COVID-19 and Personal Responsibility

COVID-19 and Personal Responsibility

( – For the most part, people are in control of their lives and can influence the outcome of events, but COVID-19 has been thrust upon each and every person without our consent and beyond our control. So how can we as individuals act responsibly? What can we do to be trusted friends and neighbors?

Restrictive Orders

In nearly all instances, we are living under protectionist orders the likes of which we have never experienced before. Most states are mandating that we wash our hands often, don’t touch our faces, and most important, practice social distancing. Young and old alike, rich and poor…all have to follow these new rules to avoid spreading the virus to others.

In some cases, state and local leaders appear to be imposing overly restrictive regulations. In Michigan, for example, the governor has made things like motorcycle riding and shopping at outdoor garden centers forbidden. In Kent County, where Detroit is, a judge has granted the health department the ability to make COVID patients stay inside their homes — by force if needed.

Restrictions Get Confusing

While these restrictions are in place to help keep us all safe, the fact of the matter is that not every area of the country is facing the same level of risk from the coronavirus and sometimes the restrictions reflect that, while at other times they don’t.

For example, should those who live in sparsely populated areas where there are very few cases of the virus feel be under the same strict rules as others in more heavily populated areas? Also, some businesses are open while others are not — and those deemed “essential” in one state might not be in another. People are allowed to shop at grocery stores where social distancing can sometimes be difficult, but they can’t shop at a clothing store where there are likely fewer shoppers.

At times, there is little rhyme or reason for the rationale, but one thing is clear, this virus does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. This is why President Trump and his coronavirus task force rolled out a three-phase plan that is a blueprint for recovery. This plan allows governors to make decisions for their own states and they can even make decisions for regions within their states. For example, restrictions in NYC may need to be stricter for a longer period of time than they do in Buffalo.

So What Can Individuals Do?

We need to do our part to not add to the problem in spite of how unfair it seems at times.

Don’t go out if you don’t have to. As hard as it is to hear, stay-at-home orders, or lockdowns as they are often called, are temporary and need to be obeyed…yes for the common good.

Consider wearing a mask in public. A face covering, even a fabric one, can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While it may not prevent you from getting it if you happen to be sneezed or coughed on directly, but if you are sick and don’t know it, a fabric mask can help keep you from spreading it to others.

Practice social distancing. We have only recently realized how fast and easily this virus can spread from human to human. That’s why social distancing is so critical. While some individuals may not feel sick and believe they can circulate or congregate in public, they can still carry the virus and infect others at home, especially the elderly.

Stay home when you are sick. Many essential businesses are still open. Places like grocery stores, drug stores and restaurants (drive-thru and pick up services), among others, must remain open. If you work in one of these and get sick, STAY HOME!

While these measures are hard to accept for some, especially as the fight seemingly drags on, they are still vital in the war against this virus. The more responsibly we act, the sooner we contain this enemy and start getting our lives back.

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