Coronavirus: I Love People So I Will Stay Home. I Hope You Will Too.

I was not going to post here about the Coronavirus. I wasn’t going to share that my husband and I have decided to self isolate our family for at least two weeks. I’ve changed my mind. I have decided to share that we are self-isolating so that others know they are not alone.

I spent the end of the week preparing for self-isolation, and last night, my husband and I decided that this was the responsible choice.

Neither of us is panicked. It seems likely that if we get the virus we will be fine. You know what though? I love a whole lot of people who might not be if they get it. I also love people who have people who they love who might not be okay if they get it.

I love people going through cancer treatment right now. I love people who are older. I love people with underlying health conditions. I love people who also love people like this.

I love people I don’t even know- people who might not be okay if they get the virus. And so even though my husband and I and our kids will likely not even know it if we have the virus, and even though I suffer from some pretty serious mental health issues that are exacerbated by isolation, we are self-isolating.

Best case? Nothing gets “that bad” and we never know if it is from so many of us making these sweeping and generous efforts, or something else.

Worst case? The article below is accurate and enough of us aren’t buying it.

One of the ways I manage my mental health is to use resources and people in my life to discern fact from fiction. I have spent a solid 4 days doing that to come to an intelligent and responsible decision. My husband has also spent time, independently, learning and evaluating. We both came to the same conclusion: we are not afraid. This is not a fear-based decision. It just feels like the only responsible one to make. So we are self-isolating for at least two weeks.

Health care workers, law enforcement, the National Guard, our military, are not able to self-isolate. You better believe I am also making this choice to flatten the curve for them.

I love people, and right now love looks like an empty stadium, and empty bars and restaurants (while buying gift cards if we can), and empty malls and knitting circles moved to video chat.

It looks like staying home and finding a way to send money or supplies to a food pantry that keeps everyone safe. It looks like people who are in a space at the same time keeping several feet between them and washing hands and NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE IF WE DON’T FEEL WELL!

It looks like being okay when someone makes fun of you for engaging in the practices that have been recommended because you know it is a choice out of love, not fear.

Right now love looks like preparing your family for a couple of weeks and leaving the rest of the toilet paper for your neighbor. It looks like forgoing the haircut and dealing with nails that desperately need a fill and a face without your usual make-up.

Right now, love looks like remembering that we really are a “we” and that together, the experts tell us we can make a significant difference in how many people live and how many people die in the United States from Coronavirus.

While we wait for the peak to hit us here in the US, we send love, warmth, and gratitude to those in China and Europe who are at ground zero.

This all feels scary, but it’s really not the end of the world. The thing is though, someone’s world will come crashing down when they lose a loved one to this virus. It already has.

If I can take action that will reduce that number, and increase the number of people who can get treatment when needed, I will. Not because it’s better safe than sorry, but because we already see what is happening and experts are asking that we do just this.

I hope you will too if you can. Even though it’s hard.

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