Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Looking Back, Looking Forward

photo by Dot Hearn - Twin Rocks Reflection

Remember way back in late March and early April - the memes saying something like: If we do lockdown, later people will say "what was it all for? We're fine! We didn't need that." But if we don't lockdown, later people will say,  "we should have done more! Why didn't the states/government step in to help? We should have locked down."

We're there now. (Although we are not yet out of the pandemic.)

If you're lucky enough to live in an area where there was a significant stay-at-home order early and for a longer period of time, you might not personally know anyone who has or who had it, or known anyone who died of COVID-19.  Lucky you - you either live in an isolated community no one really visits or you maybe had a longer uncomfortable time of restrictions than some other states.

Today we have 12 states who are at critical level. I don't know in how many of those states health care providers are having to make decisions about who is too far gone with the disease to even admit to the hospital so they get sent home; where they have to triage people's chances for survival from COVID-19 to see who they can treat and who they can't; I do know at least two, maybe three. Where they are ordering refrigerated trucks to store dead bodies because the morgues are full.

So, please, just because you personally don't know anyone who has or had it, don't dismiss the pandemic or the current threat. The threat is real. Instead, be thankful that where you live, someone did their research and listened to experts and made decisions to keep people as safe as they could. That you live in a place where people care about each other and not just themselves, so they followed the mandates. (I realize that last sentence is a little Pollyanna-ish of me - but I *do* know many people who are doing the distancing and masks and keeping trips down as much to protect others as to protect themselves - and I do believe,  most of the time, in the basic underlying goodness of people.)

Yes, in the 'early days' of COVID-19,  some were hopeful that we'd be almost over it by now. We're not. We're nowhere near done with it - it's nowhere done with us. The summer heat is doing nothing to slow the spread, probably because too many people are doing nothing to slow the spread and are ignoring the warnings and ignoring recommendations intended to protect people from getting sick and to minimize deaths.

Rather than brush aside the recommendations, think about others as much as yourself: wear your mask properly when in public (indoor and outdoor), wash your hands well and frequently, avoid large gatherings (especially indoors), keep at least 6 feet between you and others. Simple. Is it fun? No. But please, do it.

Just because you don't personally know anyone who's had it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Say thank you to whatever entity, government, family, and/or friends who are considerate enough to also hold you in mind as they follow the recommendations to keeping the community where you live safe.

Believe me (or not, it doesn't matter), I look forward to the day when we can have live theater in venues with patrons in seats, to concerts large and small, to community gatherings where I get to meet new people, to face-to-face writing workshops with writers and facilitators I love. Zoom and online events help fill the void, but they don't fill my creative heart in the same way. It's a better connection than no connection, but it is not the same. But I'd rather wait until it's safe(r) rather than risk being a carrier to someone I respect and care about.

We are actually all in this together. As someone said earlier (and I'm sorry I don't remember who it was) : we are not all in the same boat due to economic and racial disparity, but we are all on the same turbulent ocean right now.