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Social Distancing and COVID-19

I do not typically join these hot topic conversations but as a healthcare provider and mother of chronically ill children, I feel I have a responsibility to do so. The ignorance I have witnessed over the past couple of weeks in response to COVID-19 has been shocking. And people still seem to be disregarding the seriousness of this situation. First of all, please consider those who are at higher risk when making decisions on social distancing in the coming weeks. And remember there is a huge gap between panic and just being proactive, prepared, and responsible. These mass closures and cancellations are NOT a result of panic. They are not ridiculous, over reactive, or a “manufactured crisis”. Social distancing is a “thing” for a reason. I am not an anxious person, and as a pediatric nurse practitioner and healthcare provider, I have seen a LOT. Things that alarm the general public often do not worry me. But I wholeheartedly believe the implications of rapid spread of this infection is something we do not want to witness. Yes, flu itself if worrisome and kills many people! That’s why I preach vaccination and am prompt to treat when someone tests positive. That’s why we are increasingly more vigilant in keeping our kids healthy during cold/flu season. But THIS is NOT the flu!! This is far worse. There is no vaccine, no treatment, and COVID-19 is much more contagious and has a much higher hospitalization/death rate than the flu. With that information do we really want to wait and make those comparisons after millions of lives have been lost? I certainly do not want to risk the lives of my children, parents or grandparents. Your body has never seen this virus before which means it has no antibodies to fight it. This NOT just a “bad cold”. It may feel like that if YOU get it, but I hope others will consider those who are elderly, medically fragile, have weakened immune systems, or underlying health conditions that put them at especially high risk of becoming critically ill (like my children with cystic fibrosis). I hope people will think beyond their own personal interests and conveniences, heed the warnings, and just STAY IN for a few weeks. I hope people will see this as an opportunity to be intentional with your kids and spend quality time as a family. I hope you will see this unbelievable time in our history as a rare gift to just. slow. down. I hope people will have respect for our officials and administrators who have had to make HUGE decisions in order to do what’s best for our public health. Please stop being ignorant, stop making this political, and stop pointing fingers. And just take the advice of those who have worked tirelessly to analyze numbers and make recommendations for the greater good of our entire community, state, and nation!

Also, great factual article that will help you understand why this is so important and gives practical advice for social distancing.

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