COVID-19 Coronavirus: Why we self-quarantine


The JTAC Brittainie Cason

The flags in front of Tarleton State University located off of West Washington Street.

The past two weeks have been pretty insane, if I say so myself. While washing my hands for the millionth time last night I took some time to reflect on the craziness that is taking over the world, and our small college town. I never thought that I would see something like this in my life.

As Americans, we have the distinct ability to very seldom think about just how free we are and how cushioned many of our lives are. Yet, here we are now; a pandemic is sweeping its way across the world and a good proportion of American’s citizens refuse to quarantine themselves because they are healthy and if they get it, they will be fine.

I know you’ve already heard it a million times, but quarantine is not to save yourself, it is to save others.

The COVID-19 coronavirus is most dangerous to people above the age of 60 and to those with heart, lung and immunological conditions. These are the people that we are helping by self-quarantining. That could be your parents, your grandparents, other close relatives, your work colleagues or your very best friends.

Self-quarantine doesn’t mean that you have to stay completely isolated, but it does mean that you should only be going out for essential needs. Things like hanging out with friends or shopping for anything other than food is not typically necessary.

This whole scenario has given me the constant reminder of one my greatest friends. His name was Briggs Berry and he passed away in September of 2014 due to complications from a bone marrow transplant. Briggs had an immunodeficiency disorder called X-linked Hyper IgM syndrome. This disorder left him very susceptible to infections. His body had no way to fight viruses like the corona or the flu. Any exposure could have been fatal to him.

Briggs had to live his life pretty similar to what we are now with the coronavirus. He had to be careful about who he spent his time with, what he touched, and he couldn’t share food or drinks with others.

Because of how incredibly contagious and dangerous COVID-19 is those with compromised immune systems, whether that be because of age or illness, Briggs likely would not have survived this.

Briggs would have had to self – quarantine also, but if he had been around someone who hadn’t and was infected but didn’t know it, it could have been deadly to him.

Every day now, when I wash my hands a thousand times or I avoid going to more places than I need to, I think of Briggs and how hard this would have been on him. It reminds me of the importance of staying home and being willing to put things on hold in my life that aren’t considered necessary right now.

I think of Briggs and people like Briggs and I remember how vibrant his life was. He loved and cared so deeply for all of us, yet he was always dealing with things like this. I know how hard it was to lose him, how gut wrenching it felt to get that text, letting me know that he was gone. I know how hard it is to get up in the morning and go back to normal life after losing a close friend. I remember hugging his parents and telling them how much he meant to us, but that doesn’t change that he is gone. It was hard. Losing Briggs was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through.

Yet, people won’t stay home for a couple weeks because their bored or its inconvenient to them. You are putting yourself and others at risk by going out. Work is necessary. Supplying your family with food is necessary but hanging out with your friends isn’t necessary.

So, that is why we self- quarantine. To save those that can’t do it for themselves, like Briggs.

It is the same with those we love.

Maybe your family won’t get it, but some will and that means some will die. That is really sad, but it is reality and we have to be cautious.

Make sure that you are only going out for essentials like working, grocery shopping or buying gas. Other than that, there is no need to risk your health or the health of others.

Use your best judgement and be kind to others. This is a trying time for everyone. Kindness and compassion can go a long way right now.

If you need a reminder of why to stay home, find your Briggs, or use mine. I know he wouldn’t mind.

Stay safe and stay healthy out there.