Back in My Day
Remember when the most major disruption to a classroom was an inconvenient case of chickenpox or headlice?
In first grade, I was the kid with chickenpox. One morning, I showed up to school. By early afternoon, I was covered with itchy red dots, confused, and sent to the nurse’s office.
In the nurse’s office, I experienced a minor blip of panic. I understood that I was sick, contagious, and I had to leave the school as quickly as possible.
The school called my grandma to come get me, and even though the adults were calm, my wild imagination had me convinced I was going to die.
The nurse explained that I had to be removed from school to protect my classmates. My mind was eased as the nurse informed me that having chickenpox was common, and after having them once, I would never have them again.
My grandma picked me up from school and took care of me until I was well enough to return, and that was that.
Headlice, on the other hand, is a whole other beast. When someone in school had headlice, the kid went home immediately. Shortly after discovering a case of headlice, the school’s nurse visited all classrooms to inspect the students’ heads looking for additional cases.
As kids got the all clear, classes resumed. Eventually, the infected kid(s) would return without guarantees that the lice wouldn’t.
Ah, the good old days.
It’s March 2020 and chances are your local schools are currently closed. Businesses are longing for days when a workplace hiccup was someone spreading a common cold, strep throat, or the latest strain of influenza throughout the office.
Enter coronavirus or, more specifically, COVID-19, and COVID-19 isn’t playing around.
However, it’s not the end of the world.
A Storm of Uncertainty
A lot has changed since the clock struck 2020. While rampant viruses are nothing new, COVID-19 has quickly captured the world’s attention.
In the past week, not a day has gone by without a new development that one-ups the previous day’s developments. In the past week, worldwide statistics continue to rise, while almost anything, everywhere, involving a crowd of 10 or more people, has effectively been shut down.
We’re witnessing measures we’ve not witnessed in our lifetime. Naturally, the wide-ranging responses from around the world are causing varying degrees of unease in communities everywhere.
People from all walks of life are weathering the same storm of uncertainty, and it’s the uncertainty swirling around COVID-19 is causing people to worry.
As such, people are reacting differently.
What’s the Big Deal?
Nobody wants to catch COVID-19.
It may not seem like a big deal to you, and that’s an incredibly fortunate space to be. Consider yourself lucky.
The measures being taken right now are proactive. Taking proactive measures is a better spot from which to combat COVID-19 than waiting for mandated reactive measures. That’s why we’re treating this like a big deal. Nobody wants this to become a bigger deal.
COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu. Unlike the flu, people don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 for several days after being exposed and they are contagious during that time.
COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu. In Italy, there simply aren’t enough ventilators to treat the amount of people who need them. That’s not where we want to be. However, without taking measures to prevent widespread infections, we could be.
There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19. This is more dangerous than the annual flu, folks. As we speak, countries around the world are working to develop a vaccine.
As of this writing, there are no guarantees that once you have had COVID-19, you’re immune to COVID-19. We’d like to believe that once our bodies resolve a COVID-19 infection, that we’d be immune. The fact is, at this point, that’s not a 100% guarantee.
That’s why this is a big deal, and nobody wants this to be a bigger deal than it already is.
What Can You Do?
Mitigating the spread is the ultimate goal.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on that’s it. That’s the thing. It’s time to strap on your commonsense cap and draft yourself to join the easiest call to action we’ve ever be called to do.
Limit yourself to only leaving home for what’s necessary. Some don’t have the luxury to adhere to voluntary house arrest without an ankle bracelet, but those who can, should.
If you must leave your home, adhere to social distancing guidelines.
This will end one day. The more who participate, the sooner that day will come. Until then, stay as safe and sanitary as possible.
This isn’t a drill. We all know someone who isn’t taking this seriously. Don’t let them shame you into making a fatal mistake.
Sure, it’s entirely possible you would fully recover from COVID-19, but the same cannot be said for others. It’s not about any of us individually. This is about others, and it’s on all of us to flatten the curve.
Behave like you have chickenpox with the risk of recurring headlice.
All any of us can do is play our small part in a bigger effort to get our daily lives restored to how they were before this mess began.
We’re all in this together.