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Why We Are Staying in Quarantine, Even When Restrictions Are Lifted 

 April 28, 2020

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.

 

staying in quarantine

 

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.

 

RELATED: What Exactly is Institutional Racism and Sexism?

 

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. 

 

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control


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!

About the author

  • Hi Chelsea,

    Good thoughts, and careful decisions are required of everyone. This reminds me of that parental chestnut, “if all you friends jump off a bridge, should you jump, too?” We always knew the answer, but that never stopped a parent from keeping on with ” of course not, that would be unsafe and dangerous! you have to think for yourself!! and make a good choice!!”
    We continue to shelter in home, and we are grateful for our porch where I can sit and get some sunshine, chatting with people passing on the sidewalk (with 20 feet between us).
    jack does go to get groceries from our New Season that has very strict safety system, cleaning every cart as they come back outside, requiring everyone working or shopping to wear a mask, single direct aisles with staff keeping and eye on customers keeping to the plan.

    I have found (through a neighbor) a wonderful app called Caribu that allows me to read to my 6 year old friend down the street and she can read book to me. There is a goodly supply of free books on the app and as one of us reads, we can both see the pages and flip the pages. There are books read aloud by Levar Burton and other good adult readers, so a kid can listen and I parent can wipe down the kitchen counters. I encourage you to take a look, sign up and send me your Caribu number and I will read to your kids!
    The weather is alternately sunny and rainy, often on the same day, but it is warming up and our flowers are coming to life!.. We are well past the daffodils and tulip stage, but early camellias, rhodies and flowering vines are opening. So beautiful.
    I am gald you are well. Be well, stay safe and healthy. Let me know by text if you decide to try Caribu.
    Fondly, susan

    Reply

  • We are with you, Chelsea. Lucky to be able to stay home right now. Our world travel plans were interrupted and we were planning to look for steady employment in the fall. Not sure what that will look like now, so we are using the time to re-think some of our spending habits so we can stay home longer if necessary. In the meantime, just trying to stay positive, healthy, connected and creative. Much love to you and your family. xo

    Reply

  • Hi Chelsea,
    Thank you for this thoughtful message and I hope it gives people pause to think about returning to their normal lives too quickly. We are retired, ages 65 & 70. That puts one of us at higher risk (my husband has a chronic condition, I am healthy) and by the grace of circumstance and our life’s work, we can stay home and provide for our needs without much hardship. I know for many it is a struggle.
    While it may be challenging, the other side is our health care system can’t stand this unending stress on it. I worked in healthcare. The pain these front line people are feeling is real, and unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime. That is the key reason we stay home, and will continue to, except for essentials.

    Reply

  • Thank you for this Chelsea. Despite my friends knowing about my asthma and heart conditions most want Canada to reopen because they aren’t the demographic that it’s killing and they need to work. I get it. They need to work but for me I just don’t want to leave Lucy motherless. So, until a vaccine is created I will be house and car bound.

    We have money in the bank for a house payment but because I can’t get work our dreams of home ownership aren’t happening in 2020. 2020 sucks for a lot of people but I am healthy and safe and I have a roof over my head and food in the cupboards. I am still very thankful we moved back to Ontario when we did because I would have been an anxious mess.

    I’ll end my rambling thoughts but I wanted to say thank you for staying home! Thank you for making me feel less crazy about my decision to stay home since I know people think I’m being paranoid.

    Reply

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