The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything we have experienced or dealt with in our lifetimes. In addition to all the challenges we now face on a daily basis, the crisis will continue to create problems for the foreseeable future. Over the past month, it seems most everyone has an opinion on whether or not countries, including the United States, acted quickly enough to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback and say we should have did this or that, or even acted sooner. Certainly, I have my own opinion, but the fact remains this is a complex virus and America seems to be at a critical point to take action and slow down the spread of COVID-19. I’m sure the experts will have plenty of time to investigate what happened and what could have been done better. For now, we need to join together and take action. Social distancing will now be the norm.
The New Norm, Social Distancing
From what we have been told, one of the actions necessary to prevent the spread is social distancing. “Social- what?” Yeah, my thoughts exactly. A few months ago this wasn’t in our vocabulary, now it’s something it seems we will never forget. Social distancing is difficult to accomplish for many reasons.
We enjoy and are used to going to see a movie with our friends, having dinner on our way home from work, or simply stopping at local stores on our lunch breaks. Taking all of this away is a significant change to our daily lives. However, sacrificing these things is necessary to protect our friends, neighbors, family members, ourselves, and our communities. This will not last forever.
My colleague, GKT attorney Michelle Marinacci, in a recent blog, asked that you find extra compassion for others throughout these challenging times, whether that be checking on an elderly neighbor or thanking the grocery store employee and restaurant workers that are doing the best they can to do their jobs and serve us. I’m certain if it was up to them, the grocery store workers would like to have the shelves stocked full for everyone. We are all in this together. I echo Michelle’s words and ask you take time to think of others first and make changes to your everyday life to help protect yourself, your loved ones, and those throughout Marshall County and the Ohio Valley.
I am currently writing this blog as I work from home. Prior to the governor’s order to shut down all non-essential businesses, GKT made the decision to send people home and not permit any visitors to the office. This was not the easiest decision to make, however, the risk was just too great to our employees, to our families, our friends and neighbors, and to our clients. The health and safety of the attorneys, staff, and clients come first. At the end of the day, this virus will eventually come and go, but the decisions we make now could jeopardize the health of our loved ones for years to come.
When we think of it in those terms, maybe it’s not that hard a decision after all, we all need to make sacrifices in order to help protect ourselves and those around us. Thank you to the partners at GKT for looking out for us and always placing others first.
Going Stir Crazy, Anyone?
The changes have not just been to my work setting. At home, I am not only responsible for my own health and safety, but also that of my wife and child. My wife is currently pregnant and our son is only a little over a year old. The last thing I want is to risk is bringing COVID-19 into our home. This has meant a drastic change to our lives. While my wife would be happy to stay home, I would prefer to be out in the community. In fact, I would oftentimes run to the store and pick up two or three items just to get out. Before COVID-19, I would take my son to the mall almost every Saturday to get comic books. Our family routine also included attending church on Sunday and serving the children’s ministry. And on Sunday evening, we would pick a restaurant and go to dinner as a family.
What a difference a few weeks make. Now, I am working from the spare bedroom upstairs. Instead of going out to lunch, I walk downstairs to eat. If I go to the store, it’s only because we need something essential. These changes were not difficult to enact at first, but they have been difficult to maintain. I have to admit, heading to the office for part of the day sounds like a vacation right now, not to get away from my family, but because sometimes I feel trapped in my own home. I found myself trying to drink more milk and eat more bread, just so my wife can send me to the store. Not really, but I have resisted just “getting out” in the interest of maintaining social distancing the best I can.
Stay Safe and Healthy
I know social distancing isn’t easy, and it’s been more difficult than any of us could imagine. It interferes with our work and our lives in general. However, I ask you to take social distancing seriously. If you can, work from home. Don’t go to the store simply to browse or grab one item. Many things have been taken out of our hands with shutdown orders from the government, but we still hold the power to do more. We still hold the power to help others social distance. These are the steps that will keep as many people safe as possible, and hopefully get us back to normal as soon as possible. This has already been and will continue to be a tough road, but Gold, Khourey & Turak is on it with you (just walking at least six feet apart). We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.