Wash your hands.
Work from home.
No large gatherings.
Six feet apart.
Don’t hoard all the toilet paper.
Cancel unnecessary personal trips.
Don’t touch your face.
(That last one is harder than it sounds. I never realized I touch my face so often until now).
Last week I wrote about the joys of just staying and being at home. Is that feeling still with me now? I’m not sure.
It’s a very weird time right now, especially in Seattle. We are at the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Our governor announced that no gatherings of more than 250, and then down to 50 people, should take place. Seattle Public Schools closed all their schools last week until the end of April. It’s highly likely the closure could extend longer. Most major companies are mandating that their employees work from home. Most colleges have told their students to not come back after spring break and that spring quarter will be all online.
Small businesses in Seattle are having to permanently close their doors because they have taken such a quick and hard hit. Seattle restaurants can only do take-out order because we can’t have people hanging around in those large groups. The stock market has sunk. A friend who is a family medicine doctor told me that more patients are calling with anxiety around “When will this all be over? When can I leave my house?” rather than patients calling thinking they have potential coronavirus symptoms.
It’s affecting everyone.
I’m doing my best to practice “social distancing.” I’ve left the house only to go to the grocery store, medical appointments and on runs. Although, my marathon announced last week that the race will not take place in May as planned. (I’m not surprised, everything is canceling at this point).
Now I don’t know what I am training for. It’s hard to stay motivated and run.
I’m not in the high risk category of COVID-19 being potentially fatal if I caught it. But, my 93-year-old grandma is. My neighbors are. Lots of people in our community are, whether you know it or not. You may not know that your friend is newly pregnant. You may not know that a coworker has a pre-existing health condition that makes them have a weaker immune system.
I don’t need to raw, raw WASH YOUR HANDS raw, raw at you. You already know. The news is telling you to. The pop radio station is telling you to. Your friends on social media are telling you to.
You’re probably just as tired as I am of hearing the words an abundance of caution or social distancing.
But it’s not just about you. It’s not just about, “well, I need to live my life already!” We need to flatten the bell curve. We need to slow the spread (even though it can seem hopeless at this time).
Things like my blocked Instagram don’t even matter anymore.
I’ll be at home if you need me. We can have a Google hangout together.