Please stay at home.
Your friends with underlying conditions, the immunosuppressed, and the elderly thank you for your efforts.
I am an immunosuppressed 37-year-old mother with underlying conditions–high-risk alert right here. Please stay home. I can’t help that my body attacks itself. It’s been this way since high school. Please help me out by staying home.
I know it’s not any fun, and you’re concerned about free will, your rights being limited, and a litany of other complaints—all of which might make you angry. But please set emotions aside for the time being and focus on facts and logic.
As an English teacher, I teach my students to get their information from reliable, unbiased resources and to ground their arguments in facts, data, and logical reasoning. I also teach them to get information from experts. And while emotion is a powerful argumentative tool, it is, in fact, weak on its own. Even though emotions are real and important, they can mess up judgment.
Ignoring the CDC, WHO, Dr. Fauci, and governmental recommendations are illogical choices because they are the experts providing facts.
And here’s a fact, one that I’ve already stated. I am one of those people they consider high risk. Why?
I have three autoimmune diseases. THREE!
One: Meniere’s disease.
Two: Ulcerative colitis
Three: an undiagnosed disease my rheumatologist monitors me for
Number two concerns me particularly because I was hospitalized for it in February. My colon hates me. This flare, unfortunately, coincides with a pandemic. Lucky me.
Because my colon is broken, I am on two immune-suppressing drugs. TWO! Prednisone, which I’m on for two more weeks, and tacrolimus–an organ transplant rejection medicine. Prednisone, an anti-inflammatory, is bad news according to the CDC. I get to take these drugs during a pandemic. Lucky me.
Also, those malaria drugs that doctors are testing as possible treatment for coronavirus–guess what? I’m allergic. Last year, I was prescribed hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) for autoimmune disease number three and broke out in hives six weeks into treatment. So again, lucky me. (I want to reiterate the term “possible treatment.”)
Please stay at home because it shows empathy–which is ONE thing that we need more of in this world and another thing that I try to teach my students. This pandemic isn’t about you–it’s about all of us.
ONE final thought:
Please stop sharing coronavirus information via memes and unverified Facebook posts. Consider the information’s source. I am readily reading my doctor friends’ Facebook posts and trust their expertise, but if I were to share that information to you, then you share it to Facebook Karen, then Facebook Karen shares it to Facebook Chad, then how does Facebook Chad know an actual doctor wrote that post? In this scenario, the information is accurate, but lots of posts shared this way are fake or spreading wrong information–with no way to verify the author’s authenticity. Before hitting the share button, confirm the post’s reliability. Try to share information from trusted sources instead of second hand.