Well, my faithful readers, it’s finally happened. I’ve been asked to enter quarantine. No, I am not currently sick. No, I am unlikely to be a carrier. What I am is a Type 1 diabetic with additional autoimmune disease, which puts me among the highest risk categories should COVID-19 come a-knockin’.
For that reason, I’m now in lockdown and I’m not really thrilled about it, if we’re all being honest. But I also know that my coming down with this thing will not only hurt me (probably pretty badly), but my clients and the community, so it’s time to take one for the team. After all, work kind of almost quarantines me a lot of the time anyway, right?
Why We Quarantine
There are a lot of reasons for quarantining for both high risk populations and those that aren’t. For we, the free folk of the immunocompromised community, we’re hoping to preserve a level of health that we’ve probably struggled years and years to achieve.
But we also are doing it because others will need help. There have already been a lot of cases in Italy where the medical systems have been so overrun with high risk patients whose symptoms are severe enough that a shortage of medical devices and supplies are forcing hard choices. Do you intubate the mother of four with diabetes or the grandmother with no health conditions? Whose kids do you choose to tell that there simply weren’t enough supplies to go around?
There’s no easy answer for our already overburdened medical staff, they never asked to play God in the first place. They’re in the life-saving business, not the roulette wheel spinning business. Going to work day after day knowing that they will absolutely have to choose, essentially, to let someone die has to be the worst kind of Hell.
These are things some people can never forgive themselves for. Even if they had no better options. Even if they could have not done anything any differently.
So the chronically ill people of the world are taking to our homes, as much for our protection as for yours. If we get COVID-19, we’ll need significantly more resources than you might. But that doesn’t mean that you get to just be jerks and spread disease like some kind of filthy street pigeon. We have to work together to fight this thing.
How Long is Quarantine?
No one knows how long this will last. Although the latest news out of China is promising, the news from the rest of the world is terrifying. We can only look to those who have weeks of disease outbreak on us to see what our futures look like.
At some point, we may all be in quarantine. We certainly should all be practicing social distancing, even if you yourself aren’t considered high risk. You know people who are, even if they’ve never told you. Things like diabetes are easy to hide and we often are too ashamed of our own weaknesses to make these things known to others.
You’re about to notice how many medically fragile people there are in your community, because they’re going to be staying home. Those who are invisible are going to leave a noticed silence in all aspects of life. You’re going to miss us, even if you don’t realize what it is that’s gone.
We’re having a hard time accepting this. We’re struggling to deal with the four walls that are already closing in. It’s like cabin fever, but thousands of times more impactful, because the worst thing that can happen is that we, and probably others, will die. It’s not simply a case of a little frostbite.
Be kind today. Be kind tomorrow. Be kind every day. Make smart decisions in the weeks to come. Our world is so infinitely connected that what you do will ripple to the farthest reaches of the planet.