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Valley residents have already had lots of ‘shelter in place’ practice

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

I’m embarrassed to say that my wife and I had some cross words with each other yesterday. But it showed me that I need to follow the advice I’m going to serve up right now.

We need to CALM down during our LOCK-down. 

Especially about stuff that’s out of our control, like an invisible virus that’s having very visible effects on the health of many families and, for most of us, a very visible effect our family’s economic health. 

We also can’t control Gov. Doug Ducey’s or President Trump’s decisions. Did you hear the national groan when Trump announced a two-week extension to the CDC’s guidelines? 

Ducey followed that up by announcing that he was keeping Arizona schools closed for the rest of the scheduled year. 

But whether our leaders’ decisions go too far — or not far enough — for our tastes, we have to calmly accept them because that’s really our only choice. They are out of our control. 

Now, on to something we do have control over: how we respond to our shared national and statewide situation and our response to our personal situation — that which takes place within our own home. 

If I may, I’d like to quote the great ‘90s poet Billy Corgan (of the Smashing Pumpkins): “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.“ 

Compliments of the coronavirus, our homes might feel like cages with so many of us working from home, living on top of each other — twenty-four-freakin’-seven.  If you’re jobless and stuck at home, that can feel more like a pressure cooker that’s ready to blow. And that can create a situation where a minor domestic disagreement can lead to a major crime. 

While he was on duty, Phoenix Police Commander Greg Carnicle oversaw patrol operations for the entire city, but he took his first duty – to protect citizens – seriously enough that he rushed into a home Sunday night where a domestic dispute was going on between roommates. 

This brave, decorated, 31-year veteran of the force was shot and killed just a few months before his planned retirement. 

Domestic violence situations often start with a small disagreement. When people pour drugs or alcohol on their stress, the situation can become a raging fire. 

We’re practicing social distancing by staying home. Let’s also practice emotional distancing — in the form of tolerance, love and quick forgiveness — within the walls in which we are stuck. 

For most of us, not having to win every disagreement might lead to saving our marriage or relationships. For a small sliver of us, doing so might lead to saving a life.

We should already have a lot of practice at this stuff, right? When it’s 110 degrees outside, don’t we all pretty much shelter in place? 

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

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