Just Stay Home

So you don’t kill people

Photo by Joshua Hanks on Unsplash

Imagine the person you love most can’t breathe and is being put on a ventilator in isolation. You can’t go with them and you can’t visit them. It may be days, it may be weeks. It may be never. Your loved one may die alone.

Americans need to get it in our heads it’s not something happening in other countries or somewhere else. It is here. In our states. In our communities.

My town is tiny, but a man died here today from Covid19.

It was said he spent quite a bit of time at the big truck stop across the road from his business. Truckers and other travelers come in there every day. There’s a sub shop that has good sandwiches. The self-serve coffee is always available.

He didn’t hug people. He wasn’t sitting close to anyone. He just went over there for snacks, meals, coffee, etc., and so did hundreds of people from hundreds of places as they got off the interstate and went to the truck stop.

Trucks have to keep running or we’ll have no food or much of anything. Truck drivers need places to pull off and stretch their legs, eat, and shower before sleeping a while in their trucks. Truck stops are their oasis. None of the rest of us should be there.

Truck stops aren’t safe. Neither is any other place where a lot of people go. Yet, some things must go on. Just because something is open out of necessity, like a truck stop, does not mean we should go there. If you aren’t driving a truck and have to stop for fuel, food, rest, etc., you do not belong at a truck stop where hundreds of people come through every day.

What does not need to go on are parties, reunions, church services, movies, eating in restaurants, and shopping for anything other than necessities like food.

I live on one of the main streets in town. School is closed. A lot of businesses are closed. The courthouse and the revenue office are closed. State offices are closed. Yet cars go up and down my street almost as much as they did before this horror began. Where are they all going? How many new cases of COVID19 will they cause or get?

They are out to pick up the virus or spread it around. That is the main thing they are doing no matter what their excuse for running around town. I see many who have their children with them. We closed the schools to keep them home and safe.

Doctors and nurses, paramedics, orderlies, nurse’s assistant’s, etc., are in the trenches. They have to go where they know it isn’t safe. They have to respond to the contagious Covid19 patient who is begging for help. They have to see patients die alone — no family or loved ones with them.

The healthcare workers have families at home. Many haven’t been home and haven’t seen family members for days. Even then, it was through glass. They are risking their lives for all who are sick. They’re caring for the contagious victims of the virus that most of us wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. They can’t go home for fear of endangering their families. But we fortunate ones can.

All that’s asked of us is to stay the hell home. Is that so difficult?

No it’s not. The more people run around spreading it, the longer this Covid19 pandemic will last. The number of people who refuse to stay home — keep congregating, visiting public places, and even the homes of others — will have a direct impact on how many die.

In New York City they’ve backed refrigerated semi trailers up to the back docks of hospitals to hold the bodies. I’m glad they showed them. It’s a good reality check.

Just stay home. Please.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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