It’s Not About You
March 2020 has been a doozy. We’ve heard it over and over. The better we quarantine, the shorter the quarantine will be. The more we socialize and ignore the orders to stay at home, the longer this whole process is going to be.
Sometimes you have to do things in life for the common good. Maybe this quarantine and lockdown appear silly to you. It’s really cramping your style. Perhaps it’s overkill. But you know what? This isn’t about you. This isn’t about your canceled playdates. Or that your kids are home from school when you could be getting stuff done around the house. Or your canceled trip to Disney. Or the hiatus you have to take from the gym. Or not being able to get your hair and nails done. Or having to wait an extra week for your new handbag to be delivered.
It’s about coming together for the greater good. It’s about creating a safe environment for all people. It’s about sacrificing a little convenience so others can live. It’s about staying at home. It’s about flattening the curve, so one day we can return to playdates, school, work, and other social gatherings safely, without fear. It’s about minimizing the chaos.
It’s for the grandpa on hospice, sitting in his hospital room alone because visitors aren’t allowed. His family is hoping this nightmare goes away so they can see him one last time before he passes.
It’s for the parents of the three-year-old with cancer, who has two more treatments of chemotherapy remaining, petrified to step into to the hospital for treatments.
It’s for the grocery store manager, who is trying to keep up with inventory demands while witnessing her store become a savage war zone over something as simple as toilet paper.
It’s for the single mom of two, who just lost her job and doesn’t know how she will find the money for next week’s groceries.
It’s for the hospital nurse, who returned early from maternity leave, putting in double shifts due to her coworkers falling ill, wanting nothing more than to be home holding her newborn.
It’s for the intern, who just moved overseas for the chance of a lifetime, only to be let go from his job two weeks after starting due to major shutdowns and is now stuck income-less, in a foreign country.
It’s for the wife, left to grieve her late husband’s death alone, as her family and friends are unable to travel to his funeral.
It’s for the small business owner, who has to declare bankruptcy; without the means to provide any financial assistance to the six employees, he has to let go.
It’s for the mom, who is struggling to breastfeed her newborn but keeps on persevering knowing she can’t afford, let alone find, formula at a time like this.
It’s for the doctor, who is quarantined in his own home, away from his family, because as a pediatric ER physician, he could be carrying the virus home with him after another shift.
It’s for the mom of a miracle toddler, just having received a heart valve transplant due to a rare genetic condition, causing her to have multiple heart and lung issues.
It’s for the soldier, who was to get married next month before facing deployment but has to postpone his wedding because his assignment starts next week instead of next summer.
It’s for the domestic abuse victim, who is stuck at home with her abuser but doesn’t have the strength, or the knowledge, to get away at a time like this.
It’s for the engineer, who just received a 30-day notice from his employer and his wife is due with their first child any day now.
It’s for the nursing assistant, helping bathe patients, changing their diapers and bedpans, checking vitals, while reusing the same mask over and over due to a national shortage.
It’s for the first-generation college student, missing out on a long-awaited family reunion at his college graduation.
It’s for the pregnant physical therapist, seeing patients quarantined in the hospital, afraid of the risk her fetus faces.
It’s for the young man living with anxiety, which is now exacerbated, afraid to leave his house to get the necessary medications and groceries.
It’s for the store clerk, literally staring risk in the face while helping hundreds of emotionally driven patrons stock up in the wee hours of the morning.
It’s for the athlete, missing out on the Olympic trials — saying goodbye to his lifelong dream, something he has trained years for while facing so much adversity along the way.
It’s for the stay at home mom of four, who worries about her husband, required to put in overtime delivering packages to those in need.
You see, this social distancing isn’t about your minor inconveniences. It is literally life and death for so many people. Does it suck that we have to cancel birthday parties, playdates, work conferences, and spring break? Yes. Is it inconvenient that people hoard toilet paper and canned tomatoes? Yes.
But if you get to wake up each day, in the comfort of your own home and you do not have to stare this virus in the face day after day… whether it is in a hospital, at the grocery store, at a stranger’s front door… then remember, you are very lucky all of this isn’t about you.
If we can spend a few months a bit more isolated, to give our medical system a chance to determine the most effective way to treat this illness, then we will be better off the rest of the year. Let’s do this together to allow our healthcare practitioners the time to figure this out. It’s March 2020, right now, we don’t know what course this virus will take. There isn’t a clear solution to treatment.
Is Covid going to go away? Probably not. Is there a good chance many people will be infected? Probably. But, let’s slow down the rate of infection to keep as many people safe as possible. And when the curve flattens, when the infection rate decreases, when proper treatment is figured out, we can get back to a more normal, and enjoyable, way of life.
Take this time with family to bond. To laugh. To cook. To organize. To watch movies. To redecorate. To catch up on laundry. To hang out in your backyard. To play games. To sit by the fire. To finally paint the bedroom. To start a monthly plank challenge. To finally go through all your photos and organize them. To facetime your friends from college. To journal. To potty train your toddler. To catch up on emails. To take a nap. To pick up a new hobby. To remember…it thankfully, isn’t about you.