As an autistic writer who works from home, it’s obviously easier for me to socially isolate than many sections of society. On the other hand, with support workers coming in to help me with my activities of daily living, I’m not immune from exposure – especially when some of my support workers are freaking imbeciles.
After an hour with my support worker this morning, she said, ‘Oh, I probably shouldn’t say this, but my partner’s daughter had a temperature at the weekend.’
‘It’s alright, it turned out to be a cold.’
How do you know that?
‘Because it was just a cold.’
Did you have her tested?
So how could you possibly know that?
She looked at me like I was dumb. ‘Er, because I know the difference between a cold and coronavirus.’
Oh. You ‘know’. That’s pretty diagnostic.
‘Well, she could hold her breath for ten seconds, so it couldn’t have been coronavirus.’
Because she could hold her breath?
Are you a fucking idiot?
You should be in isolation for two weeks.
‘For a cold?’
Because you could be infected with coronavirus!
‘I’m not infected, I feel fine.’
Many cases are asymptomatic. That means no symptoms. But that doesn’t stop you carrying it around and infecting the people you meet.
‘But she had a sniffle.’
‘Yeah, and you don’t get a sniffle with coronavirus – you get a dry cough.’
Up to a third of cases cough up mucus. A third.
‘Oh. Well I didn’t know that.’
It’s your job to know! It’s everyone’s job to know! And if she had a temperature, you’re supposed to isolate the whole household. You’re meant to stay inside for two weeks.
‘Well, I know it wasn’t the coronavirus – it was just a cold.’
So, despite the government asking us only yesterday to remain isolated inside our homes for two weeks if anybody in the household has a temperature, she’s freely wandering around, potentially spreading it to all and sundry like Typhoid Mary. She’s probably right, and it was just a cold, but that’s hardly the point. The fact is, we don’t know if there’s coronavirus in her household or not, and that’s why we all have to take responsibility.
Dear Lord, if this is how seriously people are taking this, we’re all doomed.
(For the results of some studies into coronavirus symptoms, click here).