As the corona virus pandemic continues to make its rounds, I strongly suggest that other states and cities learn from the East Coast. As you watch the news it may appear as if you are witnessing an optical illusion. New York City streets, namely the infamous Times Square that has been brimming with life since the early days of the city, now eerily desolate.
You see the cars lined up for hours filled with anxious people seeking testing at mobile sites. There are stories of weary medical and health care professionals, working passionately to save lives even if it means compromising their own. There is mandated social distancing enforced by local police departments. There are also grim images of human remains being stored in 53-foot mobile freezers, highlighting the severity of this crisis. Countless celebrities have come forward disclosing their status…and those are the fortunate ones. What we know for sure is this emergency is not selective. It impacts people just like us regardless of income, social status, or other demographic descriptors.
As scientist, doctors, and other scholars work around the clock to understand this virus and identify a cure or remedy, what we do know is this: this is not a game. This is not a drill.
There are people who wash their hands regularly, and still contracted this virus. There are people who observed many of the precautions as dictated by the CDC and other health organizations, and they too tested positive for COVID-19. Do I say this to alarm you? No. Should you throw your hands up in apathy? Unequivocally not!
What you can do is adapt to this new way of being, interacting, and living for now. It is be responsible and accountable for our own actions to the highest extent. If you are feeling unwell and interact with other people, if you are symptomatic, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms, or diagnosed with the corona virus, you have the potential to affect every person you encounter.
By staying indoors as much as possible, you minimize the risk of inadvertently infecting as well as being infected unintentionally. Think on it this way-if you are in your neighborhood (at the store, running errands), you are likely to encounter someone that you know at least once. If either party has the corona virus, it is almost certain that each person will encounter more people thereby creating a domino effect. Sometimes we are fanatically trying to avoid strangers, that we forget that everyone is a part of a circle that interacts with other circles.
All of this indeed sounds like common sense (because it is), however, there is an old and trusted adage about false assumptions around common sense.
My other tip is to strategically buy household essentials versus panic buying. Now is also the time for everyone to play nicely in the proverbial sandbox (while maintaining the prescribed social distancing standards, of course.) As there is no known immediate resolution, any one of us could be forced to knock on a neighbor’s door for coffee, sugar, milk, rice, or toilet tissue (paper)…literally.
My final point is I know a fair amount of people who have had or have tested positive for COVID-19. And guess what? They are alive. They are THRIVING. They are at home taking care of themselves and their health. There are those who are working-business as usual, in public spaces, while taking as much precaution as one can under the circumstances.
In the cases that I am aware of, these amazing people are going to be okay.
As I optimistically hope and affirm that all of us will be.
Please remember that your individual actions matter now more than ever.
Be careful out there.