Stay the F at Home: An Open Letter to All of the Pandemic Protesters Seeking Freedom From Quarantine by Jennifer Coken

3 years ago

Stay the F at Home: An Open Letter to All of the Pandemic Protesters Seeking Freedom From Quarantine

As I laid in my bed tossing and turning, I could not get the images of hundreds of caskets filled with unclaimed bodies being buried at Potter's Field out of my head. I simply couldn't reconcile those images with the news of protests around the country by "freedom-seeking" people demanding that governments reopen businesses.

At 3 a.m., I finally turned on my bedside light and wrote on my Facebook wall the letter that appears below. Many have commented thanking me because I captured what they have been thinking and feeling. I thought I would clean it up so that I could share it here. I welcome your comments. Here is my Facebook post:

You all know that I try to stay really positive but I cannot hold back.

To all of the protesters protecting your right to freedom by demanding that businesses reopen, I just don't get it.

Do you want more of us to die and get sick? Do you want more bus drivers to die driving your asymptomatic butts around? Do you want more grocery workers to get sick because you refuse to stay home for two measly months?

Do you want more black and brown people to disproportionately die because these folks tend to be those who are serving your white privileged behinds?? How about more nurses locking themselves in closets freaking out about dying on videotape and posting it to TikTok or Instagram?

Do you want more medical staff quarantining themselves from their families for fear they will get sick so that they can serve the rest of us? How about more residents newly out of med school dying with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt their families have to pay off?

How about more families having to listen to their loved ones die, or watching family members be buried behind the windshield of their car? More anonymous people being buried in unmarked graves in Potter's Field? More of our elderly suffering from loneliness?

More small businesses going out of business? More people losing their jobs? More people desperate for food to feed their families who have never had to ask for help before? More counties, cities states or countries competing with one another to purchase much needed medical equipment?

I know I don't. I know in my heart neither do you because you are not that selfish.

But if we return to "normal" too soon, we will see a resurgence. Of that, we can be sure because there is no vaccine.


We have got to continue to be patient. It is not easy. Believe me. I am going as stir crazy as you are. I want hugs. I want to see friends and my family. I want to go to restaurants. I want the 80 percent of my business that has been put on hold to come back. As a sole proprietor, it is harder to qualify for any of the loans or grants so I am tightening my belt like the rest of us and wondering whether I will be in business in three months.

To take my mind off of it all, I ask myself every day, how can I contribute to others? How can I make a difference?

I meditate and journal and exercise every day to build up my mental and physical fortitude so I can thrive.

I visualize a world where we all are kinder and gentler toward one another. That is my prayer every night. I am taking a stand of how I want the world to be. I am not reacting to the way I think the world SHOULD be. You do not need any evidence to take a stand. You just take it. You become like a boulder in a river, forcing the water to go around you because YOU shall not be moved.

Stand with me, my friends. Stand for a healthy world in every way. Stand for a loving world in every way. Stand for each and every one of us having the patience and fortitude to stay home for as long as it takes. Even if we do not know how long that will be.

We may not like how "hard" this is, but that is OK. We got this. We do. We will get through it. In the end, we will be better off for caring deeply about the future of all rather than the wants of a few.

In summary: 

A) I love you. 

B) Stay the f*ck home.


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Elisa Schmitz
"I visualize a world where we all are kinder and gentler toward one another. That is my prayer every night." I am right there with you, Jennifer Coken . This is so well said. Thank you for sharing what many of us feel. It is so painful, but it's what we need to do right now to buy the medical experts time to find treatments and cures for this awful virus. Hang in there. I'm staying the F home right alongside you!
Jennifer Coken
You are so welcome. Thank you for publishing this tip!
Mike Prochaska
They are not protesting the stay at home order as Much as things it takes away. For example in Michigan you can’t even buy seeds to garden. Let people do things that help them relieve stress in their life. If your stuck at home you need things to keep you busy. For some people it being outside, just stay 6 feet away from people. I notice there a lot of state who don’t get that. Like why are parks and golf courses closed but people pile into Walmart every day. I have mixed feeling about the protests but I get it. Let people fish, boat and golf. Just like in Florida the media shows a bunch of people sitting on the beach on top of each other but I was there for 6 weeks and no one ever was sitting that close to each other the entire time I was there. The media helps spread the fear.
Meredith Schneider
I hear you Mike Prochaska ! I live in Florida and the photos the media have been showing from who knows when. Some counties up north (we live in South Florida) have opened their beaches and pix they are showing people are distancing even more than the recommended amount of space. I personally can't stand the term "social distancing" it should be called "physical distancing". We are physically distancing ourselves from others all while still being social in other ways. After reading various publications about open air treatments during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. I make sure I get my family outside in fresh air and in the sun every day. Walking, running, swimming, or just sit and chill with each other and play with the dogs. Week 6 of quarantine here and week 4 of home schooling with 4. Healthy hugs to all!
Mike Prochaska
U don’t have to go out!
Jennifer Coken
Hi Mike Prochaska what you say makes sense if everyone would follow it. I go out for walks in my neighborhood and see plenty of groups of people walking right next to each other and not giving people like me, would like six feet of space to feel safe, enough room. Unfortunately there are bad actors out there. I think the government needs to continue to intervene. You can buy seeds and soil on Home Depot's website and have it delivered to you, also on Amazon. There are ways of being able to do things that relax you. AND I hear you!

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