The Covid Manifesto: If You See Something, Say Something

Besides managing children, homeschooling, and an opaque future, parents may also be managing aging parents. To keep all generations safe from Covid-19, the onus is on us to speak up so we can better protect those at risk.

One does not need a degree in brain surgery to understand the benefits of wearing a mask in public in light of a global pandemic. To keep the economy moving and infection rates down, one needs only to consider their neighbor’s health in order to do the right thing.

Anyone who disagrees with this premise represents the problem. If citizens were asked to wear bio suits and take an abundance of vitamins or pills in order to venture outdoors, that would represent an overwhelming burden. Masks are plentiful, cheap, and easy to apply or remove from one’s face.

For those who disregard cautionary measures, or flout basic guidelines, they are worthy of shame.

Our family experienced this firsthand when newfound friends of ours traveled to a well-known hot spot toward the end of summer – a large midwestern city where infection rates were high. In tandem with air travel, this family did not plan to quarantine themselves for any amount of time when they returned. They snubbed New Jersey’s statewide mandate, and several days after they returned home, they planned to send their son to a private school in which he was enrolled.

We had this particular family over for a friendly barbeque earlier in July, and throughout the Summer we shared afternoons with a dozen other families. All but one traveled to hot zones so we felt confident the risk was worth the reward (i.e. socializing). However, when this particular family shrugged off any concern about Covid-19, it raised a red flag in our minds.

We learned about another family who had the same plan – to send their child to the same private school who would be in the same grade as the child who traveled with their parents to the Midwest hot zone. Sans any quarantine, these two children, and a few hundred others, would be in close proximity four days after the traveling family returned from the Midwest.

That prompted us to say something. We warned the parents who’s child would be in school with the kid whose family ignored the quarantine guidelines.

The result? Lots of drama; the traveling mom lost her cool. She inquired through group texts about who had ratted her family out, who talked behind her back, and who dared to speak about her interstate excursions.

It was like a scene out of the movie, L.A. Confidential, when the cop (or in this case, the hot-tempered mom) grilled the suspect for answers.

And then my wife owned up to it. Today we feel no shame for having done so.

Regardless of how violated this traveling family may have felt, and the new friends we lost, who wants to have friends who have zero regard for anyone else’s health? If you run into neighbors or friends who conduct themselves in the same manner, is it worth keeping them in your social orbit?

Or, perhaps the concerns surrounding Covid-19 are overblown. Maybe the traveling family is correct to assume there really isn’t any risk and it’s nothing more than a slightly-more-deadly strain compared to the common Flu.

Michael Pence, in the 2020 Vice Presidential debate, noted that if no actions were taken at the start of the pandemic, two million people would have already perished. If you believe he is correct, then why wouldn’t the average citizen take measures to keep the infection rate as low as possible? There has to be some truth in regards to the virality and risks associated with Covid-19… right?

And at the local level, where many states mandate self quarantining after traveling to hot spots, is this a stretch as well? Are local governments overreaching with blanket rules that impede one’s freedom to travel?

The question to ask yourself is… what would you do if you knew someone was taking a risk with someone else’s life?

The fact is you have a moral obligation to do so. Those who do not follow state or federal guidelines during a global pandemic put other people’s lives at risk. If you possess information that can reduce the risk of infection, you have to say something.

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