Unclean. Unclean. Unclean. Because Connie and I traveled to the state of Illinois last week we are suddenly being treated by some like we are lepers.
Some people seem to believe that because we crossed the Mississippi River at St. Louis and set foot onto the Prairie State that we are now endangering our lives and worse, the lives of anyone we come in contact with since we have returned home.
Maybe I’m wrong but I am under the impression that the coronavirus is transmitted through human contact, not contact with another state.
I don’t believe there is some kind of unseen force field that keeps the virus from crossing state lines.
Apparently, the State of Missouri believes that.
Connie has a part-time job here in Owensville. She has been laid off from that job for two weeks because the health department says so. Their guidelines (which changed after we were in Illinois) say that because she traveled into a community that predominately roots for the Cubs she cannot work until 1:55 p.m. on Sunday, April 5. That will be exactly 14 days from when we crossed back over the Mississippi into St. Louis.
We didn’t travel to Wuhan China, just Bloomington, Ill. Never mind that there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 there. Never mind that we had NO close contact with anyone from Illinois.
I could understand their hysteria if we had flown on a jet airplane to Miami, Fla. and spent the last few days partying with hundreds of college students on spring break.
We came into close contact with six other healthy people. That puts our group at eight — less than the recommend group of ten. The first two are our son Jacob and his wife Jess. They also live in Owensville.
The other four included our son Ethan, his wife Hillary, our daughter Abigail and her significant other Alex. These four live together in a house in Madison, Wisc. Three of them have been working from home for the last week. Alex works in a medical testing facility and cannot work from home.
We all drove straight to the airbnb that we rented from our perspective towns without stopping.
When Connie planned this trip months ago she created a wonderful itinerary for us. She found a museum that we planned to visit, a local brewery we wanted to eat at, a historic mansion to tour and a nice hiking trail for exercise and fresh air.
We did none of this.
After we settled in we NEVER left the house. For one, nothing was open, but more importantly, we didn’t want to needlessly expose ourselves to the coronavirus.
Here’s my response to anyone who criticizes our trip: Have you gone to Walmart or the grocery store or to get gas? How many people did you come in contact with between Thursday and Sunday? If it was more than seven then you had more exposure than me. So logically you are more likely to infect me than the other way around.
I did nothing wrong and I refuse to apologize for it.
Let’s face it, there is only one way anyone can be 100 percent sure that they are never exposed to this virus — you would have had to lock yourself into your home a month ago and never have any contact with another living soul for the foreseeable future.
Unless you are a survivalist and have six months of food stored in your bunker this is impossible.
Connie’s mother is 91 years old. She has been alone in her home for the last two weeks to protect herself. But guess what, someone has to take her groceries, get her medication filled at the pharmacy and deliver it to her home.
The only thing we can do is limit our exposure to others, keep a safe distance, use disinfectants and wash our hands with soap numerous times a day.
Some readers took my column from last week the wrong way. I was being sarcastic.
I still refuse to let fear of this virus paralyze me. I will not panic. The definition of panic is “sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.”
Panic prevents reasonable and logical thinking. Panic is what causes people to buy too much toilet paper, soap, disinfectants and ostracize others.
All of this has put a damper on what was one of the most wonderful trips we have ever had. You see although we spent almost four days sitting on the couch reading books, playing games, watching movies and eating with our kids, we did get some great news.
Connie and I are going to be grandparents.