Everything seemed normal for about half a minute while driving on the 401 last night and listening to After Hours by The Weeknd (give it a listen for at least 2 minutes). Traffic on the way to Mississauga was sparse and there was no sign of rush-hour conditions at 5:30 PM on a weekday on North America’s busiest highway. Shocking, really. The drive back felt normal with a lot more vehicles on the road. Perhaps that is why the brain decided to relax and forget about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As of today, March 19th, 2020, there are 80,928 confirmed COVID-19 cases in China, 41,035 in Italy, 18,407 in Iran, 17,963 in Spain, 15,320 in Germany, 11,780 in the United States, 10,995 in France, 8,565 in South Korea, 801 in Canada, and 453 in Pakistan.
Somewhat disappointing that the name COVID-19 is derived from “Coronavirus disease 2019“
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic Wikipedia page was created by Schön Cho on January 5th, 2020 as “2019-2020 China pneumonia outbreak.” My first pandemic related edit was on February 27th when Canada confirmed the first human-to-human transmission in Toronto: Husband of Ontario’s 5th COVID-19 case also tests positive for coronavirus CBC News. By that time the outbreak page had been broken up into monthly timeline pages: December 2019 – January 2020 and February 2020.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. All COVID-19 related pages on Wikipedia were subsequently renamed from outbreak to pandemic. Today, Wikipedia has dedicated pages for each country, and in some cases dedicated state and provincial pages.
My morning routine nowadays is to open the mobile view of the pandemic template page to get a quick overview of how things are around the globe. This is most likely not good for mental health.
There is not much we can do individually apart from following guidelines and instructions from our municipal, provincial, and federal government’s medical health officers:
Practice “social distancing”:
Also, wash your hands. Wash your hands multiple times a day.
These are extraordinary and unprecedented times we’re living in, and hopefully this is a once-in-a-generation event. Everything is surreal and anxiety-inducing and all of it together seems too much.
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen – Lenin
It is important to remember that this too shall pass…
…and we will go outside and we will hug each other and we will have dinner parties and go to movies and do all the things we used to take for granted.
In the meantime, don’t forget to wash your hands.
Seriously, wash your hands.
The title of this post, “this too shall pass,” is a Persian proverb that “reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition.”