How Is the Coronavirus Impacting You This Week?

I’ve written about the coronavirus from a business perspective on my company blog, but I’m curious how it’s impacting you personally. What are you doing differently this week than you would if the disease wasn’t spreading around the world?

I’ll answer my own question below, but first I wanted to say how surreal the whole experience has been. There’s an incredibly contagious, rampant disease for which there is no vaccine, and the world is taking it seriously. Even though it hasn’t impacted me or anyone I know, I’m also taking it seriously. It’s not so much that I don’t want to catch the virus; rather, I’m more concerned about not spreading it.

The biggest red flag to me is the sheer lack of test kits in the US. As of a few days ago, only around 10,000 people here had actually been tested, as the testing was largely restricted to those who had recently traveled to China or other coronavirus hotspots. Over 2,000 confirmed cases emerged from those tests, so imagine how many others out there have caught the virus and just don’t know it yet?

Hence why I’m taking it seriously. Megan and I have postponed our trip to Alaska, cancelled this week’s game night, and put a hold on our climbing gym excursions. We’re not hoarding anything, but we have food and paper products to last us a few weeks if necessary. I’ll continue to try to stay healthy–I want a strong immune system in place. And I’ll probably continue to pay way too much information to CNN.com and this website.

That said, we’re not entirely self-isolating. I will still go to the grocery store if I need something (recent visits have been completely normal–no crazy crowds or empty shelves other than toilet paper), and I’m sure I’ll still go to a restaurant sometime this week. Megan will likely continue to go to her various workouts.

Perhaps we’re overreacting, but I’m all for full containment of this virus so we can get back to normal life. The Washington Post had an excellent interactive article today about the impact of people choosing not to come into contact with each other for a few weeks–it could make a huge difference:

Basically, I want to be a part of the solution, and I’m fortunate that my only dependents are cats and that I work from home, so it’s fairly easy for me to do my part. Everyone’s lives are different, though, so I’m curious how this state of emergency is impacting your week.


10 Responses to “How Is the Coronavirus Impacting You This Week?”

  1. Stephen Werness says:

    We are in Santa Clara county in California where legally groups cannot be more than 35 people. It’s been an experience with kids and a baby.

  2. Cynthia says:

    I had been preparing for social distancing or isolation for a few weeks when on Wednesday the week before last we got the news that one of the first two cases in Georgia was a 15 year old boy that attended the same homeschool study group as Richard’s coworker’s child. A coworker who sits only a few feet from Richard at the office. So, it was a little sooner than we expected to do it, but I was pretty prepared already, so we made the choice to go into self-isolation to quarantine ourselves immediately, to remove the risk of infecting anyone else if we had been exposed.

    So, that is what we have been doing for the last 12 days. I work from home already and Richard has been working from home when he can, and taking vacation time when he can’t (hopefully his work will move to full time working from home policy soon so that he can continue to work from home full time instead of using vacation time that we had other plans for). Our self imposed isolation time is nearing a close, but, now that we are 12 days in and doing just fine, we have decided to continue. No reason to stop now just as things seem to be getting worse.

    I’m extremely thankful that our work situations are such that we can do everything we need to for work from our homes, that we have a beautiful home that we enjoy spending time in, and that I was lucky that as it happens I had already gathered the supplies we needed most to isolate at the time we were unexpectedly thrust into this situation where we felt we had no choice but to immediately stop any physical contact with the outside world. I am well aware that most people are not able to do that as easily.

    Within minutes of hearing the news, I had cancelled all outings, get-togethers, doctor appointments, and a work trip/trip to see my family in another state. None of this is fun but I figure if all I have to do is stay home and endure some less fancy meals, and facetime with people instead of meeting in person…. to save someone or maybe numerous someones the horror of getting this virus… there is no question in my mind. It isn’t even a choice really for me.

    I don’t know if we will all end up getting it at some point. But I know that right now, our health care system isn’t prepared. Many people will die because too many people get too sick too fast. Not contributing to that problem is my number one priority over all else.

    Also, I live with my love and my best friend in the world….and he loves to play board games. 🙂 Going to set one up now and enjoy that for a few hours, hopefully getting our minds off what is going on in the world for a little while.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. I’m glad you and Richard have been able to self-isolate and avoid catching the disease despite the close call.

  3. Zach says:

    I’m a teacher in Texas. We were about to come off Spring break but received an email our district would be closed. Students believe break is extended but our district is allowing us to quickly retrieve things we need from school (no students) in order to work from home, makes me believe that schools will be closed longer than this week. I think this is a good idea. The CDC just released a statement saying 8 weeks social distancing should be practiced.

    Our son’s daycare is closed because it is run by the school district. It will be challenging to teach from home with our 16 month old running around but I believe we can do it.

  4. Sara says:

    I work at City Hall in Stephen’s area. It was a ghost town last week. I’m working from home today invoking a condition that makes me higher risk than some. We’ve been practicing social distancing for a couple of weeks now. However, it’s more stressful than you’d have thought to walk around with everybody actively trying not to touch anything or get close to people. I am an admin – I had to push to be able to work from home. Now two of the six people on my team have called in sick this morning. If any more call in, I may have to go to the office anyway. Meanwhile, the city gov’t has been talking for a couple of weeks about the possibility of us closing the building to the public and paring down to “essential services” (PD, Fire, Accounting, Emergency Operations Center). I could use the time off, but I’m also aware that there are people who can’t afford it. This is the middle of Silicon Valley; even people who can afford a shut down can’t afford to be off for long.

    Then my boss, who’d traveled to Disneyland of all places, came back “with a sore throat” but still came to work since it wasn’t on the list of COVID-19 symptoms. Two days later, she called in saying she was exhausted and now had a cough. People, nobody cares if you have COVID-19 or not – we don’t want to be coughed on. I think it’s incredibly selfish for people to come in, untested, declaring they don’t have corona virus because they don’t have every symptom on the list. I don’t want your cold or flu either!

    You couldn’t pay me enough to go to Costco for anything. Having been raised in CA, I’ve not seen panic buying before. OMG some people have gone nuts! However, I have a habit of keeping a decent stock of things around – we could live off our pantry and freezer for about a month if necessary. When I went to buy my one pack of TP a week ago, there were (thankfully) still several packs on the shelf. Last weekend’s shopping for a couple things was the first time I saw extra long lines, but they still weren’t crazy like we’re seeing on TV.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I completely agree with your thoughts about not coming into work sick (or going to the grocery store sick)–I hope this experience will help people realize that their contagions impact others too.

  5. Joe PIlkus says:

    Personally, we’re restricting some of our future travel, including a trip to Indonesia, but not cancelling local activities. This past weekend, 38 of us joined together for a 4-day podcast-hosted Gaming Convention here in VA. They proved exceptionally responsible by asking individuals to not attend if they exhibited any Covid-19 symptoms and monitored everyone during our time together.

    We’ll probably not suspend the weekly gathering at a local pub unless of course the venue has restrictions in place. Like the attended convention, we’ll continue to use common sense, employ hand sanitizer w/greater frequency, and simply remain observant.

    One of the attendees is married to a nurse, who sadly couldn’t join us, but she provided great advice which we all followed: 1. when you get home, shower; 2. throw your clothes immediately into the washer and dryer; and 3. take your temperature. If you exhibit any symptoms, contact the convention’s planners.

    Be safe, fellow gamers!

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