The coronavirus pandemic is everywhere. It has affected everything in our lives, often radically so. So many Americans have already sacrificed so much to stop the spread and save lives. But we must do more.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
Let me share some details of our situation. Joe and I have seven children between the two of us. We worry about them. Some have underlying medical issues. I also have my octogenarian mom living nearby. She is considered high risk because of her age.
Joe and I know we are luckier than most. And like many Americans, we have been tirelessly working on managing the different needs of our children. Some of them are less concerned about the virus than we are. It has been something of a challenge convincing them that coronavirus is no joke, and the actions they take today will save lives tomorrow.
We have been hosting “Morning Joe” away from 30 Rock in Manhattan.
And our house has become a “germophobe’s dream getaway” with Clorox wipes in every room, windows open and a lot of hand washing. We’ve been doing a lot of our meetings outside and are keeping our distance from non-family members.
It’s challenging, but necessary. We take care of a lot of people and want to be able to continue to do so. We’re focused on our health, having conversations everyday about what we eat and the need to maintain our exercise for both our mental and physical health.
Social distancing is difficult. But it’s something we must do. Science tells us that social distancing can work. This is how you slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
For example, when I see my mother, I stay six to eight feet away from her. When we do see each other, we often meet outside or at her art studio where we keep a safe distance. Since I am exposed to a lot of kids, and some live with us, I cannot take the chance that I am a carrier. We also said “no way” to my mom continuing to go to physical therapy. All the gyms are closed for a reason. The last place we want my mom is anywhere that she can be exposed.
Another example involves one of my daughters, who flew in last week. She is isolating for nine more days before we are bringing her fully into our house. It may sound extreme, but I know in my heart that this is what it’s going to take.
Every day, Joe and I try to ramp up our social distancing. We look for the outliers. We search for the weak links. For example, there are kids in our community who want to play baseball in the town field. Some parents think that’s safe enough. But in this crisis, baseball connects all those kids to each other’s families and possibly the virus; we said “no.”
Joe and I are inundated with information about coronavirus. We find ourselves on the phone all day with sources from Washington, the White House, top business leaders and the medical community monitoring where things stand.
What I’ve learned through these experts is that hope lies in what we can do to keep this virus from spreading over the next few weeks. The constant influx of information can be overwhelming, and we are genuinely worried.
But social distancing is the one thing we can control. We need to go big now and just stay home.
Originally published on NBC News.
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