Yes, we are staying in quarantine, even though our Governor in Colorado has lifted the ‘stay-at-home’ order. Granted, some counties (including mine) are still under ‘stay-at-home’ until May 8. Even when those restrictions are lifted, we are staying in quarantine. While our Governor is touting ‘safer-at-home,’ I still don’t think it’s the right move.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to get back out there and sit at coffee shops and wander mindlessly through Target. I haven’t hugged my mom since March 7 or my soulfriend since December 2019. I want happy hours back on and to walk with my neighbor during her lunch break. I’m supposed to be in Arizona right now, celebrating my sister’s 30th birthday. Our trip to see our BFFs in NYC has been canceled, our work/friend trip to Chicago in June is no more (along with Ravery’s like 57 trips all over the world). I miss them. I want certain things to go back to normal but…
It is mind blowing to me that the ‘administration’ of our country is pushing to open everything back up. I get that the economy is suffering. I feel that. As a small business owner whose business has been 95% halted until large groups can gather again, I get that on a deep level. However, it makes zero sense that we would start opening things back up so quickly when nothing has changed in terms of treatment for COVID-19.
We are going to be right back to where we were. Yes, we have some masks on and yes we all now know how to effectively wash our hands. But with people returning to ‘life as it was,’ I can’t help but
lose my damn mind worry that our somewhat flattened curve will swing upwards again. In the coming weeks, hospitals will be flooded again, there will still be a shortage of PPE for healthcare workers to safely treat patients and there will still be a shortage of respirators.
The mental health of our frontline workers? Don’t even get me started. As someone who experiences my own mental health struggles and as someone who’s educated in mental health practices: it’s bad and going to get worse.
So, even when restrictions are lifted, why are we staying in quarantine?
Two main reasons:
1) We are in a privileged situation to do so
My husband and I run our own business primarily doing keynotes, workshops and trainings around personal and business communication. Since we can’t safely do that work currently (much of which requires travel and large groups), we are staying home.
We are thankful to be accessing unemployment benefits but the amount of money we have lost due to COVID-19 is 10x that (currently). We are privileged to do this type of work in the first place, because of our upbringing, race, opportunities granted and yes, hard work.
The vast majority of essential workers, aside from healthcare workers, are often the people making $13/hr at the grocery store or working the drive-through at fast-food restaurants. They don’t have the option to stay home. With ‘stay-at-home’ orders expiring currently or in the coming weeks, many lower-paid workers now have to choose between either losing their jobs or exposing themselves (and family) to the pandemic.
2) It’s the socially responsible thing to do
Chances are, should either me, my husband or our children get COVID-19, we are highly likely to survive it (*knock on all the pieces of wood). However, some of our parents, who all live nearby, stand less of a chance. Also, there are many people in our community (and um, the world) who deal with chronic health issues. Because of this, it makes them more susceptible to severe symptoms and even death relating to COVID-19.
As I’m sure we are all aware, it can sometimes take up to two weeks to get symptoms and now some people may have it without ever showing symptoms.
Again, there are still insufficient resources for our frontline healthcare workers both physically and mentally. For those of us at home, we also need to care for our own mental health too (again, first hand experience of how vitally important that is).
I am approaching COVID-19 with the assumption that I have it and you have it. I haven’t stepped foot in a store since March 12, 2020. We are exceedingly grateful for our home, which has access to both a front yard and backyard. My heart literally aches (and then my anxiety freaks out) on behalf of my friends stuck in tiny apartments in NYC. Then, I consider those families with kids and no direct access to outside – oooof.
Please please pleeease rely on scientific research and information to stay educated about COVID-19. Pretty please.
If you have the ability to stay home and work remotely, do it. If you have the ability to stay home and still support small businesses by purchasing giftcards or take-away, do it. Our world still needs time for the brilliant scientists to figure out a vaccine and better ways to prevent the spread. Target can wait. Lives cannot.
What’s your game plan with your family?
ps. I fixed the comment section – sorry for those who tried to comment last time!