Quarantine Shame: It’s a real thing…

Bradley Robertson

Do I go out?

Do I not go out?

Do I wear a mask?

Do I not wear a mask?

Do I shop? Do I support local business? Do I stay home?

Do I let my kids play with their friend? Do I let my kid hug that friend? Do I hug my own friend?

What in the world should we be doing?

My answer: We should do what we feel is best for our family and respect the decision of the person next to us.

Friends, we have been through a lot. A whole lot.

No one before us has experienced this. No one knows exactly what is the perfect thing to do. We are going on nine weeks of world-wide crisis. We are also going on unknowns, wild emotions, medical madness and skepticism. If you can dream it up, it’s out there. No one ever thought of a Coronavirus, but it’s here.

The beginning was pretty easy; we all just stayed home. But what about now? What about interacting and business and the families that count on that business to live.

Commerce must commence to keep our community alive. Business must open and people must buy things. So how do we navigate opening-up but still abide by standards of health and being responsible?

There is no perfect answer.

The restaurant owner is going to look and feel different than the customer buying food. The UPS guy is going to look and feel different than the guy standing on his porch waiting for his package. The farmer is going to look and feel different than the lady buying peaches for her kids. The dentist is going to look and feel different than the child sitting in the chair getting her teeth cleaned.

Do you get my drift?

Coronavirus looks and feels different for everyone.

There is no way we can all do this perfectly right. It just can’t and won’t happen.

For me and my family, we are staying home 90% of the time. We are washing our hands a hell of a lot more than we used to. We are staying outside even when we are in town. We are not getting too close or touching other folks, except family we have seen all along. I am not wearing a mask everywhere, but I do sometimes. I still smile a lot at people. I have made a few non-essential purchases. I have sat in a coffee shop, I have picked up pizza and I have bought a cocktail.

And I’m ok with all that. And I’m okay if you choose not to. I’m also ok if you choose to stay home. And I’m ok if I see you wearing a mask even if I’m not wearing one. And if you see me wearing a mask, and you aren’t wearing one, I will not dismiss you. I will probably want to hug you, and maybe I will or maybe I won’t.

Friends, we need kindness and gentleness and generosity of spirit. If our neighbor believes one thing and you believe another, it is okay. If you think that you are more responsible than me, that is okay too.

One should not feel guilt or shame for simply doing the best thing for their family at that time. Nor, should anyone shame another for their actions and behaviors.

If there is any such time to come together in community and worth, it is now. Please, let’s value each part, because each part is worth something.

I hope to God I don’t sneeze on any of you. I hope I will stay a safe distance if I see you. I hope I can support my local businesses. I hope I can teach my kids acceptance as well as responsibility. I hope I will do my best part to stay healthy and respect the health of those around me.

No shame friends, no shame at all in this new Corona-life.


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