My Family Takes the Coronavirus Threat Seriously
Even before this new virus swept through the media, we were known as a germ cautious family.
We have kept our daughter home from school when there is any flu going through her class, to try to decrease her risk of getting it.
When her preschool had a case of fifth’s disease going through the school, we stayed away for more than a week.
Our good friends know that if anyone has had a fever or a flu in any recent time, we would rather cancel the playdate than risk catching any lingering germs.
We don’t do these things because we are particularly germaphobes.
But we are forced to this level of caution because our daughter is immunocompromised.
She has sickle-cell anemia, and that means a number of things as far as her health is concerned.
First, as her sickle cells have clogged up her spleen throughout her life, she has poor protection against infection. So the rules given to sickle cell parents are that any fever over 101.3 means a trip to the emergency room, to at least get an antibiotic shot (in case it is a bacterial infection).
Last year, when she tested positive for the flu, the regular Type A flu, she was admitted to the hospital and monitored for the course of her symptoms, as long as she had a fever, and was given theraflu doses at regular intervals to give her body the extra push to kick it.
Plus, as if that wasn’t enough, the medicine she needs to be on for sickle cell also weakens her immune system, placing her at even greater risk for catching and not fighting just the regular garden variety viruses and bacteria.
So as I read that there is a virus spreading across the world, yes, I am concerned. When I hear there are cases in my state, I get more concerned.
As I heard that there are cases, not connected to any recent travel, in our state, and that there is at least one confirmed case in my local county, plus that my county has already declared a state of emergency as a precaution- yeah, we paid attention.
We aren’t there yet, but if it starts spreading in our local area, and especially in our city, yes, we will be hunkering down as a family. The picture above is of my cart this weekend, with plans for lots of pasta, lentil dinners, and chili if we need to get to a full protective state for my daughter.
Thankfully, we have a chest freezer in our garage, and plenty of meat frozen to keep us well fed with the addition of my canned goods.
My husband, who works in a lab with heavy duty fans, a lab coat and gloves on, will still go to work. But the rest of us will be staying home to give ourselves the best chance to ride this out without her getting sick.
I say all this to make a point.
That reassuring phrase, about the coronavirus typically only being dangerous for the old or those with existing medical conditions, is meant to calm the majority of the public, and I am glad that for most families, even if this virus hits your home, it won’t be that big of a deal.
But for us, who have a daughter in that boat, and the millions of other families who hear about this virus who also have existing medical conditions, it is deeply troubling.
We aren’t taking precautions because of any political stance. We are taking precautions because our daughter means that much to us.
Other families might be doing it for a grandparent, a parent or their child who is at risk.
We need the general population to take it seriously too.
Every person who believes this is an exaggerated problem, propaganda from the media and democrats, is going to be less likely to get tested.
Less likely to stay home from work when they are sick.
Less likely to keep their kids home from school.
Then your disbelief comes and breaks my world. My daughter’s health and possibly life is at risk because you didn’t think it was a big enough deal to self quarantine.
I’m sorry about the stock market, I genuinely am, but I am much more concerned about the government’s downplaying a serious virus risk to try to rally the stocks, when they should be getting people to stay home, self quarantine and get tested if they suspect they might have this new virus.
I hope that anyone who reads the article takes a second to think about families like mine that have more at stake in this pandemic.
If you are sick, for a regular cold/flu or this new virus- stay home.
If your kids are sick- keep them home.
My family, and many other families like mine, appreciate your sacrifices and inconveniences as your actions help keep others healthy.