My Inspirations to Stay at Home


 

I have a confession: I am a homebody. On an average day, there is nothing that I would choose over being at home, making dinner and watching Westworld with my cats, Bernard and Bianca.

That said… I need to get the hell out of here.

I have never wanted to go for a leisurely picnic in the park more than I do at this moment. Or maybe go to a great sushi restaurant for dinner. I don’t even drink, but I’d totally go for a bar crawl right about now. And then hop on a plane to I-don’t-care-where. Take me to Paris, Moscow, Timbuktu – anywhere that does not remotely resemble the inside of my house.

I would love to throw caution to the wind and do all of these things right now. But I am not going to do that. The simple reason being that I am choosing to think of others during this time. Yes, I have Type 1 diabetes, and if I were to become ill, it would likely be more challenging for me than others who have healthy immune systems. However, there are people out there who are even more at risk. In my eyes, I have a duty to help protect as many people as possible in any way that I am capable.

People most at risk and people who are putting their lives on the line to help others – those are the people who help keep me motivated to stay at home. These are the people motivating me to keep my physical distance from others as much as I can, wear a mask when I do have to be in public for a grocery store run, and keep on keeping on until things are safer for us all.

My doctor

About a year before COVID-19 hit, my doctor became ill. She was out on medical leave for quite some time. It was just shortly before the shelter in place orders that she was finally able to get back to work – just to be sent back home again. She is able to do telehealth appointments with her patients, but I know how deeply she wants to get back to in-person visits. I stay at home so that my doctor can go back to doing what she loves.

My nieces

My best friend, Erika, has two little girls under the age of four. They are my “honorary” nieces. We have both been very careful, sheltering in place for weeks on end, but I still refrain from driving over there to spend time with them. I don’t have a family and children to protect, but my best friend does. I stay at home because I want those little girls to grow up in a world that is safe for them to go outside whenever they want to, hopefully someday very soon.

Transitioning med students

One of my good friends has just completed medical school and is now transitioning into his Emergency Medicine residency at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City this year. Imagine if your first year of residency as a physician was like this. I can’t imagine the stress, the sorrow and the physical and mental exhaustion that he must experience every single day. I stay at home so that he, and every hospital staff in the world, can finally sleep at night after a day’s work.

Friends who are out of work

I lived in New York City for several years during and after college. I studied theatre and acting, so I have many close friends who are performers on Broadway. It was recently announced that Broadway will not be reopening until at least September. I also have friends who are in the film industry whose lives and careers have been halted. Not to mention other businesses and companies who have had to lay off or furlough a huge percentage of their employees. I stay at home so these talented people can make a living again.

New mothers

I have heard many stories, from loved ones and otherwise, of women who have had their babies during the pandemic. These women have had to give birth to their children all by themselves. Their families were not allowed to share in the joy of such a monumental moment. I stay at home so that life’s most important events can be shared experiences again.

My parents

When things were looking like they were about to get into a serious lockdown situation in my home of San Francisco, my parents decided to take action. My mom jumped on a plane from Arizona to come to the rescue. She swooped in, kidnapping me and my cats and getting us back to Arizona safely, so I wouldn’t be so alone. My parents have been wonderful. They’ve gone to pick up my prescriptions for me and provided emotional support when I was anxious about the state of the world. I stay at home so that my parents can sooner get their 31-year-old daughter out of their damn house.

I’ll get to travel again – one day. And I’ll get to go on my little adventures around San Francisco again – one day. But I believe that “one day” will come a whole lot sooner if I stay home today. For myself, and for my heroes.

To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others, go to coronavirusdiabetes.org and share what #BigLittleChanges you’re making. 

WRITTEN BY Alexi Melvin, POSTED 05/14/20, UPDATED 05/19/20

Alexi Melvin serves as Chair of the Leadership Council’s Content Committee. She is a journalist who has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, Beyond Type 1 and other digital publications. Alexi is also a voiceover actor and reiki master. In addition to her dedication to being a voice for people living with T1D everywhere, she has always been passionate about meditation and energy healing. Before getting her Bachelor of Arts degree at The New School University, she studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute. She hopes to continue her healing work, and to connect with other T1Ds through her travels and writing opportunities.