I posted this yesterday on Facebook after days of reading article after article about the current pandemic:
OK. That’s it. I’m tapping out. I’m now going into self-isolation for the foreseeable future because I feel that’s the responsible thing to do.
I have an autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus which puts me in the high-risk category. But even without Lupus, self-isolating is the only thing that makes sense to me right now. If we are not part of the solution then we are part of the problem, and I for one do not want to have anyone’s illness or death on my shoulders.
Yet, I understand the hype and fear that comes with rumors of mandatory quarantining and denied rights.
We’ve already seen the mayor of Champagne, Illinois sign an executive order which many contend would give her the ability to ban the sale of firearms, food, clothing, gasoline, and other commodities as well as the right to seize personal property. Four states have issued orders for bars to close and restaurants to stop all dine-in services. We want to be safe during this worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 but we are afraid of doing so at the risk of losing our personal freedoms.
I get that.
What About My Rights?
As a Conservative Constitutionalist, I don’t like big government telling me what to do. That’s why I’m staying at home voluntarily, of my own free will.
My husband spent the better part of his life serving our country as either a soldier, a marine, or a police officer. With each uniform he wore, he was required to put his nation’s safety above his own personal freedoms. Service members and law enforcement officers are expected to limit the exercise of their rights in the interest of maintaining order and discipline.
For example, soldiers are not permitted to post all of their opinions on social media, and they are not allowed to say anything which may be deemed contemptuous about the President of the United States. As American citizens, we have the freedom of speech and the right to say pretty much anything we want; yet our military members are restricted in these freedoms. They willingly waive many of their basic rights when they sign their life over to Uncle Sam.
As civilians, our rights have been bought with the blood, sweat, and tears of our military. We have the right during this pandemic to care for ourselves and our families as we see fit. But does that mean we should ignore our government’s suggested cautionary measures (self-isolation) simply because we have the right to? I say, no.
Make Good Decisions
As Americans ingest the most up-to-date news regarding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we are forced to make decisions that we have never imagined having to make. The list of unknown factors is long, making these simple decisions we’ve made every day of our lives suddenly so complicated that we become ridden with anxiety and fear.
How long is this going to last?
Do I really need 3 weeks worth of food in my house?
Can we survive a month of self-isolation?
Why is the world suddenly out of toilet paper?
Should we go to church? Should I cancel my doctor’s appointment?
Is this ever going to end?
Military Mom’s Blog founder and monthly contributor, Julie Cohen is currently living in Italy and recently shared an article she wrote regarding the current state of Italy and how the US is about three weeks behind them in this pandemic. I watch her from afar, knowing that her present is my future. I read her words; I hear her heart; I feel her grief as she begs her friends here in the States to stay home.
I know we all think we’re experts on this stuff. But if we could pause for a moment and acknowledge that this other nation is going through what we’re about to go through, maybe we could learn a few lessons from them and make this a little easier on ourselves.
Staying home right now is a good decision. Removing our chances of being exposed is the only way to ensure we will not become sick. And while we all have read the statistics and we know that this disease has a high survivability rate, we have apparently started ignoring the statistics that show us that so many people are going to become infected. We shy away from the data that shows we will not have enough hospital beds, treatments, or medications for all who suffer.
I do not want to become a statistic during this pandemic nor do I want to be the cause of someone else suffering. The only way to effectively remove my chances of furthering the disease is to stay home.
Self-isolation is also a moral decision.
Even if you have a strong immune system and you are looking at this virus as just another flu strain (which it isn’t), please pause for a moment and consider those in your community with weakened immune systems.
Consider the elderly. Consider those who are already fighting diseases like cancer and diabetes. Consider the fact that when you go to the movies and to the grocery store and out to eat with friends that you are quite possibly carrying this disease with you for days before you show any symptoms if you have any symptoms at all.
Now consider that when you sit in the lobby at your doctor’s office and someone like me with a compromised immune system is sitting next to you (because we have to be there), you’ve just given me that disease. Because you didn’t have to go out and do all those things this week, but you chose to. Now you and I both have a disease, and statistics say we’ll each give it to at least two people. And so the pandemic will continue, one bad choice at a time.
Self-Isolation is NOT a Threat
These are troubled times that we are living in and as Americans, it is very difficult for us to let go of our pride long enough to see that we are following in the wake of Italy and China’s current epidemics. We are stubborn in this country, afraid to give up our rights and freedoms that our forefathers and our husbands and so many of our ancestors fought to secure.
Maybe we should stop looking at self-isolation as a threat and start seeing it as a solution.
In Italy, citizens are currently required to stay inside their own homes unless they are going to buy groceries or medications. That’s it. They must have paperwork to show the police, and these laws are being enforced.
Do we really want that here? Do we want the government to tell us what to do and where to go? Why can’t we simply heed the warnings of the millions who are currently suffering from this disease and practice self-isolation? Why can’t we use common sense and exercise our rights to make smart, healthy decisions?
This isn’t a matter of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. This is a matter of life and death. This is a matter of public safety. And this is a matter of greed vs grace.
Before there is the need for strict government intervention, I urge you to exercise your right to make good decisions for your family and for mine and to stay at home. Let’s give the world a chance to heal.