PRESTON — I had a conversation with my best friend who happens to be one of the many scientists researching COVID-19. When I asked him if there had been any progress with slowing this thing down, he said no. I asked him if there was any truth in what I heard about heat killing the virus. Again, he answered, no. He informed me that there were certain parts of the world that had hotter climates, but a high number of COVID-19 cases. So I asked what needed to be done for everyone to get back to work, school, or whatever used to be a normal life. He said without hesitation, “Quarantine. Just stay the (expletive) home! It’s the only way.”

We have no idea how much longer this quarantine is going to last. Some areas are doing soft openings, but some areas are nowhere near ready to reopen. The problem is, we’re still trying to figure this thing out. It’s scary when even the experts don’t have all of the answers. There are a lot of people who feel as though their freedom has been snatched away from them. In a sense, it has been. But right now there is a price for freedom. My best friend said something to me that really made me think. He said that research showed that had the quarantine begun only two days sooner, the cases of COVID-19 would have been cut in half. That tells me that quarantining seems to be our only solution for now. I completely understand people’s frustration with having to stay home. I’m one of those people who has lost a lot of money as a result of the coronavirus. But I also understand the dangers of not social-distancing. I want to give you a different way of viewing COVID-19. Just hear me out for a moment. And please, keep an open mind. My purpose is not to be divisive, but rather inclusive.

Let’s substitute the coronavirus for bullets. Instead of there being a threat of catching a potentially deadly illness, what if the threat was getting shot? Would you still be so inclined to leave home? The coronavirus yields the same effects as getting shot. Hospitalization and death. How comfortable would you feel knowing that everywhere you went there was a very good chance that there was an active shooter present? But it doesn’t end there. If you happen to get shot, you now become the shooter. The gun is in your hand, and as you bleed out from your own gun wounds, you are shooting at those around you.There are instances where a persons adrenaline is so high that they don’t realize that they have been shot. This is equivalent to people contracting COVID-19, but being asymptomatic. The shooter doesn’t realize they have been shot, and essentially doesn’t realize that they are shooting those around them. Now what happens if you go home to your loved ones and shoot them?

Believe me, I am frustrated with being quarantined too. I am ready to get back to work and socializing with friends. But not at the risk of getting shot. And definitely not at the risk of becoming a shooter. For me, cabin fever and losing money for a few months is a small price to pay when the alternative is potentially death. So I will continue to stay home because I don’t want to get shot. And I don’t want to shoot you.

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