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A commentary on recent developments concerning COVID-19…

The more we know…the better we will be.

As I was driving up my driveway yesterday, I passed my young neighbor Linda and her three young girls working in their vegetable garden. I stopped, rolled down my window and chatted because we were a good social distance apart. I asked how things were going at home.

“We are doing okay,” she said, a little despondent, “but I just miss being close to people. You know? The human connection and interaction with everyone. Hugs, talking, friends, social time, going out, the beach… You know Steve.”

“Well at least you have your family close and your girls and your husband to hug whenever you like, right?” I replied.

“I do.” She said “And for that I’m grateful, it’s just that I feel like we’re treading water and we need to be out having fun.”

Sound familiar?

We are all in the same boat aren’t we? Or, as the old familiar saying goes: We are all in this together (until we solve the problem). Imagine if our lives were like this forever. It doesn’t feel very much like freedom anymore, what with our government and governors telling us how to run our lives.

Nevertheless, the way I see it is that we are in the midst of a very deadly world virus that we have not witnessed for over 100 years, threatening so many of our aged citizens and those with underlying medical problems and especially our medical first responders.

It is a terrible inconvenience and a definite major set-back especially for those who have lost their jobs. But I still think we have to do everything within our power to make sure that we can get past this threat. If I’m asked to stay at home with my family then that is what I’ll do, especially if it is in the best interest of protecting people. Medical staff have an obligation to be on the front lines, but they have families too. Human life has to come before everything else.

When I turned on the news this morning and observed San Diegan’s downtown and on the beaches, ignoring the social distancing guidelines and protesting the stay at home rules, I was more than a little concerned. It seems that the saying should read, that we are all in the same storm, but maybe in different boats. Funny enough, I had just read a story about the Spanish Flu in 1918, which had some very eerie similarities to our present day circumstances.

On September 28, 1918, although they were advised against it, Philadelphia hosted a downtown parade where a crowd of 200,000 people cheered and roamed the streets. The Spanish flu was still prevalent, and where other cities and states were following strict guidelines, Philadelphia downplayed the warnings. On the day of the parade only 118 people in the city had been diagnosed with the virus. Within a week 45,000 citizens had been infected and the entire city had been shut down. Two months later, 12,000 Philadelphians were dead, and within 6 months 16,000 were dead with 500,000 more having fallen ill with the flu. On the other hand, conforming cities and states who had heeded the warnings and followed the guidelines had fared much better, showing 50% lower death rates than those who had not.

It just seems like common sense to me that we follow the guidelines (no matter how strict) set forth by Dr. Fauci and Governor Newsom and continue to be careful with our actions, especially around other people. They seem to be favoring caution for the masses and to let science guide us. Dr. Fauci has always said that science and COVID–19 will always be our guide.

I understand that parks are re-opening this week and pretty soon beaches too will be re-opened. But I continue to think that we all have the responsibility to heed to caution and to not throw it into the wind, so to speak.

We hope and pray that neither you nor any member of your family become one of the statistics when this is talked about in the future. Let us all set a standard where our grandchildren will know that we did the right thing. Let’s face it, one death in any of our families’ is one too many!

 Please continue to wear your face coverings in public and keep your social distancing.