Upside Down

Day 49 of the Coronavirus in France.

Cami cried when I dropped her off at school today. She is a perceptive girl, who thinks deeply, nothing escapes her.

Rest assured we’re in good health.

A few weeks ago we started talking about simple good health measures like we do every winter with the flu. No panic, wash your hands, more fresh fruit, less sugar, good sleep, etc. But she was already sad to learn that her Grandma Plaster was forced to change the dates of her visit and will not be here for her birthday this year.

Arriving at school all of the teachers were outside on the front sidewalk answering questions and confirming that each family was signed up for e-learning. According to a live broadcast by President Macron last night this would be the last day of collective school until… indefinitely. The children were ushered straight outside to the recess yard without stopping to drop their bookbags off at their classrooms. And Tatiana, Cami’s best friend, was nowhere to be found.

Her life is turned upside down and she is worried about the health of those close to her.

A phone call in front of the school confirmed that Tatiana’s mom had been in contact with several students at work the day before who had high fevers. So far no one in their family is sick, but our instructions are to treat everyone as if they are contaminated until proven otherwise.

Tomas Pueyo has created the algorithm for you to know when your office should close down. It’s today. (source) The media will mock and make light of the situation. They mocked Noah. When you see that, denounce it as pride and fear. Knowledge is power and the truth will set you free. Our neighborhood is fortunate to have a well-connected doctor Nicolas About who in addition to being a Physician is also a Former Senator, Honorary Member of Parliament, and Former Mayor. He has brought us testimonies of personal friends in China who watched the contagion spread and pass on to us what they learned. We understand now that it is selfish to not declare travel. It is pride to not follow quarantine protocol exactly. Today it is pride to believe you are not carrying it when you stand in close proximity to strangers who then carry it to fragile and at risk people.

Know the symptoms and get tested if you have them. If someone trys to tell you that hospitals will be overloaded with healthy people getting tested for nothing – denounce the lie and speak truth. The only hospital emergencies the world has seen are more people needing ventilators and intubation than we have supplies in stock. Leading up to the crisis hospitals are empty. People will avoid going to the doctor to avoid contact with the contagion. People will avoid getting diagnosed and then contaminate their entire town. So if you have a cold isolate yourself – yes, stay in your room, yes avoid hugging cherished loved ones, yes for a full 14 days. If you have trouble breathing then call 911 to get diagnosed at the earliest possible moment.

It can be contained. Several towns and countries have succeeded in winning this war, but not by going on with life as normal. If social distancing is the answer, then there is no half-way. Global quarantine is the fastest way to fight this war. The virus will die when attacked by human immune system, but you must restrict movement and respect the 1 meter distancing between people. It’s the only way they’ve found to destroy it.

Yes to distancing of no less than 1 meter, no to fear.

Yes to restricted movement, no to panic.

Yes to working together globally, no to breaking protocol.

I pray you’ll accept with no reserves and begin these measures today.

Nicolas About says, “Be cautious for yourself, but attentive to the others! Quarantine must not rhyme with loneliness of fragile people. Keep in touch with them! [write, call] If need be, visit them, bring them provisions, wearing an “official or makeshift” mask.” He recommends a combination of coffee filter masks and a 1 meter perimeter if you don’t have medical grade protective gear.

Science has found that washing with soap and water is MORE effective than hydrogel. Carry a water bottle and bar of soap. (source)

We will not be like some who wait until the contagion has already spread in our town to self-contain. If voluntarily choosing to not go to the office sounds illogical then you are listening to pride again. President Macron has promised to pay the salaries of everyone who chooses voluntarily to quarantine themselves. Human pride has no place here. Leave the office project unfinished. It will still be there when the virus is dead and our elderly are still alive. Rather we choose to use our health and our energy to help those around us. Neighbors are organizing to care for each other. Some will volunteer to pick up groceries for the elderly next door wearing a mask. Lists are circulating to offer baby-sitting for children of health care workers. Our family is volunteering to watch kids of a neighbor who is a midwife. This is the beginning of a movement that will mobilize and take form throughout the days to come.

If we are going to succeed at a global quarantine then we need to voluntarily limit ourselves. That means not crossing borders. Stay in your town. Don’t leave your block. If everyone does that it will only be weeks until we are in the clear — like in Taiwan. If people cheat it will be months — like in China. Stop asking how active you can be and still be safe. Start asking how inactive you can be and still stay healthy. (please buy groceries, replenish fresh fruit, etc. exercise in your house or in the countryside where you don’t pass people.) And if your immune system is strong enough that you are comfortable traveling across the city then invest that energy to volunteer to help those who can’t. Solomon in all of his wisdom said, “Stay as far away from the transgression as possible.” Of course, he wasn’t talking about the coronavirus, but the eternal principle is that you will be more likely to stay on the path of the straight and narrow if you avoid the grey areas that might be a slippery slope.

This is the lesson we are learning. Fear is living selfishly and being paralyzed to act for the greater good. Health is choosing personal sacrifice and discipline to protect the fragile and heal the sick. Stay home. Eat vitamin rich foods. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Volunteer. Change the world.

The story continues in my Coronavirus log here.

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