Well…. it’s been quite a beginning to this new year. It started (at least with me) with rumors of a fast spreading virus that was new and could hurt many people. In china, however it seemed too far from us. As if we would be untouchable by any of that. I mean, SARS didn’t cause the pandemic they thought it would in the states, and Ebola didn’t touch us as horribly as it did in Africa. BUT I also knew that those were not as easily spread or as sneaky as COVID-19, I guess I was hoping for the best. Now I sit in front of my computer, while our county is under stay at home orders due to this unseen, silent, invader. Schools have been cancelled state wide until May 1, but I really don’t think that is long enough.
I worked (briefly) in Emergency Disaster Services and one of the things that was discussed and drilled was a response to a pandemic. At the time I did a lot of studying of previous World-wide pandemics and found it to be both fascinating and frightening. Frightening because such a microscopic organism has the ability to take down entire civilizations. Just ask the Mayans about Smallpox, Measles and Influenza- it is estimated that 90% of the population was eliminated by disease accidentally introduced to them by the Spanish. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people world wide. Over 600, 000 Americans died because of that disease. I found it fascinating because there are massed graves in parts of the US that have been mostly forgotten. Because no one wants to remember something so horrible that killed whole families and decimated communities, they would rather move forward, so relieved when it’s finally over.
Even if it’s tough to think about past pandemics, largely because it is sad and we have little control over a new disease that we have no immunity to fight, we MUST remember. As we are seeing right now, even with all our amazing technology, we are still just as vulnerable as those in 1918 and all earlier pandemics. And the spread of disease is even easier today with all the fast methods of travel we have at our disposal. Our technology can be both our savior and a huge problem in slowing the spread of COVD-19. I don’t believe our Governor is acting fast enough in Florida, and I fear what has happened in New York could easily happen here if we do not lock down the state soon. I know it’s a difficult balance between economy and health safety, but I think lives matter more than money. That’s my opinion- and it’s okay if you disagree- we are allowed to. I know most of my concern comes from protecting Gavin. Those with Prader-Willi Syndrome are in danger of serious illness because of many factors, and it frightens me. Because I don’t believe it is a matter of IF our family catches this virus, I believe it’s a matter of WHEN.
If thousands of people have Coronavirus at the same time, in the same place, because isolation orders were not given, you will have a lot more deaths, and high risk population deaths will sky rocket. That’s really what “flattening the curve” is about. We want to be sure that the timing of those needing hospitalization is spread out more evenly so that the health care system is not overwhelmed- so that they don’t have to make the horrific decision that some places are having to make- who gets lifesaving interventions and who dies. The state of Florida is home to HUGE populations of retirees- who are all at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. This is the stuff of nightmares. Having someone who is high risk in my household is making this time more stressful.
Every time we have to leave the house, we are taking the chance of being exposed and possibly bringing the virus back to our home, back to Gavin. It scares me, more than I can express. We have to leave for some things, groceries, our job, etc. We try to avoid as many people as possible, I am amazed at the number of people who just don’t take this seriously- especially Young people, who as we have seen are NOT immune, and also could end up needing to be hospitalized.
I believe a State “lock down” should be enforced because it forces those individuals who are not taking precautions into isolation-Basically it protects those of us who are being careful, from those who aren’t. AND even if it’s only for a couple of weeks it WILL save thousands of lives.
Again, look at history: In 1918, the states/cities that took precautions early, had less deaths than the ones that did not.
For those of us with special needs/High risk family members, this is a very SCARY time. Not only does Gavin not understand fully what is happening in the outside world, but He is in danger of not being able to access the Health care he will desperately need if the hospitals become overwhelmed. There are Many other families out there with this same problem. Please think about others during this time, and isolate out of respect of those who need your help.
I am praying. I am praying that our Governor will step up and place stronger restrictions over our state during this time. I am praying for everyone who could possibly be suffer from more severe illness, and I am praying for their families whom I know right now are afraid. Fear is a real- but So is Faith. This one way ticket to crazy-town thing that is happening right now, is super scary. We have NEVER in our lifetime or our parents life time lived through anything like this. It causes much fear and anxiety. We MUST listen to the advice of medical experts and do our part to slow the spread, but we must ALSO pray and listen to the world of God. He cares for us and listens to us when we cry to him:
“But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
God is with us, I have faith in that. I find comfort in that. I AM trusting in God’s protection.
HOWEVER, Faith does not equal carelessness. Let us be smart, be safe, PRAY FOR OUR WORLD, and flatten the curve for the safety of us all and especially those who are High Risk. Love you all. Praying- always praying.