Stay Home. Save Lives.
Today, I joined a Change.org petition to encourage people to say home. After you read it, I hope you join us too. Here is the letter:
We know this is a lot to ask. We all know we have a lot to lose.
Today, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other community leaders announced new rules to combat COVID-19 in Central Texas. We support these measures and will each work within our respective capacities to reinforce them.
Central Texas has always been a great place to hang your hat.
Great music, cheap tex-mex, cold beer, and colder, clean water made us famous back in the day. We’ve gone through lots of change since then — some good, some not so much — but we’ve always maintained our culture of welcome and celebration.
Over the last fifty years, floods, wars, recessions, and assorted financial debacles have at one time or another threatened to extinguish the growth and vibrancy of our culture. Add to that the last fifteen years where mobility, affordability, and gentrification continue to…complicate…our reputation as an easy and easygoing place to live.
Throughout these setbacks, one hallmark of our hospitable nature remained constant: Austin’s watering holes, eateries, music venues, and other gathering places remained busy, providing refuge, camaraderie, and solace. It’s the people, after all, that make us feel like family.
But, right now, we’re putting the family in danger.
When coronavirus concerns compelled SXSW organizers to cancel earlier this month, many didn’t see the justification. Less than a week later, as verified by the pandemic’s ongoing sweep through Asia and Europe, the decision was unquestionably the right thing to do. We need to follow that lead and get ahead of the curve in our professional and personal lives as well.
We, the undersigned, support the new City of Austin and Travis County rules. As citizens race to implement work and school from home procedures, we commit — ourselves, our businesses, our social groups, and our families — to social distancing and self-isolation immediately. And we commit to recommit every day, guiding those who haven’t gotten the word in the right direction.
On March 15, a group of 16 national healthcare leaders placed an ad in USA Today outlining the appropriate rules of this new road.
COVID-19 is spreading, and you won’t know you’re infected until you’ve already infected others. Right now, you have no immunity to prevent you from getting the disease. It’s especially lethal for older people or those with underlying conditions. This will come to communities in waves and will be a marathon, not a sprint, so pay attention to local events. And our hospitals won’t have sufficient resources — people, beds, ventilators or protective gear — if cases keep spreading as fast as they are in Italy.
But there’s something important you can do: Stay home.
Stay at home as much as possible. That means avoiding playdates, sleepovers, bars, restaurants, parties or houses of worship. Avoid all crowds.
Central Texas is blessed with boundless energy, creativity, generosity, and compassion. The most uncharacteristic thing we can do is nothing. We got you!
From the same source:
- You can still take walks outside, shop for essentials and enjoy your online community of friends.
- Stay connected in other ways. Check in on your loved ones and friends frequently.
- Keep informed about what is happening in your neighborhood.
- Give to people in need in your community: supplies for food pantries, financial donations, personal hygiene items.
- Buy online gift certificates to your favorite local stores and restaurants — and use them when this is over.
- Be a neat freak. Keep everything as clean as possible.
- Wash your hands. Early, often, thoroughly.
- If you’re going to spread anything, spread help, compassion and humor.
- Above all, do not panic. Remember: Like all outbreaks, this too will eventually end.
This can’t wait. Every meeting could cost a life. Help us spread this message by signing this online petition on Medium [LINK] and using #stayhomeatx on social media.
After we beat back this challenge, we’ll lead an effort to get together to celebrate the lives we saved by staying home.
We’ll buy the first round.