Nothing is Something and That’s Everything: the Point of Quarantine

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A long time ago, when the pandemic started spreading here in the US and the shutdowns started happening and the quarantines started going into effect, there was a speech from Dr. Emily Landon, the chief infectious disease epidemiologist at University of Chicago School of Medicine, that went viral across the Facebook land. I shared it, many of you shared it, many more liked it. She made really good sense about the point of quarentine.  

Essentially, what she said was that when this is all over and we look back on our time in quarantine and we think, hmmm, what was that all about? Was that really worth it? Nothing seemed to happen where I live.  

Yes! Exactly. That is the point. Where I live, nothing really seemed to happen. The numbers for the virus seem low. I’m not an expert in things like statistics or public health but in Maricopa County, we didn’t seem to have a lot of sickness. Granted, according to Governor Doug Ducey in his press conference held earlier on the day I write this, we lost 304 people in our state to Covid-19.  The numbers are up since then, but still relatively low. Information is updated daily and can be found here. My heart goes out to each and every family member of these souls lost to this virus.  Again, not being an expert in statistics, this is a low number compared to the overall state’s population.  Not that the death of these people brings good news, but the low number is.  We are doing it, Arizona!  We are doing what is being asked of us so that we don’t have big numbers of deaths or even contraction.   

The point is that we stayed home and practiced social distancing.  We have all these hospital beds available, but do we want to fill them up just because we have the space?  I don’t think so.  Nothing happening is something to be proud of.  Had we not quarantined and stayed at home, who knows how many of those hospital beds would be filled.  Who knows how many ventilators would have been put to use.  I’m just relieved that we didn’t have to find out.   

It seems like so many of my social media friends who reposted Dr. Landon’s speech seem to have forgotten what she said.  We stayed in quarantine and shut down for over 6 weeks, some of us longer.  It’s hard, I won’t pretend that it’s not. I’ve suffered loss of income and am quarantining extra hard with my 93-year-old mother-in-law staying with us during this time.  But let’s not forget the point of it all.  The point of quarentine is nothing.   

If you’re sitting back and thinking that all of this was for nothing, then you are right.  It is all for nothing.  That is something!   

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