Many in the Auburn community and across the nation find themselves adapting to a "remote" life from their homes. While many in the Auburn area were already sheltering in place over the past two weeks, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made the measure official last weekend, issuing a "Stay at Home"order for Alabamians.
What does "Stay at Home" mean? According to EAMC, it means "staying at home with immediate family members only, or those who normally live with you, and not leaving your home except for essential activities such as food, medical or work." It does not mean "having friends, neighbors or family members over to your house or going to their house."
It also does not mean letting neighborhood kids romp around the woods together, having sleepovers or play dates. While Covid-19 seems to affect children less seriously than adults, children can still be a potent force of transmission, potentially passing the virus along to more vulnerable members of our community — namely, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
The more responsibly we can act as a community, the sooner we can shift from a mitigation strategy to one of containment, assuming, of course, that our capacity to test for the virus greatly expands.
And, most importantly, we can help save lives, keep our local hospital and frontline health care workers from becoming overrun, and avoid placing the heavy burden on doctors of deciding who gets a ventilator and who dies.
We can all do our part to help flatten the curve.
Ivey's health order contains plenty of exceptions, though, for "essential" workers and activities.
One of those exceptions naturally includes grocery shopping. We all have to eat.
But going to the grocery store needs to be done responsibly as well, not only to limit the spread of Covid-19, but to protect the workers putting themselves at risk at the grocery store. According to EAMC, schedule a pickup or delivery of groceries, if possible, only go when it is absolutely essential, and only send one member of your household out to the grocery store. The full list of recommendations is at www.eamc.org/news-and-media/covid-19-grocery-store-tips.
The health order also impacts leisure activities. Sure, walking your dog or just yourself is OK — just don't go to a dog park or walk around a neighborhood that is not your own. Don't play golf, tennis or other sports that do not take place at your home, either, EAMC adds.
And with Easter this weekend, it's important to stay away from in-person services as much as it may pain us and regardless of whether the state health order allows it. Please watch a virtual service.
And please, continue to practice good hygiene and heed the advice of our medical professionals. Jim Bob on Facebook might have heard something different from a friend whose uncle is a doctor, but we shouldn't stake our lives or the lives of our families on it.
Stay home and stay safe!