The Quarantine Continues…

01 May 20

When COVID-19 finally started becoming a serious issue in the USA and quarantines and stay at home orders started making their way across the country in March, I never imagined this would continue as long as it has.  When it all began, I was convinced that maybe we’d see the end of it by April.  And here we are at the end of April with still no end in sight. While we have flattened the curve and the cases and death rates are going down, there are still many stay at home orders in place and the numbers while lower are still devastating.  
    And, even if the stay at home orders are lifted, how many of us will feel comfortable going back to the life we knew prior to this? I can say with confidence that I personally will not.  With so much unknown, is going out for a bite to eat or a drink or just to hang out critical enough for me to put the well-being of me and my family at risk?  For me, it most definitely is not.  My heart breaks when I hear of friends and family in the medical profession who are staying away from young children, children who cannot understand why their mommies and daddies will not hug them or kiss them, to keep them safe.  All I am being asked to do is snuggle with my loved ones and not go out.  Is it really too much to ask for?   Given the sacrifices those at the frontlines are making, I don’t think so.  
    I know everyone’s situation is different.  I have the luxury of keeping my job and working at home.  My child is too young to be in school so his education is not being impacted.   I had to spend my birthday in quarantine and will likely spend my second mother’s day in quarantine which is still better than the first mother’s day which was spent in the ER.  Many are not in the same boat – they have lost their jobs, they are trying to homeschool children while keeping a job, they do not have the means or technology to home school children, and so much more.  Everyone’s circumstances are different and hence everyone’s take on the situation is different.  However, instead of protesting for opening up the state and country to save our economy, we should all be protesting that our government do more to help those that are in unique situations and struggling to put food on the table or a roof above their head in these difficult times.   The answer does not lie in putting these people’s lives at risk so they can survive financially.  
Many countries such as Canada, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and Britain are stepping in to help people so they do not have the make the choice between life and the economy.  So, why is the United States of America, known as a powerful nation unable to do the same?  I don’t agree with opening up the country to save our economy and putting lives at risk regardless of who that life is: the elderly, immune comprised, etc.  However, I am also not angry at those protesting for that to happen.  Their circumstances are different than mine.  
I can’t imagine being in a position where I am protesting the government to let me go back to work or open up my business knowing I put mine and my loved ones’ lives at risk by going out because I have no other choice – that is the only way I can survive.  My heart goes out to those that are weathering the same storm as me, but do not have the same choices available to them as I do.   Our country needs to step up and do more for its citizens – the economy will recover but a life once lost, cannot be given back!
We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during these unprecedented times.  This month’s feature includes a special interview with Dr Mandeep Rai, an Infectious Disease Consultant with information on how to keep yourselves safe if you are in situation where you must go out and cannot quarantine.  We wish our readers strength and courage during these difficult times.  Hoping this will all be behind us soon!
- Deepa Kaur Walia
Editor, Asia Today,