I saw a photo go by of a large group of people out to dinner. Like life right now was business as usual. All scrunched together for a group restaurant photo. Not exactly social distancing.
This is no joke. Schools are closed. Colleges and universities too. Government officials are begging us to practice social distancing. Why? Because COVID-19/Coronavirus is real. Chester County has a map now. A live interactive map of virus victims.
In the last 48 hours, my life changed. It started with this post I saw at dinner time on Friday:
It hit me like a thud. I was at this event. At Downingtown Friends Meeting. The Galanthus Gala. I went at the very, very end to visit a plant nursery I buy plants from and to buy the new book by local horticulture author, David Culp. I bought a book and a specimen Japanese Maple. I was maybe 25 minutes.
When I got there the event was fairly empty. I would say the majority of attendees were in the lecture in the building next door to where I was. I was not particularly close to anyone, went in by myself. Ironically, the majority of the time I was practicing “social distancing”. Not intentional, it was just the way it was.
This was more than a week ago now. Ironically I was pretty much self-quarantined last week because all of the COVID-19 news really gave me pause. One of my stepbrothers and his wife are medical professionals in the U.K. They have been concerned about this since the news about this virus began to pop. My stepbrother actually has been saying we should all self-quarantine and practice social distancing long before it was advised to do so.
So now just because quite literally due to fate, I am in self-quarantine until probably next Saturday, along with my family. I am not symptomatic, and neither is my family. And yes, I have been in contact with medical professionals in charge of my care. And I voluntarily contacted Chester County to report I had been at the event where the 2nd Chester County COVID-19 victim was also in attendance. I do not know who the person is, don’t even believe I saw anyone who appeared ill.
But after careful deliberation I felt I needed to say I was there and to be in self-quarantine. I also have decided to be open about this. There are people all over like me whom have had potential exposure and we need to pay it forward and do the right thing. Thus far the communication from the county has been self-quarantine all around. I am good with that, it beats the alternative.
As a breast cancer patient I am in an immunocompromised class already, how can I not be straight here? God is good and I am blessed to have survived breast cancer and to be non-symptomatic on self-quarantine with this. My only regret is that I am inconveniencing my family.
The ultimate point of this post is not to alarm, but to inform. We all need to be careful and vigilant. Look no further than my experience. All I did was attend a horticultural event in a historic Quaker Meeting House. It’s not like this poor person knew he was infected, he just was. But this is exactly why event are being canceled and schools and businesses are closing for the time being.
I suggest gardening and UK television to help pass the time. And books. Remember those? In this busy world it is unusual to slow down like this, but maybe we needed a real reminder of what is important. Also try to support local businesses throughout this ordeal. It has been suggested that buying gift certificates will help their bottom line. And a lot of the local restaurants you love will be offering delivery and store to curb service. And let’s talk grocery stores. Keep on posting when you see availability but leave some for the next shopper.
Please take this seriously. Calm heads will enable us to get through this. It’s no fun to feel isolated for sure, and this will be very hard on our kids, especially if they are social. But it’s not forever, it’s just for a while. Surely we can do this?