Finding Balance in the age of COVID-19; Part II: Flattening the Curve / Social Distancing

So, I’m seeing a lot of responses that range from flat out panic to apathy. I realize some people truly don’t believe that this is going on, but sometimes I think apathy can be a sign of anxiety. Especially for those of us who have trauma, it’s a well known trauma  response. It’s our body version of “playing dead” to protect ourselves, except this isn’t a saber-tooth tiger. Playing dead won’t work. It’s a trauma response that can be protective, except when it isn’t . I know for me apathy is a common response. I just get so overwhelmed, that I check out. I don’t care about anything because I can’t . I’m just too anxious to deal. So I think I see a lot of people that are downplaying this because of their anxiety. So, how can we handle all of this chaos that is going on in our world today?  How can we handle our worries and our fears,while also treating this with the respect it deserves… but not panic. Well , I want to talk about social distancing .. We’re a very social society, especially here in America. We are also a very individualistic society. We’re used to being able to do what we want to do when we want to do it. Now we are being told that “for the greater good” , we cannot do what we want to do ,when we want to do it, and people are not happy about that. I get it. It sucks. It’s not what you are used to . But … here we are. We are at the point where  you need to act as if you have COVID-19 and try to keep from spreading it. We really have no way to know if you have it or not . We don’t have enough tests to test everyone. Most hospitals are only testing hospitalized patients, so even if you have every single symptom but aren’t sick enough to be in the hospital, we can’t test. We just send you home and tell you to self-quarantine. And remember, most people spread the virus while still asymptomatic. So we have to Social Distance. We just have to.

 What is social distancing? True social distancing is staying home.   Exceptions are if you have to go to work,  go to the store to get groceries/ supplies for the house. You may have to pick up medications and things like that from the pharmacy; otherwise, you need to be home. You need to be at home by yourself or with your family. This doesn’t mean it’s time to invite ten people over and have a party and party like it’s 1999.  Those ten people might go to a party where it’s a different ten people, someone gets infected, and now they’re going back to work, or they’re going back to their homes, etc. That ten-person party can turn into countless infected. So, it’s time to be at home. Now  I have seen some other professionals recommend picking one other family that you practice similar quarantine practices with, and you can socialize with that one family. Continuing to be out and about is not okay; it just is not okay. It’s putting a lot of people in danger.  It’s selfish, and it’s not okay.

Social Distancing 75% of the time is like using a condom 75% of the time. It doesn’t work.

Agnieszka Solberg MD

Please Practice Social Distancing

That’s why we’re encouraging social distancing. That’s why we’re encouraging hand washing. That’s why we’re getting so frustrated when people don’t listen. We know that we don’t have the supplies nor means at this point to save a whole lot of people at once. We just don’t. So we need you guys to help us protect you. We need this spread out over a longer length of time so that everyone could get the treatment and support that they deserve and that we want to give.

How have you been flattening the curve? Sound off below!