As in the movie, we are at war with an invisible enemy that we can’t see to fight it. It’s impossible to know when we leave the house, if we’re going to happen to breath it in, touch it, and transfer it back into our homes. It could be just one droplet on the gasoline nozzle, the box just delivered to your house, even on your personal mailbox. We don’t know. And there’s no laser gun like in the movie to obliterate it.
We try to put on plastic gloves for the obvious places where the news has warned us about like doorknobs, shopping carts, money, and slot machines. But there are so many more places to encounter this invisible enemy: on the cylinder at the drive up bank window, at the ATM machine, on the blue U.S. Post Office mailbox handle, on the payphone, on the box of cereal just purchased, on the pen at the credit card machine. We almost have to wear plastic gloves whenever we leave the house.
If we get take out food, how do we know if the predator was inside the restaurant floating through the air and landing on our food? We don’t. If we get home delivery of food, how do we know the delivery person didn’t cough the predator onto the bag or pizza box it comes in? We don’t. We almost have to avoid those encounters or wash them down once inside the home. Maybe zap our take-in prepared food in the microwave before eating. It’s unseemly to behave in this manner, but it is the only way to kill the predator.
No more family dinners with your seemingly healthy family. They are one cough away from spreading the invisible enemy unbeknownst to them. They are one hug away from transferring a predator onto your clothing which you’ll touch later. Even though you’ll ask for no handshakes or kisses, that doesn’t stop the predator. It’ll find another way to invade the whole family. It doesn’t care what political party you are with or how old you are. It’s an equal opportunity predator.
With the shelter in place order, we’ll be visiting fewer and fewer public places; but we’ll always need replacement food or medicine. Will this predator be lying in wait for our accidental encounter? Will we be aware of Its presence? Not likely. It can disguise Itself on a family member, even a grandchild. We won’t be able to spot It. This is why we must stay away from our loved ones for a few weeks. The predator will starve as It must live in a human’s cells. With no humans around to attack, It will have nowhere to go. With no cells to invade, It dissipates. It goes away until another time, another year, another place. By then we’ll have the vaccine.