Most of us think of ourselves as caring people. As people who want to do the right thing. I believe in the fundamental goodness of most people.
Sometimes, though, its hard to see. The rubber meets the road for us all when the pressure is on and we are forced to make sacrifices, large and small. For the greater good. As part of our responsibility to others.
We’re in quite a fix. Never has our interdependence been clearer: people can live or die based on what we do. Not just our loved ones, either. Strangers we come in contact with. Perhaps because this is such a rare situation, many people have a hard time taking it in and then, acting on it.
Many in the U.S., I mean. Other countries? Their people get it. They don’t try to get around doing the right thing, they just do it. And they’ve brought the pandemic under control in their countries. Starkly different from what’s going on in the U.S.
So much of the rest of the world has stepped up. But we can’t seem to. Throughout this pandemic we have shown ourselves to be careless with our responsibility to others and to ourselves.
Shelter in place began in March for most of us. And most people complied. Often grudgingly. But the call to open up again (against all common sense) was strong, and with loosened restrictions came an even worse outbreak. Some states–Florida, Arizona, Texas–are in a bad way. Some cities, too.
People can get the virus more than once. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had it before. People of all ages die. About 20 percent of those who get it have long lasting and some really awful after-effects. We don’t know enough about this virus to say if these will ever go away.
You do not want this disease. I do not want it.
It’s clear we have to lock back down and if government won’t do it, we need to do it ourselves. Medical experts suggest we assume we are all asymptomatic carriers and act accordingly. To remain locked down in our bubble for the benefit of all.
And yet, this is what I hear from people I know:
“I just had to see my grandkids! Yes, their parents get together with others outside their bubble.”
“I rented a beach house and 10 of us are coming from different cities.”
“I’m invited to a wedding where there will be people from half a dozen different locales.”
“It’s so bad in our hotspot! We need a change of scenery so we got a rental house a few states away.”
“I’m just trying to live my life.”
What does this say about their character?
So let me be clear. We ALL need a change of scenery. We are ALL tired of lockdown. We are ALL just trying to live our lives. You are not “special.”
I just do not understand why people i know are so willing to toss their responsibility to others (not to mention, themselves) aside in such a selfish way at a time when it’s more important than ever that we make wise decisions about our activities –for the common good.
I am truly flummoxed and it bothers me so much that I can’t sleep for thinking about what it says about Americans, who are so self-centered they do not see (or do not care) how their actions can hurt others. They want what they want, period. The outcome of that is shoved to the back of their minds. The idea that they. might have someone else’s blood on their hands? They don’t connect with it.
Because, like spoiled children, they want what they want.
I get it. Isolation is hard. But if we are to get this pandemic under control it won’t be because politicians lead us out of harm’s way. It will be because our people understand our interdependence and act much more intelligently than they are.
So, please. If you can stay home, do it. And if you go out, wear a freakin’ mask. It’s not that hard. Stop whining about it.
Do not go on vacation to the beach, to rental homes, to Disney. Don’t kid yourself: your vacation and that of others is responsible for this virus spreading. You may well be an asymptomatic carrier.
Don’t throw parties or have get-togethers with anyone who has not also been in isolation. Six feet distance is MINIMUM. Ten is better and further is even better–and this is with masks. Do not be responsible for others getting Covid.
Do not listen to politicians. They do not have our best interests at heart.
These are not hard things.
You can do it. We can do it.
I believe at heart we all want the same thing. Let’s all act on it.