Continuing to share local individuals’ experiences with the Covid-19 virus, and the quarantine orders issued by California state governor Gavin Newsom, Maureen (Mo) Masson worked as a private duty nurse in Los Angeles before joining the Air National Guard to help treat burn patients returning from Vietnam. Her last military assignment was in Desert Shield before retiring in 1992 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
For Masson, the virus came with emotional as well as physical pain.
“I’ve got three events that have colored my life, recently: the loss of a dear friend, Gus, of 40 years whose friendship made me a whole person, (now I’m half); a new knee which has pain, physical limitations and requires some physical therapy; and an undiagnosed pulmonary problem requiring six weeks of inactivity and oxygen 24/7. While I’ve recovered from that illness, it has given me some worry,” Masson says.
“My get up and go spirit has been diminished which has made it easier to be quarantined. TV, computer solitaire, music, newspaper, phone calls have kept me emotionally satisfied. I would like to do my art – oils, pastels – but don’t have the concentration necessary to be able to get it all together which is the same problem with reading a book, of which I have hundreds.
“The grief is never-ending,” she confides, “and I keep thinking of things I have to call Gus about, waiting for him to call or come over. But it’s getting better.
“Being a nurse, I’m smart enough to know that I have to get some physical exercise so I’m walking three miles a day. I realize that it’s imperative to take care not to get sick with a cold or worse. Lack of sleep due to knee pain is getting better.
“I’ve taken great care to be aware of the limitations necessary when with friends, and I’ve decided my once a week dinner at a friend’s home is safe and necessary.”
In a phone call, Mo said that she played 18 holes of golf yesterday. It was one player to a cart and everyone wore masks. Oh, and she shot a 95 after not picking up a club in three months.
After becoming a physician, Daniel Fishbein served as the Chief of the Epidemiology Section and acting Chief of the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Viral Disease, where he led CDC’s efforts on human and animal rabies control and developed expertise in health economics.
In 1991, Fishbein moved to CDC’s Division of International Health where he was the Coordinator of Scientific Studies and then the Associate Chief for Science, training, and assisting young epidemiologists in 18 countries on designing, conducting, and reporting the results of public health investigations.
Retired, Dan validates Masson’s recent outdoor activity.
“While remaining indoors with the people we live with is clearly the best strategy to prevent COVID-19 infections, we all know that, for countless reasons, this is not a viable long-term option,” Fishbein writes.
“As approaches to ease shelter-in-place guidance are discussed, we urge that public health authorities consider the likelihood that, all other things being equal, our chances of getting COVID-19 are lower when we are outdoors than indoors. Even more importantly, we are in many ways much better off outdoors.”