Lifestyle Story: Locals respond to social distancing, virus news

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Becky Holland

TEXAS, GEORGIA & OKLAHOMA: In the last several weeks, from China to Italy to all over Europe, and even here in the United States, our lives have been challenged with uncertainty as a result of a virus called ‘coronavirus’ or COVID-19.

From the very beginning, this virus strand has created quite a stir all over the world as it came quickly, and seems to develop even quicker. With the conditions consistently changing, even those in the proper know about diseases – medical and science personnel are having a hard time keeping up – but they are trying.

One of the ways they have discovered that could help with slowing the virus down has been through encouraging social distancing.

Introverted people across the world are quite aware of the meaning of social distancing – it is something they practice in their daily lives – but others are not really aware of what it means.

Or at least they have not shown as based by their social media postings.

According to our Center for Disease Control – the CDC – social distancing in this case, is just the public health practice of prevention of the spread of diseases.

It is a method of helping sick people contain their sickness and get well without making others sick. That is just the simple terms.

As we all know, and some of us don’t like it, but one of the practices of social distancing revolves around canceling public events – including schools, jobs and canceling church services.

Basically, it means shutting down public spaces if need be.

As explained by officials with the CDC, and Dr. Nick Fauci, right now, social distancing with the COVID-19 is to put the ‘brakes’ on the virus’ outbreak. As explained by a certain newscaster on a major television network, this process is ‘flattening the curve-’ this is where goals are met in prevention of the virus or any illness that could ‘break’ our healthcare systems.

Directions like avoiding large gatherings, maintaining a safe distance from others, no hugging, no kissing and no handshakes – it is time to elbow bump or just nod.

Good hygiene is encouraged too – especially hand-washing.

As we are facing the social distancing and closure of schools, businesses and more, questions were put to several readers of The Murphy Gazette through Facebook messenger. What are you doing different? How is your family coping with the social distancing? What are you doing?

Mystery author, and mother of one, Tina Whittle of Savannah,Georgia, said, “In our house, we’re using virtual online board game sites so that we can still enjoying playing our favorite games with each other even if we can’t share a table.”

Jennifer Emery, wife, mother of three young adults and an artist in LaGrange, Georgia, said,My main concern is my mother. She is in a compromised health state, and I worry about her catching something.”

She added, “We are texting and video chatting and talking on the phone.”

Marisa Holland, wife, mother, grandmother, is in Oklahoma. Her family is spread out. She said, “At the moment, we are doing that … keeping social distance,mainly because we don’t have anything to do… the weathers too bad to go to the park or a zoo, but I’m sure we’d go if we could.”

She said, “We are supposed to make a trip in the states this week for three weeks, and are not planning to change our plans, unless flights are canceled or POTUS puts us on lock-down.”

As per anything else revolving around the pandemic, “We are not really doing anything different … I was such a germaphobic before anyway,” Marisa said.

Stevie Wayne, a Texas law enforcement officer, fire fighter, husband and father, when asked if there was anything they were doing different since the outbreak of the virus came about, paused for a moment. He then said, “We really not doing anything any more different than we were before.”

Stevie then laughed, “I guess we are using more Germ-X?”

Sasha Edge and her husband both work full-time, and they have two children – a son who starting out on his life outside of college, and a daughter who is in her senior year of high school. The Cochran, Georgia resident thought for a few minutes, then said, “Honestly, we are going about our lives as usual…work, lessons, grocery stores, gym, etc.”

She continued, “However, we are following the hand-washing and cleaning protocol more than we did before … I have not bought into the hype of this virus … yet … think the media hyped this up early on, and maybe the hype is political. The economy is diving, people are being sent home -which means no work … no money. Our school system just closed for a month – and I think that might be a little excessive, but that is not my call.”

Everyone who was interviewed did agree though that it just seems that people should use common sense, and make wise choices during this season in our lives.

Peggy Peacock, wife, mother, grandmother and professional caregiver, just shook her head at the panic surrounding this disease. “As for myself, I am washing my hands often, and sanitizing everything that I have to touch … keeping my husband at the house due to his immune system being compromised.”

Peggy said, “My opinion on this coronavirus is that it has been overrated and over exaggerated … if you are a child of God, why worry? Why have fear?”

She concluded, “God has got you.”

Bobbie Duke of Madisonville, Texas is a wife and mother of a large brood of children, their spouses and more. When asked about the virus and all the stuff going on, she said, “It is kind of like how the depression didn’t affect the deep woods country family…hardly know it’s a big event.”

She added, “We homeschool so it’s business as usual. We went to church today, but no hugs!”

“Our biggest worry is what level we will be at when we have the county fair next week … it’s a fun, fun community time, and if it’s full of curfews and limited attendance, it will be a smothering feeling. It’s very looked forward to,” Bobbie said.

As per the response of her family, especially in the case of social distancing, Bobbie concluded, “So far, it’s a normal thing … except we bought a lot of toilet paper … but we bought no water.”

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