To Work or To Quarantine?

One of the more perplexing and upsetting things about the barrage of news about the coronavirus is the fact that its primary danger is to older, compromised people. 

I’ve always associated that with other people, but the objective fact is that, statistically, I and now my wife, Risa, are members of that group. Fortunately I don’t feel old or physically compromised. I am still playing in a young man’s game, the used machinery business, and blog writing, and I think I can compete with all comers on both fronts.

The dilemma is “how do I play it” now and when the current scare is over. My children admonish me that I must be ultra cautious because I am a heart patient who barely survived a heart attack, and several cardiovascular blockages that should have killed me eleven and a half years ago. Four bypasses, valve repair, luck, and maybe God, saved me. But now I live a normal life, exercise, work a lot, and still remember the middle name of my mother. But does that still mean that I have to act impaired when I don’t feel impaired?

Yet I am also scared enough by the virus to be self-quarantining for a couple weeks because they say I am highly vulnerable. I am a member of the old and sickly 10% of the population. 

Lloyd on quarantine at home

I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was getting cocky, complacent, and aching to get back to work at the plant, when I wrote the first draft of this blog. I knew I could keep my distance and protect myself.

Then I read about Northern Italy in the Wall Street Journal. 

I know people in Milan and Bergamo. My brother-in-law, Maury, was born in Genoa. I know the Tajariol family that owns ZPS Machine Tools quite well. They are my age.

Their world, and it is a beautiful place, is in chaos because of the coronavirus.  Hospitals are completely overwhelmed. Hundreds of human beings like me are dying everyday — alone — because people are not allowed to be with them for fear of spreading the plague faster. 

It is estimated that 60% of the Italian population has been infected. There is a real possibility of tens of thousands of people dying in Italy. 

It is a terrifying reality, and it cracked my bubble of cockiness about myself and America when I read it.

China is beating the virus back now. Korea is too. Civil liberties and privacy are being abused by the government to snoop on people to guarantee separation and quarantine, but in this case it seems necessary.

In America we are depending more on individuals using common sense and tending to themselves for the greater good.

I am going to do my part. See you on the “other side.”

Question: Are you working or quarantining?

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9 thoughts on “To Work or To Quarantine?

  1. Jeff

    I’m an engineer so I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home. A lot of other people don’t have that option. A lot of the machine operators in the factory are older and don’t have this option. All I can say is
    There’s going to be a lot of hungry and sick people out there with clean butts.

  2. CsA

    Everyone will get it at some point. I also am in the vulnerable group. We just need to delay this until the health care system accommodate us. I hope there is a ventilator available if I need one. Listen to the experts not the politicians. Good Luck Lloyd.

  3. Gordon Erickson

    We build and repair food packaging machinery. Not that it would stop anyone from eating, but if three is no vacuum packaged meat available, it could be because people like us aren’t doing our jobs. Maintaining isolation as best as we can should get us through. You really cant plan against someone coughing into a box and shipping it to you, but the UPS man is our only consistent visitor, and at least for now we aren’t going out because the food plants are not allowing visitors except in emergency cases. Everyone is hands on, there really isn’t much that can be done from home. Time will tell, but food is one thing that really cant stop being delivered right now. It should be as easy to get as toilet paper, and right now it is easier! HA!

  4. Bill Camloh

    I am in sales so usually out on the road engaging with customers. This has been put to a complete halt, so I am learning ways of keeping up on the projects in the office and being productively occupied, just shy of going stir crazy… and this is only my 2nd day!!!
    My wife is teaching me to relax and make the best of it.
    Learning to work and quarantine simultaneously.
    We’ll be OK! I think attitude and peace of heart are key.

    1. David Heinzmann

      Was looking forward to the Cuomo Vacation. Alas, As an “essential” I was given the franchise tag.

  5. Aaron

    I’m a one-man shop, so I have less risk than most. I only have 1-3 people stop into my shop per day. I plan on working as long as I am allowed.

  6. KimG

    The company has given each employee an extra 40 hrs of paid time off. We may take it as needed now, or later, but older employees were encouraged to go home. Some of us can work from home, and we’re trying that out. For production, that’s not really an option. We’re trying to keep our distances at work, stagger hours so we’re not all here together. I worked from home yesterday, but am in the office today.

    School for my 10-yr old has closed; my 4-yr old’s preschool is still open. If that closes, I’ll be forced to take time off. I can reasonably work from home with a 10-yr old, but not a 4 yr-old. Fortunately my work is in front of a computer with everything in the cloud, so I have the option of working from home.


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