Coronavirus, cancellations, and quarantine. What’s really going on? That question may be on your mind. It has been at the top of mine. Just a few days ago, I thought the worry and the panic surrounding the coronavirus was simple hysteria that would go away quickly. I would read one article then another. The messages were different, yet well-reasoned. Some suggested that the worry was exaggerated while others suggested that the worry was justified and that a major response was required. As a result of the inconsistent messages, I decided that restraint was the most reasonable response.
Now, just days later, I realize that we shouldn’t so quickly dismiss the seriousness of the risk. We may look back in a few months and think the precautions were overblown, knee-jerk reactions to a sickness that will come and go like so many others. I hope that’s the case. And if we see that we were simply manipulated by the media through its control of information, I will be disappointed. Be that as it may, the information I’ve seen suggests that the response is justified.
Why Cancel Gatherings and Limit Personal Interaction?
It may seem that cancelling activities and large gatherings is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus. I don’t think that’s the case. The virus will spread. Many of us will get it. So why the cancellations? To slow the spread of the virus so that the healthcare system can provide care to all who need it.
This virus spreads quickly. If a large number of people contract it at the same time, they are likely to need healthcare treatment at the same time. Unfortunately, the healthcare system doesn’t have a limitless supply of resources. And if the number of people needing care exceeds the ability of the healthcare system to provide it, someone will have to do without. No one wants to see that happen, but it could. So these huge steps, such as closing schools and cancelling concerts and tournaments, are being taken to ease the burden on the healthcare system so that those needing care will be able to get it.
What Is Your Part?
Each of us has a role to play in this, and it is to take care of ourselves and protect our own health. By doing that, we may avoid becoming carriers of this virus. If we aren’t carrying it, we aren’t spreading it.
To do your part, follow the recommendations we’ve seen so often that they’ve become the subject of memes and jokes. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Don’t touch your face. Use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%. Don’t shake hands. Keep your distance from people with virus symptoms. But stay in touch with friends and family. Isolating ourselves doesn’t mean we aren’t interacting with others. Modern technology allows nearly limitless interaction. Calls, texts, sharing pictures, and videos are simple ways we can remain in touch with one another.
And don’t forget… stay positive. This will pass. And, at my office, it will be business as usual to help with your estate planning and elder law needs.