They’re about everyone else.
Your parents and your grandparents are the ones in the most danger if we don’t curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The restrictions on large gatherings, the cancelation of events, the temporary break from travel — these are not meant to protect the young and healthy, but the most vulnerable amongst us.
We are learning more and more about this virus. Scientists have now identified the most vulnerable populations. Those over 60, and especially over 80 years old, along with anyone that is immunocompromised, are at the greatest risk. Those people can include cancer survivors, those with heart conditions, diabetes, and more, and they can be any age.
And healthy young people like myself? We are just potential carriers. It’s possible for us to contact the virus and feel little to no ill health. We are unlikely to change our plans because we’re not afraid. We may not even seek testing because we are unaware or unafraid.
And all the while we kiss Grandma on the cheek.
We are the ones that need to grow up. Now our grandparents are relying on us, whether they know it or not.
Most of us have been trying to figure out where the line is between panic and preparation. In the last week or so it seems that line has become increasingly blurry. Should we stock up on food and other essentials? The CDC says yes. Does that mean raiding the toilet paper aisle? No, no it does not.
The truth is our system of government in this country is not set up to deal with something like this. States have a great deal of authority when it comes to rules on public health and safety. China had no problem locking down cities and regions with tens of millions of people in them. We have a much harder time doing something like that here. Instead, what we have are recommendations from health departments, recommendations from the federal government, state governors declaring restrictions, and county and local officials either following the advice from those agencies or ignoring them. Not to mention private health care systems making their own moves.
Seems like a lot of moving parts, right? It is, and that’s why at this time, it’s the regular folks like you and me that need to stand up and do the right thing. Invest some time in getting the facts. Take precautions. Postpone your trip, reschedule your event, keep washing your hands. Realize the sweeping changes you’re seeing right now only work if the virus hasn’t already spread too far.
The country we live in today is the result of the people before us more or less figuring out how to get along and move forward. All along the way, those people protected the most vulnerable amongst themselves. Today, that’s in our hands — so wash them.