I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while now… I guess ever since we decided to bake up a couple of twins from scratch using borrowed eggs and my forty-seven- year-old oven. My daughter once called us the “Real Modern Family” – and you know, she’s right. I’m a Southern woman married to a half-Korean, half-Italian/Slovenian Yankee man twelve years my junior; I have two beautiful twenty-something daughters, an arthritic dappled dachshund and a morbidly obese cat. And now, after much thought and consideration — and then funding and injections, vaginal suppositories, and appointments — I have started motherhood all over again. This will be the story of us: our real modern family. Or maybe, more appropriately, our postmodern family. Postmodern, as in “radical reappraisal.” And our story is, indeed, a radical reappraisal of how to make and nurture a family.
Many things have changed since that summer almost three years ago when we began our in-vitro journey… I will do my best to record current happenings, as well as flashbacks to those glory days of post-modern fertilization, pregnancy pillows, and preeclampsia. I’m hoping our story will be an inspiration to those battling the frustrations of infertility, to those navigating the beautiful and rugged territory of twindom, and to those who decide to either start a family or do it all over again at a rather ripe age.
Even as I try to type this, I question why I’m doing it. I have nothing special to say. I’m nothing special. I nearly stop before I’ve begun, but then I think… I’m nothing special, true… but I do have something different to offer. I can’t imagine there are too many forty-nine year olds out there lactating. Not too many women out there with twenty-three years difference between their last baby girl and their most recent baby boys, not too many women who, as my father says, “ran the engine and the caboose when it comes to supplying grandchildren.” Not too many women out there who just suffered through a sixteen-month stint of extreme sleep deprivation. If nothing else, I can be a freak show for people to point at and ridicule. Still, I hope I can inspire a few to give postmodern family planning a go.
I have to write on this. Not because I have anything particularly valuable to say, but because if I don’t, I’m part of the problem. If I stay silent, I’m encouraging the oppressor. I refuse to support injustice and inequality. I refuse to encourage violence and murder.
So I am standing in the gap and calling for change.
And if I lose friends, if I lose “followers,” so be it. Better that loss, than the loss of human lives in a nation built on liberty and justice for all — unless you don’t fit that “liberty and justice” mold. That white, gun-toting, rebel-rousing, faith-filled, liberty-and-justice mold. It’s fine to be a rebel if you’re white. It’s fine to carry guns — semi-automatic weapons even — if you’re white. It’s fine to be a person of faith — as long as you’re Christian and white. It’s fine to want liberty and justice, as long as you’re white.
America. A nation built on lies bred on the backs of people of color forced to forge the American Dream. Well, that dream is a nightmare and I refuse to participate. I refuse to bury my head in the sand. Instead, I will scream at the top of my lungs until we all wake up.
I am no expert. My skin is not black. I cannot say I understand. I can, however, say I empathize. I can, however, say I support you. I can, however, do all I can possibly do to help. I can acknowledge the injustice and speak for change. I can speak out from my heart for my students, my student-athletes, my friends, my fellow humans.
I owe them my love, my support, my energy, and my efforts. I owe them the acknowledgment of inequality. We all do. And we owe them more than that. We owe them equality.
I have seen and heard and felt the racist comments and undercurrents in my classroom whenever we’ve tried to discuss inequality. Inevitably, the room becomes a harshly-divided hotbed of contention — and unwaveringly along color lines. There are far too few white students willing to take a stand with their black peers and acknowledge they have seen and heard the racism inherent in our community. There are, thankfully, a small handful willing to speak up for their peers.
Along with Hispanic and Asian students, they will speak up. Because they know. They understand. They see and hear and feel it too. But inside the walls of my classroom — and inside the walls of my social media accounts, I regularly hear, “Well, honestly, ALL lives matter.”
Well, of course they do. Nobody is saying they don’t. But plenty of people ARE saying Black lives don’t matter.
Through their actions. (Refusing to see an undeniable truth IS action and it is unforgivable.)
Through negative labeling to “justify” the violence.
Through the continued denial of the obvious and ongoing racist crisis in the nation (I hesitate to use the words “Our Nation” when it so obviously denies freedom and justice for ALL).
Through the staggering number of minority deaths at the hands of law enforcement.
Through the refusal of the legal system to hold those responsible for the all those deaths legally responsible.
Through the arguments, “But he was resisting arrest”; “But they shouldn’t have been hanging with that crowd”; “But he was jogging in cargo pants”; “But, but, but, but…”
No more butts. We have too many assholes in the world already. There is no excuse, and there is no more time for excuses. Stand up and say No More. No more time. No more negative portrayals. No more negative nouns. No more labels. No more statistics. No more names. No more deaths.
There is only time now for support and for change. Stand in the gap. Help make change. Demand justice. For George Floyd. For Ahmaud Arbery. For Breonna Taylor. For Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Philando Castile. For so many more…
For the many who have been enslaved, scarred, broken, and murdered in the shameful history of a nation built on the dreams of the few at the expense of the many. This. Is. America.
I am a huge football fan, and we are a huge football family. From my high school ball-coaching husband and pee wee player sons, to my grown daughters (one a Georgia Bulldog, the other a Tennessee Volunteer), we live for Friday nights under the lights and Saturdays out in the sun. But I have to tell you, all this talk of opening up summer practice has me torn.
Right now, my husband’s after-school profession and my family’s biggest passion and beloved pastime is under some serious scrutiny as the Powers-that-Be determine what, when, how (and even whether) to get the preseason conditioning and practices under way.
My heart is so torn. I know the risks and I know the rewards.
The risks can be great. My daughter is a doctor out in Dallas. The most-serious cases in all of North Texas are treated in a COVID-unit in her hospital. She tells me how the virus ravages patients, both with preexisting conditions and without. She knows how impossible it is to predict whose body can handle a coronavirus attack and whose can’t.
But I also know the risk for high school football players is minimal. Only 2% of confirmed COVID-19 cases are children, and of those, only 6% or so are hospitalized. Even with the growing awareness of the dangerous Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome that’s been in the news lately, the risk to our players is incredibly small.
So odds are, our boys can huddle up, knock helmets, throw passes, and swap sweat and oxygen without adverse consequences. So what happens on the practice field isn’t what worries me.
No, I am far more worried about what happens in the weight room.
These boys lift A LOT of weight. They huff and puff and pump themselves up before pressing ginormous poundage. They use spotters. And those spotters stand directly behind and/or above the weightlifters’ faces. They exhale and inhale each other’s air. Six-foot social distancing is impossible. Ingestion of respiration droplets is inescapable.
And while the boys themselves are probably going to be just fine, they ARE potential carriers who can share the virus at home with parents and grandparents — some with compromised immune systems, some without. (And again, that doesn’t necessarily predict relative safety or risk.)
Also, a recent study out of South Korea reveals over 1000 COVID cases there were linked to fitness classes, at an attack rate of 26.3%. The exhaled breath of athletes under physical exertion causes more dense transmission of isolated droplets. That, paired with unpredictable air flow, increases the contagion factor dramatically. And facemasks during heavy exercise can cause dizziness and fainting. So… not ideal.
The air in the field house weight room will be steamy and full of exhaled air, recirculating through a multitude of lungs, coaches’ included. And that is what worries me on a selfish and personal level. Coaches fall within age ranges far more susceptible to the virus. And those coaches can likewise inadvertently carry the virus home to wives and family members who may be susceptible.
Yes, there are definite variables and risks involved in starting football back up for the summer. But then, I also understand there are rewards.
The rewards for these coaches and their players are tremendous. Because football is so much more than just a game. It is a commitment and it is a calling, but most importantly, it is a family. And that family has a legacy — a legacy left by hometown heroes to current family members, who will carry and leave that legacy for future generations to come.
The tradition of football is strong: the heart, the commitment, the discipline, the family, the legacy.. these are the rewards. And to miss a season would be a tragedy. But then, so would unnecessary deaths or debilitating lifelong conditions for players, coaches, families, and fans.
I guess there are risks and rewards to be considered with every decision that comes with life. And for this wife of a football coach, teacher of football players, and mother of a physician daughter, the risks and rewards are weighing heavy on my heart. I love my family. I love my football. I love my football family.
For the time being, I’ll wait on the Powers-that-Be. And depending on what they decide, my family and football families around the nation will need to make weighty decisions of our own. May God grant us wisdom as we move into this new season of a pandemic preseason.
(And may He also guide medical science to wipe this virus from the face of the earth so that the only face-masks we have to worry about are of the 15-yard penalty variety.)
God grant me the serenity to stay true to my nature and out of the fray. Help me to avoid getting caught in the snarling hailstorms of blustering blowhards.
I’ve been avoiding a lot of news and newsfeeds lately. I’m careful what I watch, who I follow, where I click. There’s too much negativity out in the world. I prefer fresh air, like-minded friends, and diversionary television.
So I take early morning strolls, comment on babies and good books, and watch Peaky Blinders and Dateline — shows where I can revel in my violent hidden tendencies with a giant bowl of popcorn and couple glasses of wine.
My morning walks are my salvation. They center my soul and keep me from losing my shit. I focus on the glory of God’s nature, not the gall of the human variety. There’s goldenrods and Queen Anne’s lace in the empty lots, and often deer — ears and hooves high and tremulous — crossing the stretch of asphalt round the back curve. There’s even a fat butterscotch cat who thinks he’s a lion. He leans into the hillside, stalking me, then bolts out in a daring display of puff and whisker. And then there’s the birds. So many birds. Starlings, maybe, or finches and wrens, weaving good morning ribbons in the air above me, the birdsong and banter restoring poetry and peace.
Nature makes it so much easier to forget the anxiety, stress, and claustrophobia I feel inside my world. Forget the unchecked egos, bitter orange lies, animosity and entitlement I see outside my world — inside television and computer screens. Forget the politicians heaving insults like planks from their podiums at press conferences. Forget the friends sliding insults like splinters beneath their fingers on keyboards. All aiming to injure. To maim. To show they’re better than the other person.
But sticking with my nature makes it easier to handle. Easier to sidestep the bile and settle the rancor stirred up in my soul. Stay true to my nature. I was born a pacifist, a lover, a nurturer. Give me calm, give me quiet, give me family. Give me the mornings with the mist on the river and a sliver of gold on the horizon and I will wait for the sun to climb. I will search for goodness and light.
But I can defend myself if needed. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. If your aim is to dismantle joy, if your aim is disrupt peace and spread poison, I will take action.
I won’t scald you like the midday sun. That’s not my nature. No, in due course, I will slice you away like the poisonous deadwood and self-serving fungus you are. You will not poison me or mine. You will simply find yourself detached — from my heart and my country.
That is my nature — my violent hidden tendencies when push comes to shove. I hack off dangerous, parasitic infections and move forward.
As I sit here on my porch, fresh from my walk, my pruning sheers in hand, a crow caws somewhere off in its own dark wood. It’s what crows do. It’s their nature and they can’t change. The sky layers itself in whisper-gray felt, harbinger of the coming storm.
Follow your nature, and I’ll follow mine. Some things — and people — must be severed and left where they fall.
My students’ final assignment for the year was to write a monster/hero essay. They were to personify coronavirus, identify its monstrous traits and then identify the heroes fighting against it. It was a persuasive, creative essay and they did a wonderful job. Now, after witnessing some monstrous behavior last night, I’ve decided to add my own take on this monster/hero assignment.
COVID-19 is indeed a monster. It leaves patients dead on gurneys in hospitals across the world, but it’s also leaving friendships dead on computer screens in houses around the world. There’s a plague’s worth of negativity out there, and the negative cases of coronavirus infection are having far greater death tolls than the confirmed positive ones.
COVID-19 is a monster. And the monster is a zombie, consuming rational people’s brains, turning them into growling, angry predators on attack.
I have been fortunate enough to not have a family member or close friend infected with the physical manifestation of COVID19. But this new strain — this tertiary infection, attacking not lungs or kidneys or circulatory systems, but people’s right minds — that’s another story. It’s even more contagious. Droplets of venom left hanging in cyberspace just waiting to infect new hosts. I’ve born witness to multiple clumsy, violent attacks in recent weeks.
Friendships left in decayed, rotten states.
Something’s gotta give. Don’t fight with a zombie. Don’t let this negative strain infect you too. Steer clear. Stay safe. Be a hero.
In my almost twenty years of teaching, I’ve acquired a small posse of pink flamingos — although some might argue that’s an understatement. Either way, suffice it to say, I’ve got a few flocking flamingos.
My collection began serendipitously, like all truly great collections do. I was in my first year of teaching, and while driving to work, I would pause at a stop sign in the dip of a hill on a back country road. And there, on a corner lot of the four-way, sat a yellow clapboard house with white trim. Average enough. But what this house had like no other house I’d ever seen before was a passel of pink flamingos throwing a party.
Shit you not.
Now this was way before smart phones with cameras, but gosh, I wish I’d had one. Still, picture it if you will…
Ten or twelve pink plastic flamingos arranged in an artistic display of garden-party fun. Some wore hats, some wore beads. There was one in a Hawaiian shirt, another in a frothy green boa. There were umbrella drinks staked in front of them, and they were clustered in groups, mixing and flamingling. A couple were even making out in the back (which made for a whole lotta necking). It was a technicolor tableau of tacky plastic yard art.
The first time I saw them, I stopped the car, enthralled. I couldn’t wait to get to school and tell my kids about them.
Then, when the following Monday rolled around — Heavens to Birdsy, there was a new scene arranged! A fishing expedition this time, complete with rods and reels and a couple canoes. The flamingos wore miniature vests and fishermen hats. There was a cooler of beer on a bench and a trawl line with silver plastic fish hanging off the back.
I knew flamingos ate fish, but with such skill! such accoutrement!
Every Monday of that school year, a new tableau was unveiled, leaving me smiling ear to ear. There were barbecues, pool parties, trick or treat costumes, even a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer and a red-foam clown-nosed Rudolf in the lead. I don’t think Christmas as a kid ever got me as excited as those Monday mornings my first year teaching.
My students were as obsessed as I was and never failed to ask about the flamingos’ latest exploits. The last week of school, as my seventh-graders wrapped up their year, they also wrapped up flamingos in tissue paper and gave them to me as gifts. Book marks, magnets and tchotchkes and homemade art.
In nearly twenty years, my desk and bookshelf behind it have become littered with flamingo fare, which eventually spilled over into my home and my friends and family. I’ve been gifted with stuffed ones, resin ones, painted ones, glow-in-the-dark ones. I’ve got bags and hats and earrings and even a gaudaciously-sparkly Vegas-style bracelet my sister discovered for me. In Vegas.
My husband found me a phone cover, my girls gifted me an apron. My mother got me kitchen towels, friends give me coasters and cups, throw pillows and blankets. An artist friend painted some on canvas and wind chimes. Kids get them for me as ornaments every Christmas.
For my fiftieth birthday, Mike surprised me with a lawn-full of the yard birds wishing me the happiest of “Flocking Birthdays.” After that, I obtained a pair of classic ones perched on metal sticks in pots for my deck — the kind your great Aunt Pearline had grazing in her blue hydrangeas in front of her trailer in Euharlee in the 70s. Heck, she still has them to this day. And now, so do I. Plus a zombie skeleton one just for Halloween.
That distant flamingo house party at the four-way stop fizzled out long, long ago, but it started a trend. A collection. An obsession.
I for-sure wouldn’t say my collection’s complete. I mean, sure…
I’ve got tumblers and coasters aplenty. I’ve got whirligigs, wind chimes galore. You want flamingo shirts? Not quite twenty. But who cares? No big deal, I want more…
I want to do what those people did. I want to make, want to make some parties, put all my birds out on display, kick up their bills…
Out where you walk, out where you run, out where you’ll drive by them just for fun,
… partying free, please let them be part of your world.
Corny, I know… but still. All those years ago, in perhaps my hardest teaching year of all, with seventh-grade students battling hormones and each other on the daily — flamingos brought me (and them) great joy.
And now, in the midst of all this coronavirus craziness, with all of us battling depression and each other, why not plant a little pink flamingo joy on a patch of lawn at our own pale yellow house?
So to my husband, if you’re reading this — I may have just ordered a 50-pack of powder pink flamingos on Amazon. We’re officially flocked.
And neighbors — please don’t call the cops or the HOA on me. As far as I’ve heard, there’s no social distancing restrictions on pink plastic yard art.
Yesterday was my senior students’ last day of high school, and unfortunately it was virtual. It breaks both my heart and theirs. I came to know many from this 2020 class as juniors last year, my first year at Cartersville — and those of you who teach know how those kids you teach your first year (whatever “first” it may be) live in a special little place in your heart.
But this crew didn’t just carve out a niche, they climbed in and set up camp. And when we were all yanked apart eight weeks ago, my heart was left numb and aching.
I miss them like nobody’s business. They are a smart, fun-loving group, full of moxie and mirth, despite life being more than a little unfair to them.
Several of them I’ve had the honor of teaching two years in a row — last year in American Lit and this one in journalism. There’s one particular group of girls who’ve written about the impact coronavirus has had on their lives — everything from emotional turmoil to lost milestones and missing friends.
But while they do address the negatives, what I find profound and powerful is the grit and grace they’ve uncovered in themselves, despite the unforgiving situation. I find myself humbled and inspired by these young adults.
One bubbly eighteen year old with eyes blue as May skies and an outlook equally clear, explains how she finds comfort in the pandemic: “I completely lose myself in words. [I have a] need for music and reading. It’s a haven for me, a place for me to say and think what I want … It feels like a sense of worth to have what YOU need set down in writing.”
Ultimately, the one thing she hopes happens after this pandemic pause is that “the world can come together and act as a whole instead of being separated.” In the meantime, she wants the earth to “catch its breath and just be.”
Another student who never fails to maneuver through darkness in search of light inspires me more than she’ll ever know. This year was rocky for her, even before the shutdown, but she handled that upheaval with strength and resolve.
And now her year has been upended once again, but through it all, she’s remained optimistic. Sure, she has felt “down in the dumps,” but she also sees this as an opportunity to “hike, travel to beautiful gardens, walk, run, [and] work out.” She notes “how structured and unappreciative life used to seem, [when] most everyone took …everyday activities for granted.” Now, she’s determined to soak up the memories and moments until life resumes its normal pace.
A third senior with her own set of childhood ghosts has used her past to help her forge the future with confidence. She battled feelings of “not being enough” for a very long time, but along the way she’s gathered the wisdom to know better– and the foresight to know this pandemic will not beat her or her classmates.
“Seniors are strong and we will get through this. We might not finish this school year traditionally, but we are going to finish. You will not defeat our 2020 class. And we will be ready for wherever life takes us next.”
I don’t know about y’all, but I believe her.
And finally, a fourth senior, one with flawless hazelnut skin and an outlook far beyond her years blew me away with her words this week. She’s had a lot to juggle, caring for two young brothers at home and managing her own course load while her physician mother treats COVID19 patients. And though she admits to feeling proud of her mother, she has equal feelings of being robbed of her senior milestones.
“It makes me feel selfish, but people always say that the first step to recovery is admittance. So that means I’m not just dealing with the pain, I’m healing.”
I feel like what she says is just what this tenacious senior class is doing — dealing with the pain and healing. By seeking beauty and finding grace inside the struggle.
I would say I can’t wait to see where this world takes them, but then, the world’s not taking them anywhere. It’s definitely the other way around.
These corona days, I often feel overwhelmed and anxious. Like I’m not being a good enough daughter, friend, sibling, teacher, mother, or wife. Like I can’t possibly play all these positions I’ve signed up for in life. Like I’m one big certifiable mess.
The pater-familias phone check-ins are a hot mess. My dad wants to preach scripture or pandemic data at me. He keeps his own spreadsheets — alphabetical by county — and there’s been days I’ve laid the phone down, flung a few F-bombs, folded some laundry, fried up some burgers, and picked up the phone again to find he’s only on Bibb …
My house is a bonafide mess, no doubt. I found spaghetti noodles stuck like dried worms to my couch cushions yesterday. They were hidden under the growing landfill of yogurt cups, coloring sheets, spent socks and play-doh. I haven’t made spaghetti in five weeks.
My hair’s a hot and humidified mess. I look like Medusa in a meltdown most days — hair frizzy and flat-iron free for these six weeks of quarantine. Today Tate climbed into my lap and excitedly told me I have white hair on top. “You’re turning into Elsa!!!” Great. Only I won’t be Elsa. I’ll be Medusa morphed into Einstein in a nuclear meltdown.
After that compliment, I needed to find a way to soothe my anxiety and settle my spirits — and since I didn’t have the stuff for Bloody Marys or Mimosas and all other spirits are frowned upon before five o’clock anywhere, I decided to bake.
Baking is my benzodiazapine when I’m feeling like a frazzled failure.
So I put some James Taylor’s Greatest Hits, broke out the brown sugar and parchment, and poured all my stress into my Kitchen Aid. Before long, I was humming along to “How Sweet It Is” and feeling so much lighter and brighter.
There’s just something about the smell of freshly-baked cookies — like the whisper of something warm and kind that centers my soul when the world feels out of whack. I forgot all my worries, my white hairs, my sofa-turned-scrapheap, and I baked.
Baking has been my comfort my entire life. Back when I was held captive in the cult, sweet, cinnamon rolls showed me the way, the truth, and the light. During football season when my husband’s away, I bury my lonely in snickerdoodle batter and fresh lemon cakes. And now in quarantine, with the four walls straining to contain my hot mess, it’s chocolate chip cookies for my sanity’s sake.
I can’t do it all, and I definitely can’t do it all well. But I can do baking. And since none of us in this house need to eat four dozen chocolate chip cookies, tomorrow my three boys and I will be driving the city to deliver warm, kind whispers to the mailboxes of others feeling the hot, lonely mess of this pandemic time.
Today is Earth Day, and it’s a beauty here in Georgia — one of those balmy days with scoops of melting clouds marbling their way into a lacy, eggshell sky. The tree tops ripple their applause, the birdsong sings its praise. Tomorrow the rains come, but today is fair and sweet.
Mother Nature is doing her best to distract us and honestly, she’s sometimes the only thing keeping me from wallowing in bitterness. The Earth is a faithful friend and a soothing constant in the midst of all the uncertainty right now. She can almost make you forget there’s a pandemic in our midst — at least for a little while.
I’ve been walking at dawn each day before anyone else is up, and those walks are just the dollop of sweet cream I need to jump start my sanguine soul.
There’s nothing quite like a wet, newborn morning to make you feel hopeful and focused again. Today as I ventured out, the sun was sliding into a crisp, 43-degree dawn. All the lawns were fresh dipped in soft light and glazed in celadon green. My breath fogged, in keeping with the river’s.
We’re kindred spirits, the River and I. Chilly, but moving. Searching.
A friend of ours has a saying, “If you’re not growing, you’re decaying,” and in these days of quarantine, it’s been easy to succumb to thoughts of decay and nothingness. Because it feels like there’s no forward progress. Like we’re all just treading water in a hovering state between drowning and life. An in-between state. A limbo.
I’m not used to limbo — although I did used to think it would be nice to get away from it all like a hermit on the hillside — just for a while. Well, that “while” has lost its luster.
But this Earth of ours, her luster is in full bloom. She’s been spiffing herself up — and I’m not talking simply iris and azalea blossoms here. She been doing a bit of spring cleaning while we’ve been sheltering in place: Blue skies are returning to L.A. and Tokyo, turtles are hatching on Daytona Beach; jellyfish are jellyfishing through the Grand Canal.
Progress through this pandemic pause…
A whole lot of revelations have been made during this stressful and polarizing time. Some good, some not so good. But today, on Earth Day, let’s focus on the positive revelations. How resilient and generous the Earth has been. How we can all learn from her example.
Get out and celebrate the Earth and enjoy her humblest of treasures today.
Find a field and wade through her clover, find a stream and watch it move; find some woods and pad through the pine straw, wander a gully or inspect a grove. Explore all the ragamuffin riches the unfettered world has to share.
Or, explore your own backyard…
Pack up a picnic dinner, park yourself on a quilt, and break bread with the ants and the bees. Weed your flowerbeds, mow your grass; toss a frisbee, ride your bike. Watch the world blur through a hummingbird’s wings; lap up the sunset from the slant of an Adirondack chair.
Whatever your potion, get outside and drink up a strong dose of Earth’s indomitable spirit. Swallow the lessons she’s teaching us all about resilience, generosity, grace and grit. And let them plant themselves in your soul.
Her spirit will surely help settle our own spirits in these most unsettling of times. And teach us a thing or two too…
I keep reading posts from people demanding states and communities open up the gates and get back to business as normal. And I get so frustrated. Because things are nowhere near normal — and nowhere near ready to be.
This virus is deadly. Not because it’s necessarily more powerful than other viruses, but because we have no immunity to it. It’s brand new. And until we have the tools needed to fight this — antibodies and vaccinations and effective treatments — we need to stay put.
But then folks like Dr. Oz and Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil — all those first-name(ish) television demigods of medicine — recommend otherwise and folks are ready to live and die by their word. Literally.
And sometimes I just want to yell IN ALL CAPS through the screen “JUST GO OUT THEN… ALL OF YOU!” Go expose yourselves and let the wrath descend upon you like the plague that it is and then deal with it as you will.
But then, I know you won’t be the only ones to deal with it.
Nurses and doctors like my daughter will have to deal with it — and deal with you. Nurses and doctors who don’t have the option of staying in to protect themselves and their families from this deadly disease.
They’ve taken an oath to treat the sick to the best of their ability. But their ability is being compromised due to endless shift hours, crowded emergency rooms and sick wards, lack of PPE, lack of ventilators, and honestly, lack of common sense from so many members of the public riding the waves made by conspiracy theorists.
Every time someone defies the appeal to shelter in place, people are put at risk — your family members, essential workers, and ultimately medical personnel like my daughter are all put at risk.
And that is not okay with me. Yes, she took an oath to treat her patients, but she did not take an oath to put her own life on the line. She is not a soldier. But she’s doing it — and she will continue to do it. Because she has a soldier’s heart. And she has a caring heart.
But quit endangering her life by being stupid.
And it’s not just nurses and doctors. There are hundreds of people behind the scenes at hospitals who are growing sick and dying, too. People who never took a Hypocratic oath. People admitting patients, people cleaning patient rooms; people cooking patient meals. The unrecognized people of this pandemic — they’re catching it too.
When we thank the essential workers, we need to be thanking these folks, as well. We need to remember ALL hospital personnel — on the front lines and behind-the-scenes. And you need to remember ALL THE PEOPLE you are hurting if you ignore the advice of experts. The legitimate ones.
The Dr. Drews and Ozes of this world should be ashamed for revving the engines of the masses (literally) who are ready to reopen schools, reopen businesses, reopen beaches… and ready to spread this virus to monumental proportions.
And if you are one of those members of the masses, just stop and consider: what if it were your sibling, your mother, your father, your best friend inside the COVID19 ward — caring for… or being cared for?
And if that doesn’t make you stop and think… what if it were your child?
Think about it. And just stop. Stop the madness.
Shelter in place and listen to the voices of reason. The voices of science. The QUALIFIED ones in the research labs and on the front lines. The ones who know.