Yesterday, while I was trying to write a blog about how to talk to your kids about coronavirus my kids kept begging me to come outside and jump on the trampoline with them. I finally gave in.
We were playing a game where they each had 20 lives and every time I made them fall down they lost a life. Then my 5 year-old-fell right on his wrist and immediately started screaming. When he didn’t stop screaming, I realized I had to take him to get it checked out.
After the x-ray technician came into our room telling me that we’d probably have to go to the ER for surgery, I called my husband sobbing.
I was crying because I felt like it was my fault, but also because now we’d have to go to the ER. I was upset because it would be the third surgery for my son at only 5. Then there was the fact that the ER was the last place we wanted to be in the midst of the current coronavirus outbreak.
The doctor reassured us that we would be ok. She said kids aren’t who are getting Covid-19. She said if we just kept at least 6 feet of distance between anyone we came into contact with, we would be ok. We could even wear a mask if we wanted to be extra careful.
She looked at my mom and said, “You shouldn’t go to the hospital though.”
The doctor then began to explain her frustrations about how our community is responding to social distancing. She said, “People aren’t listening and it’s making me angry!” She said that she wished our government could arrest people for not listening.
Someone Has To Take Care Of Us
I can only imagine how it must feel to work in healthcare right now. I’m so grateful for those brave souls that are on the front lines, exposing themselves to a disease we don’t really know everything about.
The threat is imminent that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We know that based on what happened in China and what’s happening now in Italy.
The thing is, just a few weeks ago Italy was in our shoes. My mom was getting ready to go on a trip there with her 77-year-old sister.
They had to make a decision about whether or not the trip they’d been planning for months was worth getting quarantined in another country. One day my mom said Italy had 60 something cases of coronavirus, and two days later it was up to 600.
A Last-Minute Decision
Luckily, the night before they were supposed to leave, the risk level was increased to a 3. So they canceled their trip, just hours before their flight was supposed to leave. The agent with Delta laughed a little when my mom called to cancel her flight. She said, “But it’s beautiful here in Florence right now.”
Now, the entire country of Italy is quarantined and the death rate is over 1200. As devastated as they were, now my mom and aunt are so glad they didn’t go.
Spring Break is in a few weeks for us. We were so excited to take our boys to Jamaica to an all-inclusive resort. So now we’re in the same bind. Do we risk getting stuck in a country without adequate healthcare when this virus spreads?
I’m sure many of you have plans to go on trips and are thinking you can escape the boredom by just going anyway. But we have to reconsider.
We’re all in a situation we’ve never been in before. This is new to everyone, even all of our countries’ leaders. We have to give them a little grace when they are hesitant to react. And when they do tell us to stay home unless we have to go out, we need to listen.
The whole point of schools closing is to slow the spread. If we all just ignore the recommendation to social distance and keep having playdates we’re not going to be doing anything to help.
What We Can Do
We’re going to be like Italy in a few weeks if we don’t do something. Right now, doctors in Western Europe are having to decide between intubating a 40-year-old with kids and a 60-year-old with high blood pressure because hospitals don’t have enough beds.
I get it that people still want to support their local businesses. You can order Uber Eats or order take out. Purchase a gift card that you can use later on when all of this blows over. Or better yet, help out someone in need who can’t afford to eat out because their kids are out of school and they can’t work.
I know many of you who read this will still think that I’m overreacting and you’ll do what you want. That’s ok. I actually for once do hope that I’m wrong. The best thing that could happen is we all look back on this in a few months and laugh at how ridiculously we reacted.
But please just consider the possibility that this may not be an overreaction. Look at the facts of how fast this is spreading.
Do what you can to help slow it. Stay home. Do it for the elderly who are already sick, your parents, my kids’ grandparents, and all those who are immunocompromised.
If you agree, please help me spread the word and share this with your friends.