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OTish - COVID-19 and Step Families

lieutenant_dad's picture

This is a serious post. I'm highly interested to hear and share some ideas for protecting ourselves and our loved one during this now-official pandemic.

Some truths about this virus: If you're under 60 with no pre-existing conditions, the likelihood is that you'll have a relatively mild reaction to the virus. Mortality rates for the "young and healthy" are below 0.5%. Mortality rates skyrocket for folks over 60, especially those with chronic conditions. Mortality rate for folks over 80 in generally good health is 14-15%. Folks with chronic diseases vary based on the disease, which cardiovascular disease having a 10% mortality rate.

While many of us on this site are young and healthy, our parents are not. We may have immmunocompromised family and friends as well. Social distancing and quarantining, even when we are not sick, is going to be hugely important. Schools will shut down. Businesses will go to work-from-home structures for folks who can work from home. Events of all sizes, but particularly those with crowds over 100 people, will be canceled. I won't be surprised if daycares also start shutting down, especially if they are owned and operated by older staff.

So, let's talk realistic logistics for (step) life:

1.) SKs need to move between houses as little as possible. If their school shuts down, it would be best if the SKs stay at one home for at least two weeks to see if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 (which are flu-like symptoms: cough, fever, body aches, difficulty breathing). If they do not develop symptoms, resume a modified visitation schedule that limits midweek visits, especially if those visits typically take place in public spaces.

I understand for some of the HCBM/Ds that this won't work out well. This would be the time for NCPs to refuse visitation and for CPs for consider violating the court order and keeping their kids IF their kids have been exposed. That's not legal advice, so check with your attorney if you're concerned. But the goal is limit viral spread, so keep kids planted in one place as much as possible.

2.) Stock up on hand soap. Use sanitizer sparingly because it's going to remain a hot commodity. Keep a small bottle of both soap and hand sanitizer in your bag for when you're out in public. If you can get your hands on some Clorox wipes, put some in your bag to use on carts. Unless you're actively coughing, a mask won't do you much good, and if you don't know how to properly don and doff one, you could infect yourself. Seriously, just wash your hands and don't touch your face. Also, stock up on lotion because your hands will crack.

3.) If you can work from home, start doing it NOW. If your kids or SKs are in sports or other group activities, highly consider pulling them from those activities. Start doing this BEFORE you get a positive patient in your area because the likelihood that others have it by the time that person tests positive is high.

4.) Cancel family reunions and Sunday dinners. Utilize the sh*t out of Facetime and phone calls. Stay connected, but remain distant.

5.) Modify your schedule so that you aren't out and about at peak times. Go to the grocery at 9pm when fewer people are there. Don't go out to eat - order food to-go. If there is an online option to do something, like bank, then use that option. They are finding that, while COVID-19 does live on surfaces, the easiest route of transmission is through droplets in their air, which would come from sitting or standing or walking within 3-6 feet of people. Surfaces transmission can be greatly reduced by washing hands, and social distancing, even for needed services, will reduce the droplet/"airborne" transmission.

6.) If you think you have COVID-19, DO NOT GO TO THE DOCTOR UNLESS YOU ARE ACTIVELY DYING. Most hospitals are setting up virtual screenings and will instruct you on what to do if they believe you may be infected. Unfortunately, we likely don't have enough tests kits, and we certainly don't have enough hospital beds for non-critical patients. Don't bog down the hospital system unless you cannot breathe or your fever is exceptionally high. When in doubt, call your doctor. If it becomes emergent, call 911.

7.) DO call your doctor/hospital/health department if you feel like you have a mild case of a viral infection. This will help them keep track of spread, and they can determine what intervention is warranted.

8.) Stay the f**k home or isolated as much as possible. Turn that meeting into an email. Set up Zoom for work meetings. Cancel that training or conference. Break your Firestick and watch those theater-only movies from home (that's a joke - I'm not advocating for breaking the law). But seriously, stay home. I'm not saying never go out, because eventually people need to see the sun, but try to minimize it. Avoid bars and clubs where folks get together really close to one another. Avoid casinos where everyone touches everything. Avoid concerts. Actually use those streaming services you pay for.

9.) Don't lock yourself up inside day and night entirely. As it gets warmer, you can definitely enjoy the parks and outdoors. Get some exercise in the outdoors. You don't have to be a hermit and not leave your home. You just need to be mindful of where you go, when you go, and how many people will be there. Take a scenic drive, go to a drive-in movie where you'll be in your car, go fishing at the lake, etc. Just always think if you can realistically be 3-6 feet away from people when you're out.

10.) Keep a month's worth of supplies on hand. You don't need to buy the store out of toilet paper, but keep an extra pack in case you get sick. If you can get your meds delivered, do it. Keep a little extra of everything to limit the need to go to the store while you're healthy and prevent you from going when you get sick.

And when you get sick - because it's very likely to happen - STAY 100% AT HOME FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, PREFERABLY TWO WEEKS. If the SKs get sick in your home, KEEP THEM THERE! Suspend visitation if they get sick. Seriously, this is not a cold that everyone has some immunity to. Keep kids, and yourself, isolated even if you don't feel that bad.

I totally understand that these measures aren't realistic for everyone, but for those who can do these things, you NEED to do them. We aren't trying to contain the spread at this point; we're just trying to not overwhelm the healthcare system and buy time to develop a vaccine. It's about spreading out infection across a longer time period versus having a sudden surge of infections that cannot be handled. Truth is, there aren't enough resources to save everyone if we get a surge of infections. You taking precautions isn't just about preventing illness in yourself, but about slowing down the virus to someone who will need a bed in the ICU.

Don't panic, but act with purpose and concern.

Other tips and tricks that are sound are welcome. I will delete anyone who calls this a hoax or propaganda.


strugglingSM's picture

I worry about SKids coming into my home EOWE. They are not clean kids and one of them always seems to be coughing.

BM also plans to take them on a trip to Texas in a few weeks and will likely not change unless she has to. She plans to drop them at our house directly from the airport.

If DH even suggested they should limit visitation she would have a fit. It would have to be her idea and she's so desperate to get rid of them that, that will never happen. Even if DH said, "we're sick, don't bring them", she would then tell DH he owed her money. 

I also doubt that BM is taking any precautions. Her DH believes that 9/11 was a hoax, so I'm sure he also believes this is a hoax.

futurobrillante99's picture

Healthy children are relatively safe from COVID-19. But they will transmit it to others.

You don't need to protect your healthy children FROM it. You need to protect vulnerable people from the children who are transmitters.

And if you're an otherwise healthy adult under 50, you have a low chance of serious symptoms.

strugglingSM's picture

I may have a low risk, but that doesn't mean I want to get sick because I'm at the mercy of BM's lack of hygiene, which leads to low-level hygiene on the part of my Skids. 

Also, DH doesn't have paid sick leave and can't work remotely. He is still working right now and fortunately, is able to distance himself while at work. If he gets sick, he will still have to pay child support, even if he doesn't have any income coming in. 

Ashleytenorio17's picture

I'm in Houston Texas and it won't be much fun to visit because we have shut down a lot of activity such as the rodeo and we only have 16 cases as of right now! 

Mandy45's picture

Hey I live in Australia our plans is to collect as much toilet paper as we can. Lol 


Monkeysee's picture

Honestly if I could I’d limit the skids visits because i think social distancing is the most important thing we can do, alongside washing our hands & covering our coughs. But I don’t see that happening.

I honestly wish people would look at the data instead of running off their limited opinions. I hate hearing people say ‘well it’s only the old & sick who are dying so I’m still going to live my life like normal’. FYI, the old & sick aren’t less valuable than you are, and by having this attitude you’re putting them at greater risk because you’re more likely to catch the virus & pass it along without knowing you were ill in the first place. 

Same for the people who are hoarding tp & otc medicines. Just, don’t. Be reasonable. Take what you need but don’t take it all & leave nothing for anyone else. 

I do think limiting skid visits is for the best right now, but I am doubtful it’ll be happening for a lot of families unless/until they’re hit with covid-19 themselves. 

futurobrillante99's picture

The old and sick need to self quarantine for their own protection. And if I needed to be in contact with either, I would take the utmost precautions for their protection.

However, if I don't seek them out to spread germs to them, then why can't I go on and live my life?


Monkeysee's picture

Because that’s how this continues to spread. Look at the data... the cases in China started decreasing after they locked down, not before. Being young & healthy will keep you safe from getting it badly, but it doesn’t stop you from spreading it to other people. 

Elderly/immunocompromised should self-isolate, true, but by failing to self-isolate as a whole we’re just continuing to spread the illness which could end up reaching them anyways. They could have a carer come in who’s been contaminated & get it that way. Or are ordering their groceries/prescriptions online & get it from the delivery person.

It is not only on the vulnerable to protect themselves, it is on everyone to do their part. It hasn’t been called a pandemic for no reason. Epidemiologists are saying this is just the beginning. I don’t think we need to live in hazmat suits, but to believe we should live our lives like normal because we personally won’t get that sick from it is a huge part of how this spread in the first place.

Social distancing is proven to flatten the curve. Our healthcare systems will only continue to struggle if we pretend this isn’t as big a deal as it is.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Because there will be folks who are older and/or immmunocompromised and/or are caregivers to those folks who cannot stay home.

They work service jobs that they have to keep and don't have PTO that they can use pre-emptively. They have to take their family members to the doctor for their routine care. Those folks have to stay safe, and they aren't going to wear a sign that says "I'm old/sick/a caregiver".

futurobrillante99's picture

I follow ALL guidelines for distancing, sanitizing and I am washing my hands constantly for 20 seconds or more.

However, I will not hide in my house or avoid travel.

I will do what is within my own power, following recommendations, and I will avoid vulnerable people known to me.

Caregivers will need to take precautions and the vulnerable will have to do the best they can. Not everyone CAN stay home. Lots of people NEED to work to keep society functioning.

I am currently COVID-19 free, so I will travel and take my own risks. If I find out I have it, I will self quarantine for the safety of others.

Until then, I will proceed with coming to work and going about my daily activities with VERY clean hands and fastidious practices when it comes to germs, in general.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I said it below and I'll say it here:

You can br shedding virus for up to two weeks before showing sympyoms. The average time from infection to symptoms is 5-6 days. That's 5-6 days that you can be infecting others without feeling sick yourself. By the time you quarantine because you're showing symptoms, it's too late.

Monkeysee's picture

She doesn’t care, which is the problem with a lot of people. It’s not an issue if it doesn’t affect them personally. Sad. 

HowLongIsForever's picture

The Just World theory is a dangerous beast.  Unfortunately, it is relatively easy for people to subscribe to.  

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Meanwhile I almost booked a $43 round trip to new york city for a weekend since work canceled my trip to maryland...

Thanks for the advice in all seriousness!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

If your store offers the service, consider ordering groceries for delivery or curb side pick up.

Wash hands immediately after handling your snail mail. During the flu epidemic of 1918, many small American towns attempted to self quarantine yet were still ravaged by flu. It was later determined to have been spread by the postman.

ESMOD's picture

I would add:

11.  Be most mindful of people you know in these high risk groups.  Suspend visitation to the elderly in nursing homes.. or even in their homes.  Make phone calls instead if they don't have facetime or skype.  

12.  Cancel or delay elective/non-critical medical procedures.. like annual check ups... routine bloodwork.. dental cleanings... eye dr.  I am fairly certain your DR will refill your prescription without an in house visit.. at least for 30-60 days so you can avoid a trip in to the office.

13.  When you do grocery shop.. try to plan better so that you are getting enough to last you a longer period of time.. include some non-perishables.  I'm going to try to set myself up for 2 weeks when I go next.

14.  Not only don't eat out.. start cooking for yourself.  The internet has a ton of recipes for even the most basic cooking skills.  Weather is improving.. meat tastes good grilled.. so do veggies:)

15.  Churches need to go to a "dial in" service where you can call in and listen to the message.. at least for a month or two it should be possible.

susanm's picture

I am planning on switching my primary care physician as soon as this crisis is over and offices are not swamped because they have severely p*ssed me off.   I need my synthroid refilled - a med that essentially half of all women in the US are on and is not even close to a controlled substance - and they are insisting that I come in for an office visit.  I am not due for bloodwork as I had my TSH level done 3 months ago by my GYN as part of an endocrine panel and they have those results so there is no medical need for the appointment.  Unfortunately I am seriously hypothyroid and get really sick if I do not have it.  

I am not worried about contracting Covid-19 myself as I am perfectly healthy but we do have cases in the area.  Going into a doctor's office for such a basic thing and potentially becoming a passive carrier is insane.  My appt is next week and I am going to make another stab at convincing them to do the appt via Skype.  I have made it clear that I am willing to pay for a normal visit so why they will not do it that way is incomprehensible to me.  I am on the fence about whether I will keep the appt or not.  In the meantime I have a call into my GYN to see if they will prescribe it and will be also be researching self-pay telemedicine options.


ESMOD's picture

my health insurance actually has some online medical visits and there is a copay and all.. but damned if I want to go to a DR office right now..

I remember several years ago.. there was a horrible bout of flu going around and I got a UTI.. I have had them before.. and I called my Dr's nurse on call number.. and they got the DR to send in a script for me without me coming in.. of course.. said to come in if it didn't clear up.. but it was nice that they were working with me.

susanm's picture

That is exactly what I was expecting them to do.  I have been with this practice for over 10 years and I was floored that they are insisting on me physically coming in.  It took a good 5 minutes just to make the appointment because they are so booked up!  But they are having me come in, sit in the waiting room with a bunch of sick people, and take up a valuable time slot so that I can get one of the most commonly prescribed meds on the market.  Idiots...

SteppedOut's picture

Please do not think you won't get really sick because you are "young and healthy". 

There is an early 40s woman, no health issues, on ECMO at a local hospital. In MN there is an early 30s patient, previously no issues - in critical care. 

This virus is a wild card. Not everyone gets really sick, but those that do get really sick. At this time, only palliative care is available. Treat potential infection like you COULD be an unlucky person that it does make really sick. You can not know for sure that you will not. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Both serious cases had to have had underlying medical issues they were not aware of. The majority of people will not have the experience of those two individuals.

lieutenant_dad's picture

No they don't. All you need is your body to react too slowly, and anyone can develop pneumonia or sepsis.

strugglingSM's picture

Young, healthy people are hospitalized or die from the flu, every year. They are not as likely to have serious complications as those identified as being "at risk", but that doesn't mean there is a 0% chance that a young, healthy person could have serious complications. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Can I PLEASE boil this down for y'all.

If you're under 50 and healthy with no underyling heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or a fragile immune system, you are only at risk of having a MILD case of COVID-19. MOST people show NO symptoms.

Healthy children under the age of 10 are at little to NO risk of showing symptoms and if they do, it's no more than sniffles.

Freaking live your life and the worst you'll get is a mild case and no where near as nasty as the FLU.

Wash your filthy hands a lot.

Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and then touching other things or the other way around.

Wash your filthy hands a lot.

If you show symptoms, stay home - you don't need to hide from your family, just people with fragile health.

For the LOVE OF GOD, don't visit your 80 year old grandma or anyone you know with health issues that make them fragile or vulnerable.

These are the same rules as for the FLU.

Stop freaking out. Everything is going to be just fine.

I plan to DO EVERYTHING I always do including travel, eating out, going to the gym and attending a training class next week.

If you're an otherwise healthy person and you start hoarding food and supplies, and spread the panic, you are part of the problem.

futurobrillante99's picture

Two people and unless we know their medical history, you cannot rule out unknown underlying medical issues that made them vulnerable to a serious case, or other illnesses they picked up at the same time. I've had viral pneumonia before and it wasn't COVID-19. It's possible to pick up or be susceptible to other accompanying illnesses. I think it's wrong to scare people without all the facts.


SteppedOut's picture

The one I mentioned on ECMO is at the hospital my son works at. Thankfully, my son's floor has no negative pressure rooms, so he is not helping in her care, but one of his good friends is. No previous medical issues. None. (Not reported in the news). 

The one in MN is the same. That person is in the news. 

How many are not in the news?

This virus is a wild card. Be careful. 

ESMOD's picture

A teen was just diagnosed in my area.. recently came from overseas I believe.

I have heard that "mild" may mean that you don't necessarily need to be hospitalized.. but that you are still possibly very ill.

I actually don't think it's a horrible idea for people to be more mindful of these issues.. even during regular flu season.. if you are in a high risk group.. you do need to take precautions.

But.. even not in a high risk group.. there are still things you can do to help limit community spread.

SteppedOut's picture

These are 2 cases that *I* know about. That does not mean there are not more. 

I am not trying to "scare" people. We are in a global pandemic, per the World Health Organization. Facts, not fear. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Not true.

80% of cases will be mild. About 1-2% of folks will be asymptomatic, but that doesn't mean they aren't carriers. This is especially true of children. They are the least likely to get seriously ill, but mild symptoms doesn't mean they aren't infectious.

This isn't about protecting the healthy. This is about not overwhelming the healthcare system with both illness AND normal occurences. So IF you get into a car accident, you don't have to be the chosen one to dir because the hospital is too full to put you in the ICU because all the "healthy" people infected all the not-healthy people.

Monkeysee's picture


Winterglow's picture

Unfortunately, people with "health issues" don't always shout it from the rooftops. Diabetes, for instance, isn't visible. One of my daughters (age 17) has Down Syndrome - it's an immune system disorder (as is her celiac disease). That puts her at risk despite her age. How many people would know that?

hereiam's picture

Healthy children are relatively safe from COVID-19. But they will transmit it to others.

You don't need to protect your healthy children FROM it. You need to protect vulnerable people from the children who are transmitters.

So, it make sense to protect the children from getting it and being carriers, in the first place. It makes sense for EVERYBODY to do what they can to not get infected, whether they think they will get seriously ill or not. Because EVERYBODY who gets it, can transmit it, and you won't know you are a carrier until it's too late. So, saying, "If I develop symptoms, I will stay home for the sake of others," doesn't really cut it.

It's not just about whether you think you, yourself, will get seriously ill.

I am an otherwise healthy person and I say bring it on.

What is wrong with you?

ESMOD's picture

Personally, I'm pretty concerned for my 90 year old father.  He almost died from flu/pnemonia a couple of years ago.  He currently has a rotation of 6 people who help him during the day with his daily needs and dog walking etc...

That is 6 people who have lives and families etc... one of them also provides care to other people as well.  another one works in a hospital..on a floor where as she says. "we get the people when they don't know what they have yet.... "

If he gets this I am almost certain it will kill him.  He went into hospice the last time and was probably within a few hours of dying a few times.  

We would love to limit his exposure.. but he is a stubborn old man.  Last night I called and he had a friend over for happy hour..SMDH

I have asked him if he would like me to ask for the woman who works in the hospital to come "out of rotation" .. he said no..and he is "in his right mind".. so not up to me.

Personally, I am halting what I call high risk travel and interpersonal interraction.

I won't fly.  Too close to others.. mixing with people who have been to places where the virus may be more prevalent... just too close for comfort. I wouldn't be taking public transport either... again.. too risky for me.  I probably will hold off on uber/lyft as well.

But.. I will get in my own personal vehicle and travel.. packing my own food for the road.. and being picky on how and when I eat out.  If I can maintain the 3 to 6 foot personal space... I'm ok with that risk... I think at that point it is low.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

to Alaska and just got back yesterday.  He and his fiance drove to Chicago, took a plane to Seattle and a plane to Alaska. They took the same route back home.

Dh told Ss that he needs to inform HR at his job of the route that they took.  Ss said he didn't even think about that.

His HR dept. told him no problem.  He could report to work as planned on Friday!! That doesn't sound like his employer is taking this seriously!!

Dh wanted to have Ss over for dinner and I said.........No Way!!! Not for two weeks for sure!!!

Thumper's picture

My comment is about 'visitation' orders.

Remember folks, non custodial can give UP visitation any time they want.  BM's on the other hand must have the child ready to GO to non custodials.

You do not need a court order to cancel your vistation NOR do you need bm's permission to cancel. 

Non custodial would need a large number of missed overnights to inpact an up tick in child support. Could be argued this is a world wide medical crisis...doubt if a bm would win this one.

expect her to be p' offed since your messing with her ME time.

Facetime with the kids.....

Aniki's picture

I stopped at the store last night for mouthwash - didn't realize we were using the "backup" and I hadn't replaced it. I walked around (Walmart) and here is a list of the empties:

  • toilet paper
  • facial tissue
  • lysol/clorox wipes (plenty of cleaning sprays left)
  • antibacterial liquid hand soap (only 4 bottles of non anti-bac)
  • antibacterial liquid dish soap (maybe a dozen bottles of non anti-bac)
  • sanitary masks
  • alcohol
  • alcohol prep pads
  • witch hazel
  • ALL bottled water (including sparkling)
  • ONIONS & GARLIC (whose the vampire?!)
  • regular Cheezits (I was reeeeeeeeeeally craving regular Cheezits, too.)


What surprised me is that the canned vegetables were barely touched.WTH? The ONLY section of canned food that had been decimated: Chef Boyardee. SMH


Thank you for posting this. Eye wuv ewe.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I went to get dish soap and there was NONE at the local walmart.  It's insane the stuff people are completely stocking up on out of panic.

Thumper's picture

Witch Hazel Anika??? I would have never guessed Witch Hazel.

OMG Cheezits----The Pizza Flavor---

Ok, thats all. Don't want to hijack this great post.

Aniki's picture

Yes, witch hazel. First time I have ever seen them out of that. They did have those pizza flavored-cheezits. Biggrin

Aniki's picture

Woman, I just snorked a very nice Chardonnay up my nose!

I grew up understanding that witch hazel was for acne. Never heard of any other use! And I googled it....YES, it can be used for hemorrhoids. Maybe people are buying witch hazel and makeup prep pads for #2...

CLove's picture

Because of the 2-week incubation, and Toxic Troll just came back from Hawai'i, and we have Munchkin going back and forth a LOT, as well as shes in middle school and kiddos are filthy anyways...

DH and I have yet to discuss a "strategy", but TP is empty at our local stores. Our freezer is kind of packed, Im a semi-prepper, and have bags of beans and lentils for no reason...

I will disclose that the folks who arrived in San Francisco on that cruise ship with some infections, has disembarked them here in my area (aprox 45 miles away Sad

The concern that I have is that my particular area is a HUB of tourism and those tourists are predominantly from asia.

Another concern is that my particular area is #2 in the country for Elderly populations.

So, I am not going to visit my mother who is in her 70's and has copd. I have not been as socially active. Have not gone to the gymn. Im in my 50's but somewhat healthy. I will go for hikes and walks, in fresh air. Definitely looking for preventions and distancing measures.

Thanks for the post.

WarMachine13's picture

Thanks for the post LD.

I'm in the St Louis area. St Pat parades 5k runs and other activities are cancelled.  

Family and I aren't avoiding folks but aren't doing group activities. We had a damn idiot break quarantine. His daughter has it. 

ESMOD's picture

Yeah.. I saw the news story.. I guess at this point the guy had to either make himself out to be the biggest idiot in history for not realizing you should be quarantined when ever other case you hear about on the news in similar situations ask for quarantines.. or you are the most selfish Ahole in history.. for doing what you wanted because you wanted to do it.  I guess his lawyer told him he is better off letting people think he is a moron.. so maybe he won't be sued.

HowLongIsForever's picture

Local industry wide we are on a no face to face, even in business critical situations, directive until further notice.  The technology is there for this to be a possibility in the vast majority of those situations.

My employer instituted a travel ban, visitor screening policy and is currently in preparation for a voluntary local office shut down.  We have a lot of contact with a lot of people.  Remote work capability is there for the vast majority at HQ.  Manufacturing locations not so much.  Globally, we have one confirmed case. 

Universities have shut down on campus classes.  Local school districts are not down yet but have cancelled all events through spring break and are operating under extreme caution.

There are two presumptive positives in the state (awaiting CDC confirmation), hundreds under observation.  The two positives are middle aged and hospitalized.  Both cases are in metro area counties with dense populations.  

I have high volume business in the one county (along with hundreds of other companies in the business), significant personal contact in the other and live in a third.  Six degrees of Kevin Bacon and the New Rochelle attorney case would suggest I need to take precautions I admittedly didn't think were necessarily going to come to pass a week ago.

That means I am far more conscientious and deliberate about my actions than last week.

My routines have changed.  A little inconvenience and even disappointment, sure.  I don't have a clue if I've even actually been exposed.  In all honesty the odds are in my favor that I haven't. 

Still, I don't see it as some great sacrifice or offense to not be running around in public unnecessarily for 14 days.  I wouldn't consider it a waste of time or a bad decision on my part if there are no adverse consequences this time.  When my risk profile changes again, I will do it all over again.

A tragedy should not be required for consideration of the vulnerable among us or even just fellow human beings in general.  Being proactive does not mean catastrophizing or overreacting.  Being cognizant and respectful of the available resources is not some fool's errand.  

There is nothing in my daily life's routine that is so damn important I feel entitled to sacrifice my neighbors.  Nothing.  Not the wants or wishes, nor the money.  Nothing.  

Not everyone shares that view.  I don't think anybody wants to look back and wonder if they did enough, though.  If they did the right thing.  If the tradeoff was worth it.  So why risk it?