Our Colicky COVID World: Stop being a Baby and Wear Your Mask
June 28, 2020
My name is Dr. Plastic Picker and I am so mad at the world right now. I am mad at anti-maskers. I am mad at our national leadership. I am mad at every adult on Facebook that shared COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Yes, this is America and you have free speech. But you are also an adult, and as an adult you have to watch what you say as your words have consequences. All those words and Facebook memes have sowed doubt into our country and has fueled the spread of COVID-19. We are entering another wave of this pandemic.
COVID-19 is causing increased placental abruptions and third trimester losses. Anecdotally the Ob-Gyns have noticed this. It causes heart failure and a post-infectious inflammatory multisystem process that affects children. I have taken care of children with Kawasaki’s disease and this is Kawasaki’s disease without the ethnic preference for Asians and on steroids. We have seen it in our clinic, and more are on the way. COVID-19 also kills adults the old fashioned way – when you get it. Those adults can be of any age, but mostly are our most vulnerable. A friend’s father died. A college friend’s beloved aunt and uncle have died. A friend who is a plastic surgeon in New Jersey described to me refrigerated trucks that were full storing corpses in the Bronx. I have a college friend who is a pulmonologist in a COVID-19 unit in New York City who had to send her children away for several weeks at New York’s peak. Last Friday in clinic, I spoke to many patients who have grandparents in the ICU.
If you are not wearing a mask, you are selfish. If you are not keeping your distance from others that may be taking their one walk around the neighborhood, you are thoughtless. If you are traveling for a make-believe essential reason which is just that you are bored, do you really think you aren’t fueling this epidemic? You are like a colicky baby. And when you traveled to that foreign destination and they put you under mandatory quarantine for 14 days because you were coming from the epicenter of the US. What were you thinking? I apologize to those colicky babies, because they don’t deserve to be compared to anti-maskers. They are innocent and just trying to deal with this new world that they have been born. But indeed, anti-maskers are like colicky babies. You live in a first world country and have electricity, water and somewhat clean air to breath. You are not starving. You have access to some kind of medical care. But poor you, you can’t travel. You can’t see your friends. And you refuse to wear a mask.
And for those of you who refuse to wear a mask, you are being a baby. You refuse to be an adult. And at some point, you have to grow up and this is your opportunity to start setting a good example and put a mask on and heed public health advice.
For the rest of our readership who are responsible adults and responsible families, this is for you. To my little patients and their families, the ones with Down snydrome, rare rheumatologic disorders on immuosuppression and the ones going through chemotherapy who are hunkered at home and wearing their masks but also trying to make sense of this selfish world – Dr. Plastic Picker and your nurse are frustrated as well. This COVID-19 thing that is going on, is going on much longer due to forces that we cannot control. This COVID-19 thing is lasting longer than I thought. Dr. Plastic Picker and your nurse are wearing double masks, faceshield, and pretty much are just going to work and going home. We are doing okay, so do not worry about us. We are pretty well protected at work. And when you need us, we will be here to take care of you the best that we can.
These are some COVID-19 updates from the most recent infectious diseases talks that Dr. Plastic Picker attended.
- Unless you were very sick with COVID-19, we do not know if mild infections or asymptomatic infections or if those with positive serologies – actually have any long lasting protections. This is why Dr. Plastic Picker has not ordered any serologic testing and I think they are a waste right now. “This data indicates the risk of using COVID-19 immunity passports and support prolongation of public health interventions, including social distancing, hygiene, isolation of high-risk groups and widespread testing.”
- Dining in At Restauraunts and Large Family Gatherings are Dangerous: Transmission is happening in restauraunts and at large home gatherings. Think of it. You have to take your mask off to eat and there are a lot of people in the room. In one study they contact traced COVID-19 spread from one individual eating in an encloseed restaurant and 10 out of 83 patrons were infected. They were mostly those that were sitting near where the air conditioning was recirculating air.
- If you have to have restaurant food, consider curbside pick up. Cooking at home is the safest. Cooking vegan would be the best! This is how our household is getting our novelty with food these days. I will post something about my new Vegan Goals this week. But for everyone who is needlessly suffering because you need that gourmet New York Style pizza – curbside pick up is safest.
- It’s not really spread through surfaces. Still wash your hands several times well, especially after going to the bathroom and before you eat. I wash my hands probably 20 times a day, but I always did that. COVID-19 is not spread by reusable shopping bags, and thank goodness our local organic grocer is allowing those back. You can stop wiping down your groceries and please don’t drink hand sanitizer. I can’t believe I even need to type that. Per Pediatric Infectious Disease this is how long it lives on surfaces.
Dr. Plastic Picker feels much better after writing this post. I needed to put this statement out there and to remind everyone who considers themselves a responsible adult to wear a mask. In our household we are going further. We are still outside of work remaining with our immediate household. My mother wanted us to come over for pizza, and I told her that was insanity. I think that influenced the rest of my family not to gather. We are not planning on traveling this summer at all. I need to convince my own father to cancel a not necessary business trip to Arizona. Our kids are only in virtual camps and our school has indicated that one of our daughter’s courses may be in person toward the end of the summer. I think this is unlikely to go forward given the rising COVID-19 numbers. But if our school goes forward with this, we will pull her out of camp. We have two high risk grandparents at home.
It is 720Am and Dr. Plastic Picker needs to go to work now and see actual patients. I am grateful for so much in life and this world. I am grateful for friends and loved ones, even the anti-maskers. I am grateful to have meaningful work, even if it’s frustrating in the middle of a pandemic. And I am grateful for my family. But I have come to realize that I have been blessed in life because I am generally a happy person and perhaps it’s positivity and humour that will convince our world to wear a mask and also maybe stop the plastic pollution entering our oceans.
This is the last time I was stressed about COVID-19, and wrote a call to arms for tween and teens to seize the mantel of national leadership. https://drplasticpicker.com/let-2020s-failure-be-a-reminder-for-you-you-are-a-leader-our-world-needs/