It’s Impossible

Here’s how I think it could happen.

Covid-free Arby employees show up for work. The doors to the restaurant are locked from the inside and no customers enter. Only the drive-thru window is open.

The Covid-free employees go about their jobs, cooking and handing out orders through the window. The manager is a hard ass and he’s making sure everyone is keeping their hands clean and wearing gloves. But at some point a customer who is not aware that he is infected pulls up to the window and hands his debit card in.

The employee manning the drive-thru window takes the card, runs it through the machine, puts the card down on the counter, presses some buttons on the machine, and then hands the card back out to the customer. The employee hands the customer his order and the customer drives away.

From there, the virus spreads to every employee in the restaurant, including whoever put my roast beef & cheddar and turkey sandwiches together, and whoever filled my drink and packed my order into the bag. Then DoorDasher Steven B. arrives in his racecar and picks up my order. Now Steven B. has the virus too, and it’s in his car.

Steven B. gets to my house in about ten minutes. He leaves the order on my porch, snaps a picture, jumps in his racecar, sends the picture and drives off.

Here is my recollection of what happened after that.

My phone has an extra loud chime so I’m sure to hear it. I picked up my phone and saw the picture from Steven B. My first thought was the dogs that I sometimes see roaming the neighborhood and I didn’t want them to get my supper. I quickly went to the door and brought my order in. I took the order into the kitchen and put it on the counter.

I was impressed with how quickly Steven B. delivered my food. There are many times when I order through DoorDash and it takes them more than 45 minutes to get my order to me. Steven B. had me my order in under twenty minutes. I decided to type a reply to him and let him know how fast he was.

I type slow on my phone because my vision is terrible and my fingers are big. While typing, I came to realize that I’m repeatedly moving my hand from my phone to my face, mainly to rub my palm over my eye, because my eyes tend to irritate me and I have a habit of touching my face. It occurred to me that I had just handled this stuff from Arby’s and I had not washed my hands yet.

I sent my message, and then I got everything out of the bag and threw the bag in the garbage. Then I washed my hands. I came back to transfer my roast beef sandwich from the cardboard container it came in to a plate from my cupboard. But, in order to do that, I needed to touch the cardboard container. So, if Covid-19 was on the cardboard container, then it got on my sandwich, which then ended up on the plate.

I wasn’t going to wipe down my sandwich and plate with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. I did, however, wipe down the outside of the cup. The straw was in a wrapper, but I didn’t wash my hands after taking the wrapper off the straw and inserting it in the cup. Besides, I’m not sure I could have taken the wrapper off the straw without touching the straw at the same time, and I wasn’t going to use Clorox wipes on the straw before putting it in my cup.

I ate my sandwich and drank my Coke, and used my phone. At some point, I realized that I never wiped down my phone after sending Steven B. that text. 😟

Speedy Delivery

This picture was sent to me from the DoorDasher who delivered my food from Arby’s in record time. I told him he was fast and that he could drive in NASCAR, and I gave him a 5-star rating.

Previously, I had thought leaving our food deliveries at the door was ridiculous, but now I prefer it that way. At least until this crisis is over. CV-19 is spreading very fast in America. Now we have 100,717 confirmed cases in the US. 3,657 of those cases are Michigan. 92 Michiganders have died. Those numbers will probably be tripled next week.

I doubt this virus could take me down, but at the same time, I would rather not have to deal with it. And I certainly don’t want to be one to pass it on to someone else. I would like to be someone who manages to sidestep this sucker, just for sport. We’ll see if I accomplish that feat.

I was skeptical about ordering food, but I really didn’t feel like cooking today. I’m just going to hope the employees at Arby’s are taking CV-19 seriously and that they took the necessary measures to assure no bat DNA ended up on any part of my order. I did my part the best I could, which probably wasn’t very good.


We’re on a shelter-in-place order for three weeks. I can do that. Just hope I’m able to get the supplies when I need them. I’ll try to have faith that the situation will be better at the end of three weeks, but it’s hard not to think it’s going to be worse no matter what we do.

Some people are worried about losing their homes. I don’t think mortgage companies are going to be functioning much during this. So, I wouldn’t worry about that. I’m more worried about starving because I’m unable to get food when I run out. Though grocery stores will stay open, I hope I can find everything I need.


My cousin, who works for hospitals as an infection control and prevention specialist, sent this to me today.

Forwarding takeaways from the UCSF COVID-19 town hall this weekend – infectious diseases conference

1. If you’re exposed to COVID, you’re likely to see symptoms in about 2-9 days, with median of 5 days.

2. The common symptoms are acute respiratory distress and fever, often high, which may be intermittent but can be persistent and last over 10 days.

3. Breakdown of cases: About 80% of those who contract COVID only get mildly ill; 14% get hospital-ill, 6-8% critically ill. The mortality rate seems to be between 1-3%, but that needs to be adjusted for age. Mortality is 10-15% over 80, and drops lower for younger cohorts.

4. The bulk of those who fall ill are aged 40-55, with 50 being the median. But being young and healthy (zero medical problems) does NOT rule out serious illness or death; it may just delay the time course to developing significant respiratory illness by about a week or longer.

5. Findings confirm that COVID-19 is spread simply through breathing, even without coughing. It seems unlikely that contact with contaminated surfaces is a primary means of spread: “Don’t forget about hand washing, but if you don’t want to get infected, you can’t be in crowds.”

6. The virus spreads by air and in droplets (sneezing and coughing), but also via fecal-oral transmission. This is where hand washing with soap is key. And try to eat only cooked foods if you didn’t prepare them yourself.

7. COVID likely originated in bats. But for those sharing rumors that COVID came from Chinese people eating them, researchers now believe it went from bats to another animal species before jumping to humans, and that fecal-oral transmission was the likely vector. WASH YOUR HANDS.

8. There are no real treatments for COVID yet. Remdesvir has shown signs of reducing mortality but it is in still in tests, is in short supply and only available under restriction. Steroids, a common treatment for respiratory illness, may make things worse.

9. The terminal phase of COVID is acute respiratory distress, treated by putting patients on a ventilator. We have 160K ventilators in the US. About 1M will need ventilators. Half will die in the first week; survivors stay on for 4 weeks. “We don’t have enough ventilators.”

10. This graphic is scary. Italy is already overwhelmed. Many countries are just days behind Italy on the case curve. The US is actually breaking the curve—because of the Trump admin’s mismanagement of the situation.

11. 40-70% of the US is likely to get the virus. Around 150 million is the UCSF estimate, with a 1% rate of mortality, which means 1.5 million Americans will likely die of this disease in the next 12-18 months. To put this in context: In 2019, 606,880 Americans died of cancer.

12. We are “past containment” at this point, experts say. The massive errors by this administration early on make it impossible to stop the spread—we can only slow it so healthcare can catch up. And no matter what anyone says: We won’t have a vaccine for at least 6 months. All we can do is maintain compassionate care to all!

is on the wrong train.