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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Guthrie

The Day America Woke Up

Coronavirus... One Week Later


The day the NBA canceled the Utah Jazz game on March 11, a domino effect happened in sports which suspended the NBA season and practically halted the entire sporting industry. This action put the spotlight on the coronavirus and raised much needed awareness on the spread of the disease. It must be bad if sports has ended right?

When that happened, my husband was in route to Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament. I remember getting a text from him that the tournament had been canceled and he couldn't believe it. I couldn't either. Being a self-employed sports broadcast engineer since the 90's, he had never seen anything like it.

It meant he was flying home that Friday with no idea of when the sporting would would resume and when he would work again. I remember when he came home and how very hard it was to not only lose 40 days of sports broadcast world income, but to be home during the one of his heaviest seasons without work. It also meant I would not be tagging along with him on his work assignments.

Without sporting assignments for the next 40 days; the financial impact of that will be very hard on us. Without travel, that is almost harder because his work has always been a part of who we are. His sports assignments with me tagging along covering the Big 12, Final Four, and possibly the NFL Draft... gone. While it is hard, we understand the importance of staying at home and self isolation. We've been watching replays of sports and trying to make the best of it and stay positive like the rest of America, but I'm not going to deny that it is hard. Changing your lifestyle and what you are used to doing, and changing your routine is hard.

Last year he worked the Women's Final Four in Tampa. We stayed in Orlando so that I could go to DisneyWorld while he worked. He drove back and forth from Orlando for me. The last day we were in Florida, after all that work he did, he went to Hollywood Studios with me. I'll never forget that.

It's hard to imagine a year later that even considering going to Florida right now with the coronavirus is a bad idea. It's hard to imagine that a year later, DisneyWorld is shut down due to the virus.

This morning I woke up to the U.S. being the 6th highest country with coronavirus cases according to Worldometer. At the current rapid pace of new cases, the U.S. could stand to be the third most afflicted country in the world behind Italy and China.

The White House warned us of this in their press conference on Tuesday, March 17 with President Trump stating "Enjoy your living room." Yet there were no federal mandates released; only guidelines. Without mandates, states have been taking action with executive order after executive order. I'm like, listen to President Trump and stay in your living room!

With only guidelines, we unfortunately witness via social media what is happening on the beaches of Florida; as if life is still carrying on as usual and the coronavirus nonexistent. I get wanting to carry life on as usual, we get that. I wish the virus didn't exist either but it does.

Yesterday, on March 19, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) ordered all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The CDPH further ordered that essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

This is in stark contrast to Florida officials who continue to keep beaches open and whose latest order on March 17 only placing restrictions on the operations of certain bars, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants.

While in Michigan, on March 12, Governor Whitmer ordered the statewide closure of all schools and subsequently on March 16 ordered all bars, casinos and restaurants to close.

With Michigan Schools going on Spring Break soon, and Florida in Spring Break party mode, mixed messages and varying degrees of guidelines and mandates from across the country could provide the unintentional consequence of people wanting to go on vacation, to take a reprieve and forget about the coronavirus or believe it's not that big of deal.

Somehow working from home seemed so much better when I had the choice instead of knowing I need to #selfisolate and stay home to do my part in not spreading the virus. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to do it and I don't have any issues with it, but we grew up in a country of abundance and choice and that's what staying home because we need to hard for many Americans

On a cold Michigan day like today, there is nothing I would like more than a warm sunny beach. There is nothing I would like more then to have what my husband and I had last year in April and every year before that; my husband working out of town in warm, sunny locations and me tagging along if work afforded the opportunity. Without the hotel and airline industry being shut down, prices are dirt cheap and very tempting. I get that. We are only human after all. We work hard and we want to spend our downtime how we want.

But I urge you to NOT travel, NOT go on Spring Break, NOT go on vacation and to #stayathome. It is painful and it will be painful to think about but we will be better for it and we will come out of this. We have to be patient and steadfast in staying at home, social distancing and only going out when necessary for basic provisionals. When the spotlight is no longer on the spreading of the coronavirus and we have successfully #flattenedthecurve, we can venture out again, we can travel again and we can go to sporting events again and get back to every day life. Until then, stay safe indoors my friends and keep dreaming of the future we create sooner by social distancing and self quarantining together and stopping the spread now.

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