Keep Birmingham safe—band together by staying apart + staying home

alabama power 8 1 Keep Birmingham safe—band together by staying apart + staying home
No need to worry about social distancing from your cat.

Although us young’ un’s might feel like we can do anything, it’s important to remember that no one is invincible, especially when it comes to Coronavirus (COVID-19). One bit of misinformation that is circling around is that young adults can’t get sick or will have mild symptoms. As the youngest member of the Bham Now team, I’m urging you to help me flatten the curve.

Let me begin by saying what you’ve already been hearing—this is serious

As someone right in the middle between Millennials and Gen-Z, it’s embarrassing to admit that only three weeks ago I was there with a lot of others. Over and over, I heard that even if I catch Coronavirus, it’ll feel just like the flu. 

I wasn’t worried at all about getting the virus—in fact, I still planned my spring break trip to New York City. My only concern was that things might close due to something that’s only a “bad flu!” What you need to take into account is not only your personal health, but how your actions will hurt others.

“We all are playing an equal part in the dramatic spread of COVID-19 if we don’t take precautionary methods such as social distancing. If you are in the Gen Z or Millennial generation and don’t think you’re at risk for COVID-19, understand that you are willingly putting others at risk that are more vulnerable to unfavorable outcomes.

We can treat social distancing as an opportunity to slow down, respect and promote the health of others and work on things we often complain that we ‘don’t have time’ to do (ie. cooking, reading, staying physically active).

Riley Thornton, RDN, a wellness specialist with UAB

Where Birmingham stands right now

As of March 23, at 4:30PM there were 86 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County. The most foolproof way to stop that number from rising is by taking extreme precautions now. Birmingham is strong, but we’ll only get through this if we’re all in it together.

How the world is faring

As confirmed case numbers climb across the United States, the country to which we need to be paying the most attention is Italy. With more deaths than any other country, they serve as a morbid look into our future if we don’t take preventative measures now.

It’s not just one generation—we ALL need to do better

Now is not the time for a blame game. From Gen Zers who went on spring break to parents who refuse to let their kids go grocery shopping for them, we can all do better. Urge your friends, coworkers, family, Twitter followers, whoever to stay home.

quarantine Keep Birmingham safe—band together by staying apart + staying home
My extremely extroverted (and stylish, I’m currently in sweatpants) aunt working from home while trying not to go crazy. If she can do it, so can you.

If you want your normal life back, stay home

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I wish this is how I actually looked working from home, but it’s actually just me making a continuous loop around my kitchen for snacks. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

Social distancing means avoiding social trips

Ok, so we know we can’t go to bars or restaurants or pretty much any public place that’s not outdoors. But what if I want to have three friends over? In short, the answer is no.

According to  Sean Morrison, a geriatrician with Mount Sinai Health System in New York, it depends on how bad the outbreak is in your area, but if we really want to get through this thing it’s best to extremely limit interactions. So it doesn’t mean instead of going to the bars have your friends over instead—it means moving happy hour to FaceTime.

“The less people you can control being around, the better. Social distancing is truly distancing oneself from others, preferably six feet.

Social distancing does not mean that you can’t continue to be social. Call one of your friends during your next solo walk, take a bike ride with a friend while keeping an appropriate distance or send your friends a Zoom video invite.

The more cautious we can be around others now can help us exponentially in the long run.” 

Riley Thornton, RDN, a wellness specialist with UAB

My birthday is Friday, so this is definitely my current mood. However, for the safety of, you know, the entire country I’ll be ordering a dessert from Bandit Pâtisserie’s new website and hanging out with my friends via Google Hangout.

Let’s go over the different definitions

So many different terms are being thrown around it’s hard to keep track of, but here’s a quick rundown.

  • Social distancing: Deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people and avoiding groups of 10 or more.
  • Self-quarantine: When you’ve been exposed to the symptoms and must stay in complete isolation for 14-days to wait and see if you develop symptoms.
  • Isolation: You have COVID-19 and are isolated either in your home or in a hospital.

How Bham Now team is practicing social distancing

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Working from home can prove some…difficulties….Photo via Bham Now.

The majority of us who work in the office on a daily basis are under 30. It’s tempting to say, “There’s only a few of us, we’re young and healthy, let’s continue to work together.” However, we’re incredibly fortunate to have a job that allows us to work from home.

All Bham Nowers have worked from home for over a week now and let me tell you, personally, it’s not fun. But we make it work with daily conference calls, FaceTimes and check-ins throughout the week and weekend.

We’re a mixture of ages from Gen Zs to Baby Boomers

Birmingham, Bham Now
Some of the Bham Now team. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

At 21-years-old I’m currently the youngest member of Bham Now. We also have millennials, baby boomers and coworkers with pre-existing conditions. Basically, we could all take the news a little differently depending on our personal situation, but we don’t.

  • Everyone on our team is working from home. (a HUGE thank you to doctors, nurses, those in the food industry and additional essential workers who don’t have this opportunity)
  • Everyone is extremely limiting their social interactions to those we lived with pre-quarantine.
  • We’re staying positive! This article is not to be a source of fear-mongering but rather a way to show how we can all band together…by staying apart.

We have TONS of resources to help get you through this

Whether you’re bored, looking for something to eat other than packaged ramen or feeling ill Bham Now has compiled on-going guides to help you stay safe, and keep sane.

MORE on our site.

Birmingham can help stop the spread of COVID-19. It is hard, but it’s necessary and we’ll do it together.

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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