REAL LIFE during COVID – update

Since the Governor’s initial “suggestion” of staying at home and limiting being out and about for non-essential activities, REAL LIFE has been following the Governor’s directives regarding COVID. We are also ensuring those in our houses follow suit. We have encouraged others involved with our organization to do the same. We appreciate the importance of today’s announcement of an order to “Shelter in Place” (instead of suggesting it) and thank the Governor for putting this place.
While this is extremely hard for our Lifers due to their circumstances relating to mental health situations, being in recovery, and former incarcerations (and therefore feeling incarcerated again), we are working to ensure we continue to provide services, while ensuring our Lifers are kept abreast on COVID and the necessity for “shelter in place,” social distancing, and alike.
It is important to remember that we are in this together – every single person in our country has been impacted by COVID in some way; some worse than others. “We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” said Governor Northam. “Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”
It is an order to stay at home except for “needs, which are different than wants” the Governor shared. Yet, we want our Lifers, as well as other recovery housing organizations, to remember that if one person brings COVID back to the house, everyone will get it. This is a detrimental situation. Further, the majority of the men and women in our houses would likely not have a good outcome if they contracted COVID because they are smokers, which is considered a pre-existing condition.  (Smokers have described COVID as feeling like they are drowning or suffocating since it is a respiratory disease).

Additionally, the spreading of COVID is like wildfire – you could be carrier and give it to someone in the community – or a lot of people. That is how COVID spread from China to over 200 countries – people are not isolating and social distancing. Frankly, because people are being self fish and thinking this doesn’t apply to them, we have a “Shelter in Place” order in Virginia now.

We read a post on facebook today that stated something to the effect of “If I want to go out…” and continued they would continue to go out and do what they want to do essentially. Comments like this are merely short sighted and outright undermining and disrespecting authority and public health (yet, I am sure they will be thrilled to get the stimulus check as a result of the pandemic, but will not follow the precautions).

Not only do we “shelter in place” in order to slow the spread to save lives, but also to slow down the demand on the hospital system, as they do not have the capacity to manage the influx. Already, “make shift” hospitals are popping up to manage the number of folks anticipated to be admitted due to COVID. There are temporary tents that are acting as morgues, as well as refrigerated tractor trailer trucks acting as morgues. Healthcare professionals are risking their lives day in and day out to treat patients with COVID, meanwhile going home with the risk of passing it along to their families.

So, for the greater good of our community and society – think about ALL OF US!!!!! It is not about you as an individual, but about the greater good!  Please stay home. Listen to the Governor’s orders. Understand, this is a point in time of our lives that is super hard, but will pass. Love each other during this time. Check on each other! Ensure you stay connected! And we will come out even stronger in the long run!