This has become a contentious issue in a lot of places. I first started reading about it in Norway, and then there was Cape Cod and the islands, and vacation towns in Maine, etc. I absolutely understand the appeal to leave and the idea that it's easier to isolate, but I'm disheartened by how many do not consider the implications. It sounds like you two were really thinking about it!
For me it's not just about taking up potential medical resources (for any reason, not just covid) or local food resources, etc., but also about abandoning my community. If I stay put I can continue to contribute (in my small way) to local businesses, or food distribution, and offer a smile and chat to isolated neighbors from the opposite sidewalk. I'm lucky - I still have my job 100% and can work from home, but I feel guilty that I'm not currently employed in an area that can be more helpful. I would certainly feel rotten if I did even less by fleeing to a vacation home.
I do have one friend who went to their beach house, but it makes sense: her wife is a health care worker, and she has two teens who need to be far away from the temptations of friends.
We don't have a vacation home, so ... easy choice to stay home. Plus, I am still working (alternate weeks) and have to go in to the office to do that. Nadim can work from anywhere.
Families of health care workers get a pass!
Norway was the first place I read about it too, then the Lakes District in the U.K. It made total sense. A while later (actual dates have no meaning anymore), recreation areas in Ontario like the Bruce Peninsula and Muskoka made public statements asking tourists and cottagers to stay away. The Collingwood/Blue Mountain area didn't take an official position until last week but by then, we were already convinced. At some point, I may need to make a quick trip to raid our TP supply up there! :)
At this point, it's nothing like a vacation so we need to be here. We're still working hard to plan the best way to care for the staff and patients of 'Bent's dental practice in these weird circumstances. There are different government program announcements and dental guidelines every day so it's a moving target.
Cristina, I love your thinking about staying local because you feel a responsibility to your community. That's wonderful and I'll add that to my list of reasons to stay local. We've been trying to support local businesses, and we're wondering about ways that 'Bent and his employees could help their patients while they are unable to do dental work - like maybe delivering prescriptions or groceries.
Yeah for caring about the community. I think that's a strong reason for staying at home. I'm currently in a weird position - I exhibit my caring by doing nothing for the community.
The details are that I work at (and serve on the board of) a local soup kitchen. Like many others, this kitchen is only serving items for takeaway, sanitizing twice a day, letting no guests in the building, and even keeping workers as far apart as possible. But someone raised an interesting concern two weeks ago. What if one of the workers needed to quarantine? Then, because of entangled meetings, the entire operation would need to shut down. So, we've split off a small group of reservists who agree to be extra careful about avoiding exposure. This group will lead other volunteers in the event that our main group gets collectively told to self-quarantine.
Like the "favor that you never need to actually do", it makes me feel simultaneously virtuous about helping and guilty about not doing more. And, of course, given the circumstances that would cause me to step in, I truly hope that I don't...
dlevine, I think that the way your soup kitchen has it planned is quite wise. And I totally understand your mixed feelings!
Bash, someone told me about a strip club in Portland that had to close as a nonessential business. They were allowed to keep the kitchen open and they basically converted to a delivery-only restaurant - the strippers delivered the food orders and the bouncers drove the cars. If strippers can deliver food and bouncers can be drivers, 'Bent and his crew could probably do something similar. ;-)
Anyway, I really hope we get a grasp of the immunity and can make use of widespread antibody testing soon. There's a non-zero chance I've already had it (but who knows!), and wouldn't it be handy for anyone who has recovered to know that they could do more?
Agreed, I'm simultaneously afraid of getting it and afraid of not getting it. Until there is a treatment or vaccine, I've been thinking that post-infection immunity (assuming it works like we hope) could affect all kinds of things in society - at least for a while. It could determine which friends will come to your party, which job you can have, etc. We know everything will be different after this but we still don't know how.
Dlevine, that's a great plan but I do understand your angst. It is killing 'Bent that he can't just care for his patients like he usually does. He donated most of his masks and gloves to the local hospital, which made him feel both useful and really sad. He said, "I feel like I'm giving up." :(
It's nice to feel the empathy regarding the intellectual vs. emotional feeling of help. I totally get 'Bent's feelings; doing the right thing intellectually while feeling like you're copping out is hard, but it's also the COVID equivalent of "first world problems". At least we have the choices we do...
Christina, is that Portland, ME or OR? I've got kids living in each and would love to share the story.
Portland, OR. It's Lucky Devil Lounge. (Their NSFW twitter feed