Why I stay home

Dawn Baker |

Bring it on COVID-19.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  I’m not your target.  I’m in my mid-forties, in the right weight class, eating the right foods, doing the right things….  Shoot!  Before the pandemic I was practicing yoga three to four times per week.  Then why stay at home?  I miss my friends… Taking the kids to school would be a treat… What I wouldn’t give to have a ‘girls night out’ with my tribe…  I miss my life.  Then why?  Dear God… Why? Why stay at home?  Longing for the days taken for granted not so long ago…  More and more time passes… the answer to the ‘Why’ swirls powerfully around me and becomes painfully clear:


  • Displaced workers.  Everyday citizens of the world who get up every morning, go to work and make a small difference in their part of world.  Those who brought beauty and grace like the clowns and artists of the world crying how they will support their children.  Some were a paycheck away from financial ruin.  Maybe they were already running from demons…  and forging a better life.  Now their talents are spent figuring out how to collect unemployment (and if it would even apply to them)


  • Immune Compromised.  Those who are behind locked doors – scared to venture out.  They have overcome life – were they immigrants forging a new life, veterans enduring war, or those surviving life in general?  Maybe they are heart attack or cancer survivors.  Perhaps they are waiting for a transplant, chemo, or dialysis.  What if their only impairment is their advanced age?  So many are living in a tech-savvy world with an old school mindset.  Can you wait a week for an available time slot for a simple food delivery? 


  • Teachers and Students.  Kids missing their friends and routine.  The school hallways are empty and cold.  For some, school is their safe haven offering their only daily meals.  Teachers sharing their passions.  Teachers pouring their hearts into a lesson plan that likely will be shelved this year.  No final prom… no graduation…  Diploma is in the mail. 


  • New fathers (and mothers) of the world.  Is there a more magical sound as your baby crying for the first time?  Tears of joy abound.  Cutting the umbilical cord.  Snuggling your precious miracle.  Now…  laboring mothers are now left to fend for themselves, alone.  No memory of a new cry or the relief of a healthy delivery will be shared in the moment.  Maybe via Zoom.  But that doesn’t seem the same.


  • Small business owners.  Those who have nightmares about furloughing long-term employees….  Seeing the anguished faces when delivering the inevitable news.  Or those employers whose revenues significantly dropped wondering how long they can keep their businesses viable. They are just praying that there will be better tomorrows.


  • Unsung heroes.  Those who are re-stocking shelves, working in the hospitals and tirelessly keeping the economy and infrastructure running.  Food can be bought.  Money has value.  Electricity and Internet are working.  There is order amidst the chaos.  Everyday people are coming together and keeping our communities running.  Even if it means risking their own lives due to the lack of personal protective gear.  Worrying about the health and safety of their own families.


  • The Goodbyes.  Life still marches on.  We are still losing our furry confidants, friends, parents, and spouses due to disease, heart attacks, strokes or accidents.  Some of us are saying goodbye curbside watching as masked figures disappear with our loved ones.  Some of us are pacing by the phones waiting for our twice-a-day updates on a loved one clinging to life.  Just yesterday, there was humanity in our goodbyes.  Now it could be deadly.  Yet still… those of us are still longing for physical contact… reassurance… a simple hug…  


Circling back to the original question – Why stay at home?  Quite simply, we are in this together.  Collectively we can make a difference.  By the sacrificing now, we can emerge from this chaos sooner.  Together we can save lives.  Social distancing can prevent the spread and potential infection rate.  By becoming mindful of our activities, our medical facility may be give the precious gift of time to gather the proper supplies and prepare so our loved ones can receive the proper care.  Let’s collectively shift our focus from ‘it’s about me’ to ‘it’s about us.’  Doing the right thing isn’t always easy.  However, there is a silver-lining around these gloomy clouds.  Maybe you can get to know your family better, or learn a new skill, or read a book that you never took the time for, perhaps reach out virtually to friends and family who are struggling…  The ideas are endless…. And these are all individually heroic actions.  Thinking of you, your loved ones and our global community.  Until we can meet again…  Stay safe.