Politicians Fight Over Restrictions, but What Should We Do? Be Smart

More and more states are changing their rules on what can and can’t be open. They are making and repealing rules about masks. They are changing how many people can be in buildings. Just like everything else from the last year, it’s dizzying and frustrating to watch as ordinary people.

When you’re seeing it in the news, it can make it harder to make choices. Are the people in charge making the decisions based on the science of what’s going on or politics?

For people with health concerns and older people, it can be even more frustrating. People want to be safe. They also want to live their lives and see their families! Some nursing homes are reopening for the first time in almost a year. That means folks could see each other in person. But, they worry about the people they love staying safe.

In times like this, we say you should ignore politicians. You don’t know what pressures they are bowing to. You have to look to health officials and then do what makes sense. The more contagious variants are on the rise around the country.

I think we at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. “Every individual ... is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide for personal health, for public health, for their health and their loved ones and communities.”

We don’t want to see the rises that will shut down the country again. Until more people are vaccinated, it’s impossible to stop infections without social distancing and masks. “If we open the state on the 10th, I’m telling you, before the end of March, we’re going to have problems,” Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of staff of the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston. He is concerned about the mask and capacity changes in Texas.

It’s been almost exactly a year since most of the Neuliven Health staff started working from home and we miss seeing each other in person! We didn’t get to have our normal holiday party. We have skipped our fun gatherings in the conference room to celebrate milestones. But we are staying home even as things are starting to open up again.

Our home state of California is reopening some things. And people on our team have been finding ways to enjoy themselves while still feeling safe. That’s the important thing. We listen to the public health leaders and what they are saying, but we also get out into the world a little. We aren’t in a full lockdown anymore. We go to the reopened street markets where everyone is wearing masks and it’s all outdoors. We head to the park where we can spend time with our families but keep our distance.

We want to get back to normal, but, unfortunately, that means staying like this for a while. Our team is using common sense and listening to the health officials. With little official guidance, it seems safest to be careful and see each other under the safest conditions only. We want to get back to hugging our families and sitting inside. But, right now, that doesn’t seem possible. We know we’re blessed with nice weather. But, talking to family around the country, it seems like they are still making do with phone calls and bundled-up visits on front steps and porches.

One person on our team said her father and his friend drive their cars up to a park to watch the sunset. They park next to each other and open their windows to talk. The two men have known each other for almost forty years. Until they can get back to their regular routine, her father is protecting himself because he has asthma and can’t risk catching COVID-19.

Things will get back to normal. But, while health officials and politicians fight over where we are on the path to normalcy, we have to take care of ourselves.

Banner image: Gabriella Clare Marino via Unsplash
March 05, 2021
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