Monday, March 16, 2020

#76 / Expat Warning

Meet San Franciscan Nichole Callahan and her Italian husband, Nicola Laruccia. And their cat. 

Nichole, Nicola, and the cat are "holed up" at home in Italy, and by way of an article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, Expat Nichole is sending us a warning: 

PLEASE take seriously the need to stay away from others!

I was not very much sold on the idea that we should all be practicing "social distancing." I didn't like the decision of UCSC to make me teach my class online. I resented the fact that the plays and musical events I had paid for were suddenly cancelled. I was not delighted that the City of Santa Cruz decided to shut down its offices - though, frankly, that wasn't a big imposition on my normal life. But not visiting my friends? Not getting together to work on some of the political projects with which I am involved? Not going to visit my daughter and her kids? They're family, for heaven's sake!

Right from the get-go, I have been willing to wash my hands. Many, many times! I have been really trying hard not to touch my face. But.... all this isolation? I did not receive this news well. 

Then, my son Philips, an acupuncturist, provided me with an article that explained why social distancing is so important. The article is titled, "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now." Click the link to read it. It changed my mind. 

Nichole Callahan, in the pages of the Chronicle, is validating the need to take these warnings seriously.

If you prefer to read about it in The New York Times, here's a link to a column in yesterday's paper by Nicholas Kristof and Stuart A. ThompsonThe Wall Street Journal is sending the same message; The Journal is telling us, "Please Stay Home. Talk To Your Pets." If you can slip by the paywall imposed by any of these newspapers, you will find an explanation of how that "flattening the curve" thing works, and why it's so important.

And here is one more article on the same topic. This one is from The Washington Post. The Post has removed its paywall for all articles dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, and there is no paywall on this humorous video from Juice Media, either. The advice being provided to us by all of these sources of information is identical:

PLEASE take seriously the need to stay away from others!

One of the biggest obstacles to following this good advice may be the fact that the people with whom you live don't have the same view. It's nice that Nichole and Nicola are of a like mind. But since they are in Italy, you can see why they are believers. 

Right now, our local communities don't seem to have much in common with Italy, but if your partner or roommate insists on being "out and about," they are putting YOUR life in danger. And their own! Not to mention the lives of lots of other people.

Wait it out. Don't go to church. Don't go to school. Don't go out to eat with your friends. Don't go to visit your children living separately. Don't go to the movies. Take it from Nichole. 

Lots of people will thank you. 

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