Daily Thoughts,  Mindfulness

Notes from an Asthmatic with Anxiety during a Coronavirus Outbreak

My sweetie, she doesn’t always get my sense of humor. Or she does, but judges it at times either worthy of a groan or the evil eye. Lately, it’s been more the latter, with a good bit of ‘take it back’ thrown in. The reason is the topic: being an asthmatic during a respiratory virus outbreak.

I swear to the flying spaghetti monster that if NPR mentions one more time how people with preexisting conditions are effectively screwed and might as well toss themselves on the Black Plague cart (insert Monty Python joke here…”I’m not dead!”) I’m going to, well, I mean, I dunno, write a very firmly worded complaint. I’ll even toss in a gosh darnit.

Really, we get it. But for the sake of my mother, my wife, and my blood pressure, can we maybe level out the panic inducing sensationalist media language about this just a bit? I get that we’re in a world where the weather channel will have an all day live-cast about a sturdy thunderstorm, with guest anchor The Rock and lots of swooping hand gestures, for the sake of ratings, but it’s really only showing your privilege as a non-potential-star trek-red shirt (don’t get the reference? spoiler: they always get eaten by the aliens on away missions) when you say things like, and I paraphrase, “Don’t worry, only old people and sick people are at risk of dying of this otherwise extremely contagious but survivable plague, so we’ll be fine, as long as you’re not old or already sick.”

Frankly, as a middle aged severe asthmatic (oh god, I’m middle aged…), I’m starting to get a bit annoyed.

So, to those out there who also have loved ones who are either old, or otherwise health compromised, here are a few tips.

• When said loved one starts making jokes about being a red shirt on Star Trek, or more preferably the heroic captain who always seems to make a comeback from the brink of whatever, or starts quoting Monty Python (I don’t want to go in the cart!), don’t get annoyed, or even mad, and ask them to take it back and how dare they make such an off taste joke, etc. Understand that the alternative is to let the anxiety monster win, and the anxiety monster never brings cookies and steals all the fruit punch.

Actually, that’s really the only tip. That, and understand that it’s pretty likely that however stressed out you are about their health, they’re very likely 100x more stressed out, even if they’re not showing it.

And seriously, media people, chill with the zombie apocalypse crap. Yes, this is serious (trust me, we totally know that one), yes, this needs to be covered, but acting as if we’re all in the game Contagion and Rick or Brad or some other strapping zombie killing hero is about to strut all manly into the picture, and actually saying the words “a threat to our species” (no really, they said that), is only causing an radically unhelpful panic and an economical disaster which was exactly what we didn’t need as we dealt with a health disaster. Also, again, not good for my blood pressure.

Also, this might be a good time to buy some stock in hand sanitizer companies. Also I used a random picture of something pretty because even I realized how off-color it would have been to use a still from the bring out your dead scene in Monty Python (but funny!) Also, I’m hoping this post will go viral. 😃

[Note: Thanks everyone for being patient with that prolonged break. Jalopy Rocket is back and will be on a regular-ish schedule again. Well, as regular as we get.]



  • jorgeibanez

    glad you mentioned it.
    Just yesterday a friend tried to reassure me by pointing out that it was mainly dangerous to old folks, like you mentioned.
    i did inquire if he had noticed the plentiful gray hairs on his beard or if had noticed mine.
    ‘Are you still taking your dose of Denialex with your breakfast?’

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