I Was Diagnosed With 4 Heart Conditions by 14 Years Old. Here’s What I’m Doing to Avoid COVID-19 at 30.

It’s alarming how much life can change in just two weeks. Last week, I shared that I had finally booked my two-weeks’ worth of accommodation to travel across the country. This week, I’m not even sure I can make it.

Am I still going? Absolutely. Will it still happen in May? Probably not. Las Vegas is on a 30-day lockdown and several other states and cities have put curfews in place to keep non-essential workers at home. How long will this necessary nationwide madness last? Guesses have ranged from April to August.

Lucky for me, I’m already a homebody. As I joked with a friend who texted me about how bored she was this morning:

Staying home and entertaining myself between exotic and adventurous vacations is my specialty. The less I spend running around Atlanta, the more I have to take me where I want to go.

For this and other reasons, quarantine has not been much different than any other time in my life and I’ve had to make very few changes. I’m happy I can say this, because right now, America is lagging terribly behind other countries when it comes to coronavirus recovery rates.

I tweeted that Saturday night, as of right now, America has reported 414 deaths and recoveries have increased by just two people. Netherland still has no reported recoveries and their death rate has climbed to 180.

As a high-risk person, that means I have to take a few extra precautions. Some of these are things I was doing all along, while others I didn’t do as frequently until now. I’ll add a note at the bottom for comparison with my pre-COVID-19-era life.

1. Working 100% From Home

Even though I quit working full-time hours at my side gig in 2018, I still showed up for just one shift at a different site every week until last Sunday. I did this because getting a loan on a self-employed income is always tricky. However, no loan was worth continuing to work with people who had no respect for time or to risk getting comfy with Miss Rona.

Before COVID-19: I worked from home 5 out of 6 workdays per week. I had an overnight shift at a college dorm in Atlanta every Sunday night.

2. Avoiding Crowded Spaces

When I need to make grocery runs, I go early in the morning when Kroger just swings its doors open. Workers are still restocking shelves and very few people are inside. I also know the busy periods for parks in my neck of the woods and which ones are isolated, so if I want to get some fresh air away from home, I know where to go to avoid people.

Before COVID-19: As a night-owl, my schedule is already the opposite of mainstream schedules, so places were hardly crowded when I went there anyway.

3. Condensing Errands

I had to change my oil, recently. It was a month overdue and when the COVID-19 zombies come running, I want to make sure Seth and I can make it up the hill in my neighborhood to escape! After the oil change, I headed straight to the grocery store. I try to condense all my errands into one day and one trip.

Before COVID-19: I used to leave the house just twice per week anyway: once for the Sunday shift and then gym and all my errands condensed into Tuesday.

4. Disinfecting the Car

While we’re on the topic of errands, I’ll tell you about my car. Seth gets disinfected before and after use every time. If I’m in a rush, I at least disinfect the steering wheel, controls, emergency brake, and gearstick. When I get home and have all the time in the world, seatbelts and the seats are next for cleaning. I used to use Lysol wipes before the hoarders took them all away; now I use a 70% alcohol solution for the interior.

Before COVID-19: I did this on Sundays while on my shift and then again when I got home Monday morning.

5. Discarding Clothes

If I’ve been outside in public spaces, my clothes come right off when I get inside and go into the hamper. I wash my hands as soon as I get in and I don’t sit anywhere or touch anything until the clothes are gone and I’ve taken a shower. I also wash my hair if it wasn’t fully wrapped up.

Before COVID-19: I already had a “no outside clothes inside” rule, so this wasn’t new, but I’m definitely more strict about washing hands as soon as I get inside.

6. Disinfecting the Home

I disinfect my entire workstation every morning before I go to bed. That includes the desk, laptop, my portable monitor, mouse, mouse pad, phone stands — everything. I also disinfect all the doorknobs, light switches, etc. at that time. Last on the list is the kitchen, which also gets a full disinfecting session before bed.

Before COVID-19: I did this once per week on Fridays. I might also clean the doorknobs whenever we take the garbage out.

7. Not Eating Out

My grandfather returned home at the end of February. On his last night in Atlanta, we went to our favorite Asian restaurant and ate ’til kingdom come. That was our last restaurant run. I no longer eat out; even my pre-work Taco Bell run on Sunday nights got cut out. Why? CDC reports that food service workers do not wash their hands as often as they should.

Before COVID-19: I knew this long before COVID-19, but right now it’s not worth the risk. At that time though, I used to treat myself to something after the gym every Tuesday.

8. Reducing Contact With Men

I find American hygiene to be questionable compared to what I’m used to in Jamaica, especially among men. The CDC says that only 65% of American women wash their hands after using a public restroom compared to an even worse figure of 31% for men and I believe it. When we first started dating, my husband asked me why he needs to use soap after peeing! I made him wash his hands every, single time before touching me since. I shipped him off to his mom, so he’s no risk to me.

Before COVID-19: Most of my friends are guys as you’re more likely to find adventurers among men than women. Thankfully, my two best guy friends here are serious hand washers who share my disgust, but … you know … social distancing!

9. Hospital Benefits

One of the big reasons I chose Nevada to move to is because it was one state where I could afford health insurance. There goes that idea at the time I might actually need it most. I’m currently uninsured in the middle of a health crisis. I did, however, recently buy hospital benefits, which will help to subsidize the cost at $1,000 per day up to 30 days if I am ever hospitalized.

Before COVID-19: I didn’t get the hospital benefits until shortly before I booked my trip. At the time, it was more about the risk of a car crash than a virus, but the benefits work either way.

10. Life Insurance

I like to be realistic and chances are, if I get this virus, I will die. One heart condition in the face of COVID-19 is already one too many. I imagine carrying the damage of four is a full-on death threat. So, about a week or so ago, I applied for life insurance. Death is a lot more bearable for those you leave behind when you give them insurance money!

Before COVID-19: I already named my beneficiaries for my bank accounts and investment accounts and will someday get around to writing a will, so this isn’t really new either.

All that said, I’m not living in any constant state of fear. I’m excited about the trip out west and have been proceeding with my plans as though no obstruction has presented itself. I might get lucky! Miss Rona might decide she’s sick of us and then go on her merry way. But, even if she sticks around and I have to push my move dates, that only gives me more time to save.

What are you doing to stay safe during the outbreak? Are you getting bored in quarantine? Share your answers with me below!

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39 thoughts on “I Was Diagnosed With 4 Heart Conditions by 14 Years Old. Here’s What I’m Doing to Avoid COVID-19 at 30.

  1. Wow! 4 conditions??? God, please watch over Alexis! So glad you’ve taken out insurance to help JUST INCASE this virus takes a swipe at you.

    Be safe and healthy, blog-mom!

    1. Supplemental insurance, not health insurance, but yeah…better than nothing. Just trying to lay low out of Miss Roma’s way.

      Be safe and healthy yourself! 🙃

    1. Thanks, hun! I’m hanging in there. How’s the healthcare system holding up back home? I heard Andrews stopped taking COVID-19 patients.

      1. Yup. They don’t have ventilators to manage critically ill patients with Covid so they made that decision. Well.. a whole lot of PR by the Ministry but in reality we’re worried. Not a lot of protective gear in place for us etc. Best thing we can do is shut down the country and ports and try to contain the spread, because if the numbers get out of hand here it won’t end well. Plus, with the criteria required for testing and given the shortage of test supplies, I’m pretty we have at least 2-3x the number of confirmed cases already.

      2. Damn and even with all that, you guys are doing a much better job than in the US. I don’t know how this president has held on to his position for so long. It’s a shame that a country with fewer resources, even per capita…can afford to do what Jamaica has done while America is chilling. Lots of talking and posturing, but aside from state efforts, we haven’t seen much yet.

  2. “I think you don’t give Cali enough credit. It can’t solve everything, but it tries. Freedom is not free” im still here so i think i give cali a lot of credit. just stating facts

    1. I miss the gym as well. Home workouts don’t do anything for me, so I’m not sure what alternative I can turn to!

      1. That is very true! I plan to wake up my old Wii when my foot heals. It’s been swollen for a week now!

      2. A combination of things. I took a long walk in the wrong shoes and heart problems make for poor circulation in the extremities. So every so often, that leads to painful swelling. It finally went down yesterday.

      3. Bunions hurt, don’t they? This is the first my swelling lasted this long!

  3. as for me, life hasnt changed that much.
    i dont need to work so im not to meet many people. since the outbreak and forced isolation came at the same time as a change in the weather, it has been raining most days, i have not been able to do my short trips to take photos and have lunch. also i live in a semi-rural area and my neighbors are much more than a rock throw away. lol

    though i am not a “neat/clean” freak, i have always kept my hands clean and wash/sanitize my clothes and usually wear “inside” clothes when i come in the house. also i dont wear shoes in the house.

    i will hope by may, things will have eased off. but one can only wait and see.

    1. It’s great that you’re taking precautions. I’m surprised by how many people still think this is a hoax or a joke. Will it take a death close to them or their own infection for them to take it seriously?

      I think by May, Nevada will be fine. They shut down early with only 95 cases. That early precaution might pay off. But everywhere in-between might be a problem.

      Health insurance also skyrocketed in Nevada from about $58 to high $200s. Meanwhile, health insurance cost dropped in California. My policy quote was nearly $100 when I checked last year. As of last night, I could get a policy for LITERALLY $10 per month. You can always count on Cali to try to protect its own!

      1. Well I don’t know about California protecting its own. We have the highest gas prices and the highest taxes the highest number of homeless and the highest cost of home I think in the nation.

      2. California is the most populous state in America. Supply and demand dictates that some people are going to get pushed out when areas get crowded. It’s unfortunate, but that’s capitalism.

        High taxes are in place to try to curb capitalism. All socialist societies have high taxes, including Sweden, Germany, Canada, Australia etc. They also have a high standard of living and a high cost of living. That’s how the government is able to subsidize necessities people need, such as food stamps, health care, education and removing the pink tax from feminine products. I think you don’t give Cali enough credit. It can’t solve everything, but it tries. Freedom is not free. 🙂

  4. I’m still on the fence about the clothes thing and haven’t wiped down my car (perhaps I should) and take out has been limited to places where we know the managers (except for one Chinese place which I might nix) but as a person who fits into at least 2 risk categories I’m laying very low or when I have to go out keeping my distance. It pisses me off the ones who are defying orders and just flaunting their stupidity and selfishness which is dangerous to those like us.

    1. Oh, it knew it was you! I wasn’t 100% sure but I recognized the name and the writing style. 😅

      1. No, just kinda the way you hear a friend talking across the room and know it’s them. 😅

    1. Thanks, Ruth. 😅 I started disinfecting the car after working at the new site last summer. Before that, I just did the usual vacuuming inside and washing outside. Would highly recommend keeping hand sanitizer inside at least and wiping down whatever you touch frequently. Don’t use peroxide inside though. It will damage your interior. And don’t use alcohol on the exterior as it might ruin your paint job.

      Netherlands is really struggling. Germany is doing terribly as well. They’re in the worst climate for this.

      1. Yes, I have hand sanitizer in the car, non alcohol. My daughter’s family lives in the Netherlands. Yes, I’m concerned for all of us!! Be well!!

      2. Unfortunately, it needs to be more than 60% alcohol to kill the Coronavirus, so you may want to put another one in there or just use rubbing alcohol.

        I didn’t know that! I hope she stays safe.

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