Please, for the Love of God, Think About Someone Other Than Yourself

Nicole Akers

Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels

I went downstairs for the first time in three days and worked up a sweat in doing so.

Don’t touch anything, be as swift as possible, and get back to bed.

How did I get here?

Someone put me at risk. It wasn’t a stranger, but people who love me — family — and that makes it even worse.

I knew it was risky, but these were calculated risks, and safer than things a lot of other people were doing. Since this whole new world view began happening a while ago, we’ve been careful. We haven’t been out socializing or going out for any kind of entertainment. The old school of cooking from scratch, three squares a day, has been normal and isn’t abnormal for us anyway. Sure, we’ve ordered the occasional meal for delivery to mix things up a little.

Can you relate? What new normal things are really a blast from the past?

We received a family invitation to gather in a secluded place in a different state. Let’s face it, vacations as we know them, aren’t going to happen. We tried renting a home in the woods or in the mountains to change environments and move our bodies, but nowhere we looked would accept out-of-state residents. Period. Airbnb wouldn’t even rent to anyone out of state. Period. The places we can drive to mandate 14-day quarantine to be out in public. I’m not sure how anyone would go about enforcing it, but the threat of fines for offenders is high enough to persuade me not to try. Best to stay home.

The kids are going stir crazy, and even the dog wants some alone time. My husband is in his busy season at work, and the truth is, he could use some alone time to focus. A week of nose-down plugging-and-chugging through work could make a massive difference in his productivity for this busy season.

The premise was that all family members who planned to be present had been safe and secluded. No one has returned to work in an office setting and no one had taken unnecessary risks. There are normal, necessary risks, to purchasing food, but no one had taken part in any gatherings without precautions or social distancing.

The premise was a lie.

The night before some family members arrived, they posted pictures on social media about a gathering they hosted at their home. The pictures showed people hugging, and none of them wearing masks. These are the people who would be joining us in about 20 hours. They’re bringing all those risks to those of us who had taken precautions.

I am angry.

How dare you take these risks, and then bring them to the rest of us? If you want to take risks yourself, that’s one thing, but then to pass them along to others, who have been smart and safe is reckless. This was supposed to be safe, and now it’s the most irresponsible thing I’ve done in recent memory.

Be over the safety regulations, if you want to, but be smart enough, to not put others at risk. Put on your mask and keep your distance.

Too smart to die and too dumb to live.

Yeah, I’m a little fired up. Have you noticed that this virus is passed by people who are too embarrassed to wear a mask? Too proud? Feel silly? Get over it and be smart enough to live. At least don’t put others at risk. Follow the guidelines.

In my home state, we're contemplating curfews and going back into lockdown. The realistic translation is that we didn't listen. We opened too early, gathered too closely and too often. We ached for normalcy and put our own desires before health and safety protocols. Now we’re paying the price. According to the NY Times, more than ten times the reported cases are expected to have the Coronavirus.

The local news recently reported more than 300 kids got together for a party in a nearby town. For perspective sake, about 10-minutes in drive time. Now officials are asking everyone who was in attendance to identify themselves and self-quarantine. Some partygoers have since tested positive for the virus. Moreover, officials are calling those kids to be responsible enough to contact everyone they have come in contact with since the event and ask those individuals to self-quarantine.

Stupid kids.

Newsflash: Officials already know who the attendees are. You gave yourself away on Snapchat and TikTok.

Now is your chance to choose to be responsible, even if you didn’t choose responsibility in the first place. It can mean the difference in your own health or the health of someone else.

I get it. You’re mad. You want someone to blame. You’re angry this thing has happened, and you want your life back.

So do the rest of us.

Your recklessness won’t help us be normal any faster. You’re actually slowing recovery.

One week to the day of returning, I am sick. Was it the family who brought the risks with them or a gas pump I touched along the way? I sanitized after touching anything foreign, so that seems unlikely, but it’s possible.

As I suffer from fever, chills, sweats, sip another cup of broth, and can’t get out of bed, I am grateful that I work online. I work between naps, which happen most of the day. I’ve self quarantined from the family, except for Bentley, the dog who remains at my side and only leaves for the occasion to eat and pee. He’s been at my side or at my feet, offering comfort, knowing something is not right.

Should I be tested?



But, I’d have to be well enough to go get a test, or at least take enough risk to leave the house for an hour. I’m not there yet. I’ll get tested as soon as I can. And, should I be positive, we’ll assume the rest of the family is positive too. This is how cases are underreported.

Please, think about others, and take simple precautions to keep yourself and others from getting sick. What you do matters more than you know. Be smart. Don’t put others at risk.

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Professional freelance writer | Happy Mom of 2 bringing you amazing tips on parenting, travel, & lifestyle with a touch of humor & sarcasm | Dog Mom | Bestselling author.

Austin, TX

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