Quarantine, pandemic, respiratory droplets, contagious, viral (in a bad way), and death are words swirling around the media, and we shouldn’t ignore them.
My family basically hasn’t left our NYC apartment for a week. My last venture out to a destination where people congregated, like a restaurant, was with a friend at a ramen shop in the neighborhood, and we talked about Coronavirus.
In that conversation, I told him my serious concerns about it. He brushed them off.
The family and I did take some short walks outside this weekend, avoiding large knots of people (we wanted to get outside a little bit), and what I saw was disturbing.
People were still everywhere. No one was wearing face masks, except this one Asian girl. Singles, large groups, couples were littered throughout the city, strolling, enjoying the sunny winter day.
My other friends are also keen on meeting up and grabbing coffee, lunch, etc. Nothing has changed. And our neighbors seem calm. No one is alarmed.
And that’s what’s so concerning: No one seems concerned.
But we should be.
This is a serious issue. Death is serious. People are dying. Yes, most of them are elderly, but some are young, young adults, healthy, until they weren’t. This matters; they matter; you matter.
And if we don’t take precautions and greater concern, we will likely create a worse outcome, spreading the disease more than it would have gone if we were more vigilant.
See, anyone can get Coronavirus. You can. I can. My kid can. Your kid can. This is about everyone. And yes, you can die from this, too. We all can.
This virus doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t have compassion. It doesn’t care if you’re famous, powerful, poor, beautiful, crippled. It infects. It inflicts. It kills.
What can you do? Wash your hands. Stop traveling. Limit meetings or eliminate them, no matter how much you were looking forward to them. Stop hanging out. Stop going to the bar. Stay home. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash them well. With soap!
That’s not just for yourself but for your family, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your country, your world. Let us be good global citizens, people, humans.
I get it. Behavioral change isn’t easy. Not seeing people sucks.
This morning I canceled a lunch meeting with a friend that I was excited about seeing today. And we were supposed to eat at this incredible Indian restaurant, in Long Island City, Queens, that serves up dishes that Indians eat at home. I had been waiting to go to this place for weeks. Now, thanks to Coronavirus, I’m eating at home, which is great. But, not the same.
That’s what it takes to fight something like this virus: Behavioral change. We need to change how we do our days, where we go, how we move, how many times we wash our hands. It needs to be top of mind.
Ok, so you may not work from home like me. You don’t have that freedom. But you can talk to your boss, manager, CEO, Supreme Ruler, and tell them that you’re concerned and want to discuss the idea of letting you and others work from home. Make your case. You can do that. Why not? It’s worth it. And when you talk to them, make sure you’re at least six feet away from them so you don’t get any respiratory droplets on each other. Seriously.
That’s what we need these days when we’re facing a possible pandemic. Fight. Grit. Scrappiness. Conversations with your boss, about working from home, had six feet away from each other.
Changing the way we think is a great place to start. Especially you who live in urban centers need to remember that things have changed. Anyone can be a threat. Of course not the person, but the virus that they might be carrying. We are fighting an invisible enemy that can come from anywhere and anyone. And this isn’t for other people. It’s for you, me, our loved ones—us.
That means you need to change your schedule, your routine, your mind—you.
US citizens have died. Thousands of humans have lost their lives. Washington state reported two deaths from this. California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Texas, and more have reported cases. New York City just found its first. And it looks like this is just getting started.
But it can be curbed. It can be stopped. We all need to work together. We all need to be concerned.
Yes, I’m freaking out. But that’s not why I’m writing.
The point isn’t to be afraid.
It’s about being cautious, taking this seriously, changing ourselves as our world changes.