Pass the Texas state lines through Oklahoma – Kansas - Nebraska across the United States to the PA, we go. The only thing moving across state lines in masses are semi-trucks, and ours happens to be one. Everywhere, 18 wheels burning up and down the byways and highways to restock store shelves, that were gutted in the matter of seconds, in grocery stores before the good people of the United States start pillaging for food and toilet tissue. As we maneuver across the nation, comparing the aggressiveness of each states’ shelter-in-place order, tumbleweeds blow across abandoned streets in some cities resembling ghost towns. Some cities, however, appear lax like a college student’s spring break; despite, the number of infectious cases rising beyond 397,000 and the growing death rate climbing beyond 12,000 in the United States. Some cynics refuse to stay home. Why is it difficult to stay-at-home knowing it helps reduce the spread of COVID-19? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves and others? Will the federal government step in to protect us from ourselves?
Paul LeBlanc, CNN, www.cnn.com reports Dr. Anthony Fauci saying, “I don’t understand why every state hasn’t issued stay-at-home orders.”
Although we can freely move about for essentials, you might be feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, hopelessness, boredom, or even frustration; feeling imprisoned within the walls of your own home; shelter-in-place, echoes home confinement – house arrest – lockdown. Going out to grab essentials resonant yard time. To us, 14-days quarantine sounds more like solitary confinement. These agonizing feelings are balled up and fueling the flames in the pit of our stomachs, as our freedom is slowly being ripped away. These emotions are enough to
cause anyone to rebel against a stay-at-home order. You may contemplate being selfish. You contemplate listening to the little person standing on your left shoulder screaming, “Rebel!”, regardless of the lives it could save.
We all have a choice to remain home with our loved ones; to protect ourselves, our families, and others from COVID-19. We all, for now, have the freedom to reject the orders to stay home, the freedom to risk other people’s lives, until the government steps in. We all have a choice, unlike the many men and women behind bars.
By now, I can imagine your left brow raising and hear the echo of your disapproving voice, saying, “Are you comparing our current situation to that of someone incarcerated for a crime? The two are non-comparable. “I haven’t committed a crime, they committed a crime, they need to do the time.” Now ask yourself. “Should I be convicted of a crime if I were responsible for spreading the coronavirus because I refused to stay home?” Consider James Bain, who was exonerated by DNA evidence after spending 35 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, www.innocenceproject.org. If a man or woman wrongfully imprisoned can spend half their life in a 6 by 8 cell, surely, we can shelter-in-place, in the comfort of our homes. There is no true comparison! It is far worse for one to be locked down behind bars for a crime they did not commit than to be ordered to stay-at-home for the safety of self and others we love. Ask yourself: Do I care about myself, about my family, and about the welfare of others? Would I stay at home if I knew I’d be placed behind bars, a true lockdown, without a key?
Life is filled with choices. Our choices as of now are to save a life. Stay at home, unless you have an essential job or must go out for essentials. Save a life. Don’t hoard food and sanitizing supplies like beavers and squirrels’ cache before winter falls. Surely, we can do better!
Need help creating fun at home?
Google ways to be creative or entertaining while home during coronavirus lockdown. If you’re over 30 years old, think back to your childhood days for fun ideas. Think Outside the Box!
Updated: Since writing this article, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 65,000 people, with over 1.13 million cases. From Diddy’s Black America & Coronavirus Town Hall, news reports, and Oprah’s talks on OWN and Apple TV about coronavirus’ impact on the African American Community, it is clear that COVID-19 has drastically hit the Black community.
From The Root
The disproportionate number of black people who are dying from the coronavirus disease continues to grow.
Deborah Gatewood, a 63-year-old healthcare worker who lived and worked in Michigan, died earlier this month from COVID-19 complications. Her daughter is now speaking out about what she describes as the “disheartening” treatment—or lack thereof—her mother got from the hospital she visited no less than four times before her death, seeking help that she ultimately did not receive. Gatewood had worked at that same hospital for 31 years.
Deborah Gatewood’s story is heartbreaking, yet, it is not new to the Black community. Her story had a voice. But how many of the voiceless have succumbed to COVID-19 for the same reason? I’m certain, we’ll never know the answer. And, if numbers surfaced the truth would lay somewhere in between.
Despite the number of reported cases, backlash, and against medical experts’ advice many states began reopening. From CNN GeorgiaGov. Brian Kemp started to ease restrictions April 24.
Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, estheticians and massage therapists were able to reopen April 24, with certain rules. Theaters and restaurants were allowed to reopen April 27, also with caveats.
The caveats include social distancing and screening employees for illness.
Bars, nightclubs and music venues will remain closed, for now.
A shelter in place order for “medically fragile and elderly Georgians” is in place through June 12.
The shelter in place order for other Georgians ended April 30.
“However, moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible,” Kemp said in a statement. “I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our health-care infrastructure, and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.”
Did Kemp put the above in play after 45 gut punched him with a quick reversal of his initial approval of Kemp’s reopening of Georgia? Interesting.
To my people, use your best judgement for you, your family, your people. Is your life or the lives of your loved ones worth getting your nails, hair, and eyebrows done? We can get Grown-n-Sexy when it’s safe to do so. Remember we live “Outside the Box.” Don’t let anyone use you as a guinea pig – literally putting you in a box, a pine one.
Written by Tonika Yvonne Wheeler
'Have the Courage to Dream & the Courage to Go Get it."
Damaged short film trailer