Our family’s response to the coronavirus

As my 15 year old left for school last Wednesday, I stopped myself from kissing her on the lips and instead directed my kiss to her cheek. It felt awkward because we usually share a big smooch on the lips! As I was about to make contact with her cheek she quickly noticed the change in our morning routine and grabbed my ears to kiss me on the lips. She looked me in my eyes and said, “we’ll always kiss on the lips.“

Meanwhile, at the time of this post there are 2 presumptive coronavirus cases in our county and some of our daughter’s friends are congregating in Washington D.C., for a school trip at which hundreds of students from other parts of the country are gathering. Those students will return to school after experiencing a mixture of dirty planes, hotels, and typical high school mixers. There’s no way to predict how many of those kids will bring the virus to our campus. Knowing what we do about the virus, it’s reckless to allow students to travel and gather at this time and those trips should have been canceled when the public first learned about community spread of coronavirus.

This lead me to decide it’s time for a family meeting about a worst case scenario and how the virus may affect us.

Our family will start a 2-week self quarantine as soon as our daughter’s school closes its campus. We’ve been told by her school that teachers are prepared for distance learning. My husband and I are lucky enough to work from home. I’ve begun to stockpile food, paper products, and water. As we go through this quarantine process, rules of engagement are important. Forgiveness is the first on the list. We won’t blame anyone in the family should one of us get sick.

The New York Times suggests in it’s piece How to Quarantine Yourself:

“If you are infected or have been exposed to the coronavirus, you must seclude yourself from your partner, your housemates, your children, your elderly aunt. You shouldn’t even pet your dog. And definitely no snuggling with your pet (no licking). If you don’t have your own room, one should be designated for your exclusive use. You should use a separate bathroom, if you have one.”

I’m curious if other families are considering a similar family meeting.