By this point, I expect everyone who reads this blog is extremely familiar with the phrases “flatten the curve” and “social distancing.” If not, read Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now right now.
In the US, many schools are having spring break for a week sometime in the next two weeks. Ironically, it’s convenient timing for taking action that could dramatically flatten the curve.
What if we decided, as a nation, to take Spring Break at Home for the next two weeks. If you haven’t canceled your spring break trip, cancel it. Stay home with your family. Spend time together. If you’ve already taken spring break, extend the concept of it through the end of the month.
But, do it at home. In your house. With social distancing.
If you have a job where you can work from home (WFH), do it and don’t take the time off. Your company probably needs you more than ever right now. If you do take time off, figure out things that you and your family can do to help your local community. There are many people who can’t take time off, or will be suddenly unemployed hourly workers. Know that they will be impacted significantly.
Most of the US is a few weeks behind Seattle. Greg Gottesman wrote an excellent post the other day about A COVID-19 Response for Those WFH. Pay a lot of attention to your local businesses, which are a key thing that makes your city special to you. They are all going to be under massive distress with social distancing. Consider how you can help them during spring break. And know that if we don’t get ahead of this, we will likely end up in a situation like where France has had to close all restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs due to coronavirus, which seems like an extraordinary decision for a country and culture that loves to be out in public together.
If you are not involved with organizations like your local community foundation, explore that as part of your spring break. Community members who find themselves at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the virus and most impacted by inequity will need real help right now. Front-line caregivers will be under incredible stress. Find things to help (like we have in Boulder with the Covid-19 Response Fund) and contribute in some way to help keep your entire community healthy.
I talked to a new friend from Seoul yesterday and asked how he personally navigated through things. He said that he shifted from “thinking about himself to thinking about everyone else.” Whenever he thought about himself, he just got anxious and stressed. When he thought about everyone else, it motivated him to take action.
It sucks to cancel a family trip. It stinks to stop going out to your favorite restaurant. It’s a bummer that the sports events in the US were canceled (although I view it as incredibly leadership by our professional sports organizations.)
Take action. And know that every bit of action you take right now can help flatten the curve.