So I was thinking about what the entire world has been thinking about; the Coronavirus. I must admit, when news of the pandemic started gaining more traction, I didn't think much of it or take it as seriously as I obviously should have. I guess I thought America was safe and wouldn't be struck as drastically as places like China or Italy. I thought people were over-reacting and simply giving in to media induced hysteria. After that, I was under the impression that the ONLY demographic that could be negatively, even fatally, effected were elderly people. Then, I learned that immunocomprised individuals were also at risk, which includes people who are diabetic, asthmatic, have cancer, etc. The pieces of the puzzle all came together for me and FINALLY locked into place in my brain when the Governor of Illinois mandated a "shelter-at-home" for the state and as more American cities/states followed suit. I began to pay closer attention to the rising number of cases, the increasing mortality rate, the steadily falling economy, and other factors and news related to COVID-19.
What seemed like a frighteningly disturbing episode of Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone became even more real as the unwelcoming ramifications of this virus began to inch closer and closer to home. It went from news from thousands of miles away to knowing somebody who knows somebody who encountered somebody who was infected to knowing somebody who knows somebody infected to knowing somebody infected to actually losing my former manager/old friend to this seemingly stealthy invader.
I get it now. This is real. It isn't fake news. It isn't just going to fade away suddenly. Hospitals are filling up, resources are running low, people are DYING! But, for some reason folk STILL aren't getting it! We need to stay the (fill in the blank with the most emphatic word that works for you) home!! DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. IF YOUR JOB IS NOT ESSENTIAL, THERE'S NO REASON TO BE OUTSIDE. YES. GET FOOD AND MEDICINE AND NECESSITIES, BUT ANYTHING ELSE CAN WAIT! LIMIT THE TIME SPENT OUTSIDE YOUR OWN RESIDENCE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. STOP VISITING FAMILY AND FRIENDS. DON'T HAVE CHURCH GATHERINGS OR HAPPY HOURS OR BIRTHDAY PARTIES OR SLEEPOVERS OR DATES OR GYM SESSIONS. IF THEY DON'T LIVE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD, CATCH THEM LATER! THINK ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF. BE A PROTECTION AND A HELP TO OUR ELDERLY AND OTHERS WHO MAY BE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO INFECTIONS. IF YOU NEED TO, DROP FOOD OR SUPPLIES OFF TO YOUR LOVED ONES AND THEN SKEEDADDLE!! COUGH AND/OR SNEEZE IN A TISSUE AND IMMEDIATELY THROW THE TISSUE AWAY. CLEAN AND SANITIZE SURFACES. WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER!!
I may not know all the medical terms or may not be able to articulately explain the "flattening of the curve", but I DO know it is better to be safe than sorry. I'm constantly making a conscious effort to do everything within my power to be as safe as possible and am encouraging others to do the same. No, we don't have to live in fear and panic. Pray, have faith, be positive, stay hopeful, etc. All of that can be done while being wise, thoughtful, cautious, patient, and using common sense. You have time. Use it to educate yourself on what's happening around you and why it is important to adhere to social distancing and what it will mean in the long run. Stop being naive and thinking you or those you love are invincible. Be thankful that we live in an age of techonology where there are a plethora of ways to virtually keep in touch with anyone, at any time, in any place. Take advantage of FaceTime or Zoom or Skype or email or texts or Marco Polo or WhatsApp or Instagram voice/video or Facebook voice/video or good old fashioned picking up the phone and placing a call! Get on Al Gore's internet and find all the freebies that are available now; free concerts, free media subscriptions, free workouts, free deliveries, free classes, free tutoring, and more! Journal, read, exercise, meditate, pray, clean, work on your business plan, dream, watch your favorite tv shows or movies, listen to music, sing, dance...whatever you do, STAY THE (BLEEEEEEEEEEP) HOME!