Shelter in place is a scary term because we’ve heard it most often used when there is an active shooter alert. When there’s a chance that the shooter is still at large, people in the area are asked to shelter in place in order to avoid becoming targets of the criminal at hand. So, it’s no surprise that a lot of Californians are concerned and confused about what this means.
To be clear, there is no person out there that we need to be fearful of. And in this respect, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is one hundred percent right saying that the term is misleading. However, it is a phrase that we all recognize, and it’s something that we all know what to do with. Although it’s a different situation, it’s a similar action. We are being asked to stay where we are and wait this out.
Preparedness is not selfishness. There is a difference between hoarding and caring for your family. If that means that you have an extra package of toilet paper just in case, there is nothing wrong with that. If it means that you have more food in your house than normal because you’re not sure if you’ll be able to get out of the house in the next week, that’s fine too. This is something that no one has experienced before, and we all have an obligation to care for those around us. Being more prepared than usual isn’t us being selfish or putting ourselves above others, it’s taking precautions to ensure that we all are able to continue to serve our families and our communities as we normally would.
With that said, hoarding is something that takes resources away from others. This occurs when you have more things on hand than you will ever use. We see this on the news occasionally, but the average person has not even come close to that at this point. It’s good to differentiate between these, just in case you are experiencing guilt for ensuring that your family is safe.
Sheltering in place also means not going out of the house. Thanks to technology, this is much easier than ever before in history. If you’re running out of something, you can order it and have it dropped off right at your doorstep. You don’t need to go out and potentially expose yourself to the coronavirus.
Now, we need to remember that this is easier for some people than it is for others. Not everyone has access to the technology necessary to order their groceries online. Some people don’t have the expendable resources to purchase enough food for their family for a week at a time. If you or someone you know is in a situation like this, there are resources available to you. Reach out to a local church or food pantry to see what programs they have that might help. There is no shame in doing something like this–everyone is in a different place now than they were a month ago. Life is not normal for anybody.