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Take off your mask, stand real close, go to a bar....Welcome to Club Dread

Original Fetlife Writing by NC_Saturn

So in this time of pandemic you have gotten tired of staying at home, wearing a mask and generally being told what to do. How could it be bad for me if the government is allowing things to reopen? They wouldn't do it if if wasn't safe for me. Because the government always has my personal interest at heart and is never influenced by political outcome, financial concerns or the expectations of their donors. You always want to hear "Hi, I am from the government. I am here to help you."

Go ahead, rip off those face masks. Go drink a pint at the local bar with 60 or 70 people you don't know. Make sure you get the full experience by sitting elbow to elbow with someone at the bar, or lean across people to place your drink order. Get real close to the person cutting your hair, or doing your nails. Enjoy the movie at the local cinema.

After all that, let me tell you about your all inclusive excursion to Club Dread. After your big time out, you start to have a dry racking cough, body aches, headache, and a fever. You are having a hard time breathing. Your loved ones crowd around you to provide care. Maybe your pregnant partner. your young children, your older parents. They get to see you become so sick you decide to go to the Emergency Department. Once you explain your symptoms, you have a face mask placed and are usually whisked back to a room. You get to have a small brush rammed to the back of your nose and left there for 10 seconds. Most people say it is horrible. You endure IV sticks, oxygen, and lab draws  and an excruciating arterial blood draw and laying on some thin mattress on a gurney for several hours.. Your loved ones are left worrying, because they are not allowed to see you or wait in the waiting room. Finally a harried MD comes in to tell you "you tested positive for covid 19. Your chest xray looks terrible.(BTW ground glass opacity on an xray it not good)You are dehydrated, your labs look bad, your are getting strain put on your heart by the fluid building up in your lungs  and your vital signs are unstable. If your condition deteriorates, you may have to go on a ventilator.  Also your close family contacts should be checked for covid and if symptomatic should contact their primary care MD. As for you, we are going to have to transfer you to the hospital where the covid 19 patients go. You will get specialized care there.

So begins your trip to Club Dread. You wont need your passport or drivers license, just next of kin contacts and your insurance card. You will be cruising at an altitude of about 6 feet in our state of the art critical care ambulance. Your attendants will be dressed in bulky unattractive PPE and will be barely able to hear you. You will probably not have skin to skin contact or see a person's full face for a while. It's not often people get to ride in a $250,000 vehicle.

Your journey continues as you start to feel worse and your breathing becomes more labored. You are taken to ICU and given the full spa treatment. You are wiped down with disinfecting wipes(damn hospital can get them, why cant I?) If you have a hairy chest, you get it partially shaved. If you are a woman your breasts are carefully lifted so you can have EKG electrodes placed. We wouldn't want you to have to move, so we insert a urinary catheter to make this a more relaxing time. Nothing like having 3 or 4 people looking like they escaped a level 3 biohazard lab staring at your crotch and threading a tube in. Don't worry, if you have diarrhea we have a tube for that too.

As you bask in the glow of your 104 degree fever, we will give you meds for that. If it gets too hard to breath, we will give you lots of meds to sedate and paralyze you while we carefully pass a breathing tube down your throat and hook you to one of our state of the art ventilators. We have pharmacists mixing the best chemical cocktails to make your stay less memorable and more comfortable. Your dining needs will be met by a tube passed to your stomach and some of the best tube feedings dietary can supply. Hang tight with us. It's likely you will be on the vent for 7 to 10 days. Your total care will be handled by our highly trained staff. Your comfort and satisfaction and vital signs are our highest concern.

Don't worry about being lonely. You will be able to be the star on the ipad with your family since you cant have visitors. You will always have at least one nurse right there with you, and frequently see your MD.  You will get to lay on your belly for 18 hours a day and on your back for 6. You are probably thinking "I am a human pancake, somebody better flip me soon, I hate laying on my belly'. So about 10 days after your check in at Club Dread, you are better. We pull the breathing tube, and transfer you to another area. You still can't see your family. You are amazed at how weak such comprehensive care has left you.

Well, we hope you have enjoyed your stay at Club Dread. We hope your home contacts got over the Covid 19 you infected them with without too much trouble.

If you have picked one of the less comprehensive Club Dread trips, your experience will vary but likely to include high fevers, body aches, shortness of breath, a severe cough, a never ending headache and lots of time off from work or school.

So go ahead, rip off those face masks, hug some stranger to celebrate your liberation. Party like it's 1999. We always have a spot for you at Club Dread.

Comments to original writing
Well stated. If I may offer one more small tidbit I learned from a few nurses I know. If they have to intubate (install a breathing tube down the throat) the mortality rate is around 80-85%. Basically, if you have to have a breathing tube, you are probably going to die. IS that worth a drink with a bunch of strangers?
@Scubajax67 the statistics our dos say 2 percent need to go to icu and be intimated. Of those 80 to 85 per cent die. Dying of covid usually watching incubated pts gasping for air around the tube while your lungs fill with fluid. Others go into renal failure, you just kind of drift on in a coma even if dialysis is used others have the misfortune to throw fatal clots or have peripheral vascular clots. There has been marginal success with tpa( clot buster.)even if you avoid those things there is pretty bad lung scaring, and you usually need physical rehab. This all goes on without visitors. Even if you don’t get that sick, it is pretty miserable as a med surg patient. Propably worse to go home and deal with symptoms and try to find someone to take care of you. Not to say the sky is falling, but I sure as shit don’t want to get it
It's too bad people don't get a dose of reality watching the news or the White House briefings. All they hear about is the number of infections and number of deaths and then question the accuracy of the numbers fit their own narratives. This virus is nothing to mess around with, as anyone who has had it will tell you. You only mentioned bars. I think you should also encourage people to attend kink venues, at least one of which appears to be re-opening next week.
Sadly, there is no cure for COVID-19. There isn't a cure for stupidity, either. The big problem is that those who are stupid and reckless put everyone else at risk of getting dead from this big!

Each person is responsible for his/her own health; therefore, if you are at high risk, it is YOUR responsibility to take what measures you deem fit for yourself. Said actions do not extend to dictating what others should or should not do.  If you are at high risk now, then you were at high risk during H1N1, and every year during flu season. Do now what you did then.

True, everyone's responsible for their own health.
However, this is not just another flu, the growth rate (heck, think "contagion rate") is much higher, and even if you didn't believe that, with the death toll, it's safer to assume the growth rate is much higher.

That higher growth rate means higher chance of becoming infected from simple grocery store shopping or pharmacy pickup of medications, if others are putting themselves at greater unnecessary risk.
That higher growth rate means higher chance of becoming infected from people who do that shopping for you if you don't feel safe going out, if others are putting themselves at greater unnecessary risk.
That higher growth rate means higher chance of 2nd and 3rd waves of this pandemic potentially overwhelming hospitals, and sooner, if others are putting themselves at greater unnecessary risk.

True, @hypnosisenthusiast doesn't have the right to dictate what others should or should not do, neither do I. But it is incredibly understandable to look on in horror at feeling like people being unsafe in very simple and preventable ways will lead to something horrible happening to you without you being able to prevent it some day, and getting angry and frustrated at that concern is actually remotely realistic.

Thank you for posting this. So much propaganda saying its fake, or not as bad as the reports are saying just frighten me. I've talked to many friends in the medical field and they are exhausted from staying on the front lines of this pandemic. Many aren't even going home but are staying in otherwise closed hotels so they don't risk taking it to their loved ones. That alone should tell us its bad.

I'm high-risk as well and end up on my inhaler this time of year because of allergies to everything blooming. I've also had the flu in the part several years, each time knocks me on my ass for a week or more so I can't even imagine the impact this virus will have. The potential for this virus to devastate each of us physically, emotionally and financially is monstrous.

As a venue owner of @The Loft NC, I take my responsibilities seriously and am staying closed until safer to reopen. Would I love to host a spanking party or put educational demos back on the schedule, hell yes. We had just planned out Rope Bite with @Master_Varii twice a month and never even got the first class done before closing. So much education planned for the year with wonderful presenters from up and down the east coast (yes some have offered to teach online and we ill pursue that as well) all for naught.

I see more big events canceling almost daily while others are still trying to move forward. Which is right and which is not (I won't say wrong because I'm not sure that anyone can tell us that at this time)? Big events have a greater risk potential - fact not fiction, and yes it is up to the individual to make their choice to attend or not. While you may determine that it's an acceptable risk for you to attend, someone else who has been exposed and doesn't know it or is asymptomatic will be there as well with the potential to spread this illness. Think about how many people we each come in contact with at registration for the event or check-in at the hotel? Too many. Now put one infected person in the center of that. Yes social distancing standing 6' apart may help but typically registration for an event like SELF or DomCon or Frolicon would have the line around the block. When is "acceptable risk" not acceptable. For me its when I have the potential to share something or contract something I'd rather not. Sharing is caring but in this I think the opposite is more prudent.

Things that will stick with us for the foreseeable future - social distancing (haven't figured out how to spank with this one yet since not everyone likes a whip), washing hands frequently and thoroughly and wearing face masks. Yes I hope this does pass and we are actually able to hug, physically hug, those we love again soon. We all miss the contact that we so desperately need.

Virtual hugs for now