics and help the disabled meet challenges with greater dignity and understanding.