Realising the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic hasn’t hit everyone equally.
Current advice is to stay home, self-isolate and only go out if absolutely necessary.
While many are adhering to this expert advice to stop the spread of the virus, some still don’t understand this seemingly tough response.
Unfortunately, contracting the virus can be life or death for some people and even if you don’t present with symptoms, you still spread it on to others without even knowing.
But for quite a while coronavirus was in the news and people really didn't seem to be taking it that seriously. All that has changed though, an people online are sharing how they came to understand the gravity of the situation and why it’s important for all of us to take this very seriously:
"My 70-year-old mother decided that it was all a political hoax"
My nearly 70-year-old mother decided that it was all a political hoax and that she'd be fine in the rural Midwestern US and didn't need to start social distancing or really changing her routine in any way. When the oncology department at the hospital called and cancelled all her in person appointments she didn't understand why (she's in remission, so it's just check-ups.) When they cancelled the grandkids' school through spring break in mid-April she didn't understand why.
When her immune-compromised physician brother on palliative care for advanced cancer sent the family an updated set of will, power of attorney, and DNR paperwork yesterday, she called in tears. Luckily she's smart enough to follow his advice, self-isolate, and maintain communications (daily calls) and has a support network that can bring her what she needs.
"We got laid off"
When my mum, sister, and dad all got laid off work. The only person in the house who’s still working is my 14-year-old brother who does paper rounds.
"I can’t ever hug my dad again"
My dad, who had many health problems, went from feeling a little under the weather to scary sick in a matter of days. His already weakened heart couldn’t take the stress and when the paramedics gave him a shot to steady his heartbeat his heart stopped.
I watched as they gave CPR in my driveway trying desperately to get his heart going... less than 24 hours later they said the life support was only prolonging the inevitable. March 13th my dad was gone. They refused to test him for Covid-19 because he didn’t meet the requirements to do so. I can’t ever hug my dad again.
I know he knew I loved him but it kills me to not have been able to say it while he was with it just one last time. I’m so worried about my immune compromised mom.
"I found out the guy across from me tested positive"
It’s been real for me since hearing about Italy locking down, because I’ve been in shortage situations before (namely Hurricane Katrina). But it got really real when I found out the guy across from me tested positive... and I was on the elevator with him last Monday.
So that kinda blows. He’s fine, thankfully, just in self-quarantine. But now with the pollen coming out and all, every little sniffle and scratch I feel in my throat has me convinced I’m getting the damn thing.
"I immediately knew things were about to hit the fan"
When Colleges & K-12 schools closed. That’s not a light decision and the people making those calls are very educated. I immediately knew things were about to hit the fan.
"I saw the toilet paper aisle emptied out"
It came in shifts for me. First time was when I saw the toilet paper aisle emptied out.
Second time was when I read a post on social media from someone in Italy about what things are like in the hospitals, and how America needs to take this more seriously. I was already taking it seriously and trying to prepare, without taking more supplies than I needed. But that post made me realize how unprepared my country is for a serious epidemic. Everybody was still going to work, school, partying, etc. because they didn't think it would get bad here.
Third time, nothing specific really happened. A few days after my office got us all working from home, it just kind of sunk in that this is going to last a lot longer than most Americans initially anticipated. Maybe because I kept seeing posts from my friends and family who are nurses about how hospitals are running out of masks and other protective gear. And running out of Covid-19 tests.
It certainly sounds corny to say, but we really are all in this together.