We’re living in a very strange time, where we aren’t quite sure what to make of all the information regarding the coronavirus. We’re constantly bombarded with information; some of it is good and sound, while some of it might not be. It’s a very dynamic situation that isn’t just changing day by day, but also minute by minute. I for one am quite grateful for the rapid dissemination of information. Being informed can help you make decisions that are best for you and your families.
Some of us have loved ones who are at a higher risk of getting very ill from this quite terrifying bug. They’re in that scary category of ‘compromised’. Take my family for instance.
Both of my daughters had to have open-heart surgery when they were babies. My oldest also had kidney surgery when she was six. And two plus years ago, my husband had a heart attack. Yes, each of them are in that ‘compromised’ category. Meaning, if they get the worst strain of this virus, it could be deadly. That isn’t a gross exaggeration as has been proven in other countries around the world. And this isn’t something new for us, this ‘compromised’ status. We deal with this every day and especially during flu season. It is magnified a hundred-fold right now because we simply don’t know enough about this nasty bug. What little we do know is quite terrifying.
Sometimes, the world can feel far too large and at other times, far too small. There are times when we might feel like we’re totally alone in the universe, like a meteorite drifting endlessly across the dark sky, just looking for a place to land. Yet at others, it can feel as though we’re crammed in together like sardines. So squished together you struggle to breathe.
We see people fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We see news reports coming out of Italy with death tolls that make me want to weep. Major sporting events not only cancelled, but postponed indefinitely. Colleges sending kids back home to finish the rest of the current academic year with online classes. Book signing events cancelled altogether or rescheduled for the end of the year. Any ‘large’ gatherings of 100 or more people cancelled. Grade schools extending spring breaks to the end of April.
Some people are upset and believe all the cancellations are sheer madness. “Why are you shutting down schools if no one has even been diagnosed with the virus yet?” The answer to that is simple: we’re trying to keep people from getting sick. This is a pandemic we’re dealing with. A virus that has no cure and no vaccine. Sometimes, it just isn’t enough to spray Lysol or bleach down surfaces. Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense.
I encourage each of us to check on our neighbors and offer support whenever possible. If you’re going to the grocery store or Target, see if anyone on your street needs something. Maybe check with local food pantries or homeless shelters to see if they’re in need of anything. Also, be extra kind to those cashiers and workers. It’s not their fault the store ran out of toilet paper. It isn’t their fault the governor just called a state of emergency. It isn’t their fault someone decided to buy fourteen packs of TP.
As we hunker down and practice ‘social distancing’, don’t forget that at the heart of it all, we’re still members of the human race. We really don’t know what battles our neighbors or strangers might be facing. Simply put, be kind to one another. Remember, we’re all in this together. This is affecting every one of us in one way or another. Let’s not get so ‘distant’ from one another that we forget that.
Be kind, be safe, take precautions, wash your hands, and together, we can hopefully help quash the severity of this virus.