Thinking Outside the Box of COVID-19
And How You Will Benefit

One advantage that I have in life is a little oblong white pill that I take every day…religiously. My little pill is Modafinil. While I saw myself as creative and intuitive long before Modafinil, it adds a great deal to my life. It allows me to focus upon an idea without having my mind flit around like some bumblebee going from one flower to the next.

This essay started at Dr. Chen’s office a week ago. I had my annual Medicare physical. Apparently, it requires a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP). Also, I had prostate cancer a dozen years ago and have had PSA blood tests annually. Then Dr. Chen asked is there anything else on your mind. I jumped at that question. I said that I wish that I could get the COVID-19 antibody test, even though I know that they are as rare as hens’ teeth. There were two reasons for my wishful thinking. Several weeks prior, I had a couple of days with what I thought might have been asymptomatic coronavirus. If I had contracted the coronavirus, I would have antibodies.

As fast as I could reply to Dr. Chen’s question about any other matter, he quietly said that I could get one today. Happy day! Off I went to the lab and had three vials of my blood drawn. Two or three days later, I got the results of my BMP, which couldn’t have been better. Everything was within the standard range for someone at my age. A day later, my PSA test came back <0.02 ng/mL Next year will be my tenth anniversary of being free of prostate cancer.

The anticipation of finding out whether I had any COVID-19 antibodies became increasingly exciting. On the following day, I got the results back. I had been happy with the two previous test results, but this one was disappointing. There were no antibodies. There I was wishing that I had had the coronavirus. So, why was I bummed out over not having antibodies? The answer is simple. I couldn’t donate blood to a hospital that would use my blood plasma to treat coronavirus victims.

The coronavirus has killed 75,000 people and is heading for something more than 200,000 when its day in the sun has come and gone. COVID-19 has brought bad news to millions. However, one of the positive side effects is that it has made people more driven to help people. I merely wanted to help some unknown person. We need to think out of the COVID-19 box, because we need each other. There will be many times in life that we will have someone help us. Therefore, we need each other.

Another example of thinking outside the COVID-19 box is thinking about the outside. The air quality throughout the planet has improved greatly. These two photos are of New Delhi. This one was taken on November 3, 2019.

Air pollution

This photo was taken on March 30, 2020.

No air pollution

Cleaner air around the world has resulted due to COVID-19. The drastic reduction in air pollution due to cars and other fossil fuels burning has had a pleasant side effect. We can breathe cleaner air, because there are less greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This photo is of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), which is one of the major pollutants in the world’s air. Nitrogen Dioxide can be seen in the effects of acid rain and poor visibility or haze over major metropolitan areas.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

This photo of Wuhan, China is from NASA and has six parts. The top three panels are from January to February 2019 and the bottom three are from the same dates this year.

NASA’s images

This is of the Northeast part of the US. These two pictures are from NASA. The first picture is of the average Nitrogen Dioxide level from March 2015 to March 2019.

The next picture shows it in March 2020. The reduction was due to sheltering in place due to COVID-19.

More images from NASA

We need to think outside of the COVID-19 box. We need to think about others, because we all live on the same planet and breathe the same air.

Finally, we need to think outside of the COVID-19 box as it relates to healthcare of millions of Americans who are without insurance. They suffer physical and emotional problems because of poverty and racism. COVID-19 has caused many Americans to realize that other Americans are suffering due to the coronavirus. However, to bring it down to a personal level, if some Americans are without financial means to afford healthcare insurance, COVID-19 will disproportionally affect them.

Thinking outside the box will allow the rest of America to realize that having many people in America with the coronavirus will cause the spread to even the wealthiest Americans. If the fortunate Americans have healthcare, we need to supply healthcare to all. If we don’t, we will merely allow COVID-19 to continue to spread. It will continue to hurt our economy and adversely affect all of us. We are in this together, but we need to grasp that reality.

This is one of many videos about clean air and COVID-19.