N.

United States

i've never been one for theatrics, and yet...

september 2018 - august 2020

if i can't escape my fate, then i will make myself a story

Message to Readers

be safe, wash your hands, distance yourself from others. and, needless to say, wEar A maSk. (i only said it fifty seven times in the piece)

and yes, i will be republishing this piece many times because i’m tired of people spreading misinformation! ~teehee~

and as usual, feel free to get angry and argue about my writing. i live for debates. just come at me with credible information :)

common negative responses to coronavirus measures and why they're factually incorrect!

July 9, 2020

FREE WRITING

32
 due to an uptick in real-life and online personalities refusing to take the covid-19 pandemic seriously, and because of my own growing anxiety, i’ve decided to post an informational piece about the virus, told in the only way i can tell it: with snark and sarcasm. 

it's big brain time, lads.

but first, let’s see a few numbers. for reference, these are based on u.s. statistics because that is where i live (and because we are currently #winning the race for most covid cases and deaths- hurrah, america)

roughly 134,000 americans have died from covid-19
    -currently, that accounts for nearly a whole quarter of worldwide covid deaths
    -this is just a number. here’s a small reference: my high school has about 1600 total students. enough americans have died from the virus to fill my high school 84 times over. my school’s stadium, which seats 7500 people, could be filled 18 times over with american covid victims.

over 3 million americans have been officially diagnosed with covid-19
    -the estimated amount of infected americans is much higher; this is not reflected because of ineffective testing
    - 3 million people is comparable to the entire population of nevada, or about half of the population of indiana (or maryland or missouri) 
    - 3 million people is a little less than 1% of the entire u.s. population

models, research, and analysis of other countries have shown that widespread mask-wearing could cause new covid cases to plummet by 80%
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now, some common phrases you may have heard (or maybe even said yourself!):

“it’s just like the flu! it can't be that hard to treat/recover from!”

well yes, but actually no. it is true to say that generally, covid-19 will cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, fatigue, aches, trouble breathing...etc etc. but there's more nuance than that. a coronavirus does not have the same structure as an influenza virus, which affects treatability. a vaccine that can prevent flu infection will have no effect on covid-19, obviously.

covid-19 is a brand new virus, which means no one has immunity built up; this means the disease spreads much, much more quickly and can become gravely serious just as quickly.

 in addition to this, symptoms from covid-19 can quickly become serious. or, on the flip side, an individual could have covid-19 and not even know it- that means they're asymptomatic. an asymptomatic person can unknowingly spread the disease to dozens of people; this is why it is crucial to wear a mask in public, even if you don't feel sick.

but, lest you forget, the influenza virus can also be deadly, especially for the elderly, children, immune-compromised people, and pregnant people. not everyone recovers from the flu, either.

tl:dr: the only thing truly similar is the symptoms; covid is new, more contagious, and more deadly than the flu, and oftentimes, patients do not show symptoms.
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“the seasonal flu has killed more people, but we’re not quarantining over that!”

covid-19 is far more deadly. in the past flu season, an estimated 36 million americans contracted influenza between october and april. only an estimated 34,000 patients died from their symptoms. in comparison, an estimated 3 million americans have contracted covid-19 between march and july, and an estimated 134,000 patients have died from their symptoms.

this means roughly 4.4% of covid patients have died from contracting the disease, vs. about 0.09% of influenza patients in the past season*

so no, influenza is not more deadly (and it's also less contagious!).

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“they told us that masks wouldn’t help in the beginning, so why do we need them now?”

i'm not going into huge detail on this one because a) it's not a common argument anymore and b) it's just. dumb.

here's the main reason why: as we all know, americans like to panic-buy. we all remember the spending spree on toilet paper back in march and april. the u.s. had a shortage of ppe because we were woefully under-prepared for a pandemic; n95 masks are generally accepted as the most effective masks to stop the spread of covid-19. however, authorities didn't want to see non-healthcare workers stockpiling n95 masks for personal use and for inflated resale. however, soon after the pandemic started and the initial wave of panic subdued, masks, whether homemade or store bought, became recommended by medical professionals and wearing one in public should be the norm.

so, yeah. you still need to wear a mask.

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“why do i have to wear a mask if everyone else is already wearing them?”

well, that's the issue. most people aren't wearing a mask (depending on where you live in the u.s. of course). where i live, only a quarter to a third of people wear masks in public-most don't bother. many who do wear masks don't cover their nose- which completely negates the purpose of it in the first place.

we cannot rely on others to wear their masks. in the words of my driving instructor robin, humans are a selfish and impatient species. if you're depending on others to wear their masks so you don't have to, you might as well start licking airplane toilet seats and post it on tik tok. if you were inside a burning building, would you sit and wait for someone to show up and save you, or would you at least try to take matters into your own hands first?

it's not that big of a deal. put your mask on, wear it properly, and shut up. children could do it. children already do it.

and here's the tea: a mask is currently the best and only defense against covid-19 (in addition to hand-washing and distancing of course). we do not have a vaccine yet (and lord knows there'll be plenty of people who refuse the vaccine when the time comes...), so the best way to slow the spread of infection in public is to wear a mask. if we all wore masks- or at least, if the grand majority of us did -we'd have pseudo-herd immunity. as we all know, wearing a mask will keep your breath and all potential contagions from spreading to others. if everyone is keeping their germs to themselves, disease is less likely to spread. herd immunity is a simple concept, and one explained well (and humorously) in a video shared with me by the ever-lovely, ever-australian Anha. find the video here.

but many people in the u.s. opt to not wear them. when mask-wearers only account for 40-50% of the public population, herd immunity might as well be nonexistent. remember, the point of the mask is not to stop you from contracting the virus; it is to stop you from potentially spreading it. it is very common to have the virus without having symptoms. your mask could mean the difference between life and death for someone else. 

tl:dr: most people don't wear masks or don't wear them properly; you must rely on yourself before you rely on others; herd immunity only works when most people are taking action to slow the spread of disease.

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“my body, my choice.”

haha, good one, i see what you did there.

but with jokes aside, no, this response doesn’t hold up. “my body, my choice” is a phrase used by pro-choice activists who believe that they have the right to a safe abortion should they choose to terminate a pregnancy. 

why doesn’t it apply to wearing a mask in public? well, first off, you’re comparing a mask to a pregnancy. you wear a mask for, at most, a few hours while in public to reduce your chances of spreading or catching the coronavirus. even if you don’t want to wear it, you will not suffer adverse health effects from wearing it. i promise. 

when a person is pregnant, they are carrying a child for nine months (or, roughly 6500 hours) and the various mental, emotional, and physical effects of a pregnancy (such as hormone imbalances, back and ankle pain, strong emotions, etc.) accompany them throughout the entire pregnancy and afterwards. there is no break from these side effects, and when a person cannot physically or emotionally withstand those side effects or did not consent to becoming pregnant, they deserve autonomy over their body and the right to make the decision that is best for them. 

also, a fun little note! as many people who make this argument are so apt to point out that abortion is child murder, i think it should be noted that one of the most at-risk groups for covid-19 is pregnant people. so, by wearing a mask in public, you could be saving the life of an unborn child and its parent. but it’s your choice, of course!

tl:dr:  a child is forever, and a mask is temporary. there are adverse health effects from children, negligible health effects from wearing a mask (but many from not wearing one!)

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but it’s hard/dangerous to breathe through a mask!” 

yeah, that’s like, the whole point. it’s not really supposed to be easy. a mask is meant to act as a filter; it mainly catches your (potentially) dangerous breath and is minorly capable of blocking others’ (potentially) dangerous breath. covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, meaning whenever someone sneezes, coughs, or speaks, they have the potential to spread disease. your mask acts as a barrier, and if you are able to breathe as normal through a mask, then your mask probably isn’t doing its job well. It’s recommended that a cloth mask should be at least two layers thick. 

additionally, most doctors agree that the majority of people will not be wearing a mask long enough for the lack of air flow to become dangerous, especially when the individual is given time to remove their mask for a few moments. there is no evidence to suggest that regular cloth masks will restrict breathing to the point where it will adversely affect blood chemistry. frankly, it’s more dangerous to not wear a mask, as covid-19 is notorious for causing respiratory issues. 

tl:dr: masks are meant to catch respiratory droplets, which, yes, will make it more difficult to breathe, but there is no proof that wearing a normal mask is dangerous, even if worn for extended periods. the alternative is much worse.

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“the coronavirus is liberal propaganda!”

well shit, you got ‘em. go get those dirty communists, buddy, just don’t forget your tinfoil hat.

(in actuality, can we please not politicize a fucking virus. it’s a virus, you guys, it didn’t vote for hillary in 2016 and it’s not voting for biden in 2020. It’s just killing people, and it will continue to kill people en masse until we slow the spread and put a stop to it. none of us asked for this, none of us wanted it. stop acting like we did. mike dewine (ohio governor) is conservative as all get out and he’s been one of the biggest proponents of mask-wearing and social distancing that i’ve seen in this hell-state. it’s not about parties, it’s about people.)

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now, why am i wearing a mask? why am i taking distancing seriously? i’m 16, almost 17 years old. i eat (relatively) healthy. i’m an athlete. i have no health issues beyond seasonal allergies and a slightly weak left leg. i’m the picture of good health- surely i could survive a bout of covid? 

my father is in his fifties, overweight, and suffers from sleep apnea (a breathing disorder!) 

my mother is also in her fifties, and is a recent survivor of breast cancer and is still taking immune-suppressing medicine. 

this puts both of them in the high-risk category for covid infection. could i survive the coronavirus? most likely. could my parents? that’s something i’d rather not find out. 

but hey, it’s your choice.
*these are my own calculations, and they are very rough calculations. when calculating mortality rate, a lot of things need to be taken into account, and i simply do not have the time, skill, or data to do so. however, these numbers do show the basic fact: covid-19 is more deadly than influenza and should be taken seriously.

sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus-face-masks#1
https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/does-wearing-face-mask-increase-co2-levels
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswestfall/2020/05/12/new-study-shows-80-percent-decrease-in-covid-19-cases/#39f14b04f59f
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/types.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/502890-fauci-why-the-public-wasnt-told-to-wear-masks

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  • July 9, 2020 - 7:01pm (Now Viewing)

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13 Comments
  • asta

    (but in all seriousness, thank you for writing this. it's so important to know.)


    5 months ago
  • asta

    you forgot to mention it's actually a bioweapon developed by china to spread their communist agenda! get your facts straight, you whiny sjw >:(


    5 months ago
  • Wicked!

    "told in the only way i can tell it: with snark and sarcasm." The best way of them all ;)
    Thank you for taking the time to write this!


    5 months ago
  • jun lei

    this was thoroughly researched and humorously written. and! you listed your sources for those uNcErTaIn individuals. you're a fucking queen.


    5 months ago
  • journal.scribbles

    Thank you thank you thank you. This needed to be said.


    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    3 million infected Americans?? that honestly surprised me - i know the US has a large population but 3 million is still an insanely high number. this is the perfect blend of informative and personal arguments, although it's sad that covid is even something people (other than scientists) have to argue about - it should be common sense to do anything that can protect others. to even politicise this is disheartening, people are dying and i saw some conservatives are saying it's a hoax? this is something all Americans should read.


    5 months ago
  • poetri

    LiBeRaL pRoPaGaNdA?! aight mate they got me, time to head out.
    yeah, right. watch them say it then get corona because of their refusal to follow basic rules and then maybe they'll listen. it isn't "liberal". it's survival. tee-the-heck-hee to anyone who disagrees.
    oh sry for the repost btw, i was afraid someone might come at my language in the original lol


    5 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    OH MY GOD YES THANK YOU (yes citations!!!) loved this piece because for the love of all that is holy people don't seem to have an ounce of common sense. loved your snark too, wow. thank you. THANK YOU-

    btw, would you be terribly opposed to me linking this piece in my message box? :)


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    “the coronavirus is liberal propaganda!” but N. they got us :( what’re we supposed to do now, now that our agenda has been exposed? :’( i guess us dirty communists have to head on back to russia 3 (for legal reasons this is a joke for all the worried conservatives of wtw)
    okay no, but seriously, this whole piece was so needed. it was full of fact (and citing your sources, woohoo!) while also being very humorous due to your snark and much-enjoyed sarcasm (i just love reading your writing “voice”—it’s such a delight, if that makes any sense.) both of my parents are doctors and they have been SAYING since the VERYYYY BEGINNINGG to wear a DANG MASK. and now look at the u.s.!!! as expected!!! we suck!! my father has to see sick patients daily (he’s quarantined and i haven’t been in the same room as him for months now) and my mother is an immunocompromised breast cancer survivor so yay! high risk! also, something i’ve shamefully not fact-checked but came from my father’s office: i believe he said that though you may be healthy, contracting COVID-19 has a long-term impact on your lungs regardless. so. yeah. wear a mask, kids. and thank you as always, Wtw’s resident Athena, for this! <3 hope you’re staying safe! much love!! <3 <3 <3


    5 months ago
  • naomi ling

    this is MUCH needed. thank you. i almost wanna screenshot this for my insta story.. anger some folks around there :"))


    5 months ago
  • the contrarian

    Yes, thank you. I've seen so many idiots (read: Mike Pence and others) post dumb shit on Twitter like "It's so hard for me to breathe through a mask." Like. Okay, Michael. Try harder next time. You'll figure it out.


    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I agree with EVERYTHING you said (wrote) about COVID-19 here! Mask wearing is needed, even if you don't like it! Thank you so much for writing this!


    5 months ago
  • Dmoral

    such a sassy title, gosh, i love it! and citing your sources, like, uh, YES


    5 months ago