Lori Sorenson

Feeling inconvenienced by shelter in place?

Get over it. It's not about you
On Second Thought

My oldest son earned a law enforcement degree a couple of years ago at a time when mothers might worry about their sons
working in law enforcement.

     So, when he took a job in security and surveillance at Avera McKennan, I felt comforted to know he’d be less often in harm’s
way. How many armed bad guys hang out in the ER waiting room?

     Lately, with the coronavirus closing in from all sides, it seems there’s no safe place for our children.

     Jonathan is the first person in line for people who enter the front doors of the facility. And lately he said foot traffic is
picking up and it’s his job to screen patients for the virus.

     He tells me he’s well protected and the protocols are designed to protect everyone.
     He’s not scared, but I am.

     I’m scared he’ll be exposed and possibly get sick. Possibly deathly ill. Statistically most people won’t die, but tell that to the
mothers of healthy young people who did suffocate when the disease invaded their lungs.

     I try not to worry.
And I try to find comfort among the dozens of other local parents whose children are on the “front lines” of the coronavirus defense.

     Many of them are doctors and nurses and first-responders, but all it takes is one drop of mucus from an ill-timed sneeze — which could happen in the ER lobby or in the ER patient room.

     One drop of snot could prove more deadly than a single round at close range from a handgun.

     Also consider this: The person complaining of symptoms and seeking care might pose less risk to the public than the person
carrying the disease but not yet showing symptoms.

     These people, my friends, are everywhere. It could be me. Or you. How would we know until we show symptoms? Would we even have symptoms or know?

     We have yet to report a confirmed case in Rock County, but that doesn’t mean it’s not here already circulating the community.

     That’s why it’s imperative that we hunker down and stay home now. Because these carriers and everyone else they exposed when they were asymptomatic will start showing symptoms and start needing medical attention, and we pray they’re not all
sick at the same time.

     We are a small medical community, and about the time our Rock County folks start getting sick, Sioux Falls
hospitals will already be feeling the strain.
There are only so many ventilators to keep alive the very sick patients, and there are only so many “front line” workers to help.

     The virus will strike in Rock County, and people we care about will get sick. “There’s not much we can do about it,” one
might say. But that’s a lie.

     There is one very important thing we all can do: stay home. Don’t be the asymptomatic carrier who inadvertently infects your mom or Uncle Marvin. And don’t be the one who feels safe around your friends at the store because they seem healthy.

     “Shelter in place” is ordered for a reason. Please do this now so that our loved ones on the front lines aren’t overwhelmed and in harm’s way.

     The coronavirus way of life is inconvenient, but it’s not about us. It’s about creating better outcomes for everyone in the community, including our loved ones on the front lines.

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