No End Game

Bless this land and all its questionable splendor. I’m back!

I recently posted something controversial on my personal Facebook page. I rarely (if ever) do that. Social media confrontation is my least favorite thing on this planet. (Okay, maybe that’s dramatic…but it’s definitely on the shortlist). I dislike the fact that so many people use the platform to push their own agendas in rude, ignorant ways. Even people I consider ‘friends’ will sometimes surprise me with their unfiltered feelings. I will never tell someone they can’t have an opinion or feel a certain way. But remember when Facebook was created simply to CONNECT?? Now, it’s a podium for people to hide behind; to argue with perfect strangers, spew hateful comments, and/or be a bully. It gives me anxiety. So, I still choose to use social media to post photos of my kids/family, share a few personal musings, and some random things that make me laugh or smile. However, amidst the “new normal” we’ve all been faced with, I stepped out on that wobbly bridge of potentially unfiltered feelings and now I’m feeling all the things.

{I’ll include the re-post that I shared at the very end, in case you didn’t catch it or you’re not someone I’m connected with on Facebook}

No End Game (3)

Yes. 2020 and COVID-19. After all, it’s the only thing we live and (pardon the pun) breathe these days, isn’t it? I initiated a re-post with a disclaimer that I was not looking for arguments or debates and to please avoid leaving angry comments. COVID-19 has truly become a delicate topic and the reality of it presents perspectives from all sorts of angles. For me, it’s NOT political or social. It just is. If you know me personally, you know I’m not doing this because I think I’m right. There isn’t a right answer in any of this. It’s all new. It’s all hard. For EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS EARTH. But, I do think there needs to be a small voice to help shed light on things that people seem to be overlooking. Or at the very least, things that aren’t getting the attention they need. 

A lot of how our country has handled this virus has been a lot of “me” and not a lot of “we.” A friend pointed that out and I’m going to assume she wasn’t implying that I’m a part of that problem but was rather saying it’s what we’re currently struggling with as a nation. I don’t disagree. It’s probably how we got to the point that we’re at. And by we, I mean our country and its explosion of deaths and positive cases. The good ole U.S. of A. Where the freedoms flow and the opinions flow further. But after six months of corona-chaos, it’s apparent this virus isn’t going away (soon or ever). And now the well-being of healthy individuals is being compromised because we think that hiding from the virus is going to make it disappear. At what point will some of the survival start shifting to how we’re going to manage life WITH the virus, rather than how do we continue to hide from it.

I’m watching my beloved Grandma surrender her will to live because she’s been in isolation for so long. She can’t see her kids, grandkids, or great-grandkids. She can’t give them hugs or enjoy the beautiful legacy she has built and beyond. This hurts my heart SO MUCH. I will be deeply devastated if I’m never able to give her another tight squeeze before God decides it’s time to call her home. I’m also watching children experience the kind of anxiety that’s preventing them from feeling safe and comfortable, in their own space. This virus has stolen innocence from kids who shouldn’t have to deal with these kinds of burdens, just yet. We have all fallen victim to fear and panic. Including myself. However, the overwhelming concern for the safety of others (and ourselves) has become crippling and it’s threatening our well-being in more ways than the virus itself.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not condoning irresponsibility, going against mask-mandates, or disagreeing with social distancing in public places. I recognize the need to minimize cases and allow healthcare professionals to safely treat patients. I believe in science. My undergraduate degree is in HEALTH SCIENCE. But, the virus isn’t going to go extinct once zero cases are reported. That’s not how these things work. So, even if we flatten the curve, at some point we have to start integrating back into the kind of space we once took up. 

We are social creatures. We were not meant to live in fear and isolation. People need people; we need hugs and hi-hives.

No End Game (2)

 

THE RE-POST FROM FACEBOOK

What is the end game with the ‘rona? Anyone?

What is the magic formula that is going to allow us to sound the “all clear?” Is it zero cases? For a while, the goal was to simply “flatten the curve,” but now that we are disconnecting utilities for gatherings in California, setting up checkpoints in New York, and recommending goggles (what’s next?), it seems as if there is, in fact, no end game. And, truthfully, the only way that we will see numbers drop is if we cease testing and stop reporting. Keep in mind that hundreds of thousands have shown up to be tested, registered, left due to long waits, and still come up positive when they received their results.

Is it a vaccine? It took 25 years for a chickenpox vaccine to be developed. The smallpox inoculation was discovered in 1776 and the last known natural case was in 1977. We have a flu vaccine that is only 40 to 60% effective (that’s generous- the last two years it was more like 20-25%), less than half of the US population chooses to get one, and roughly 20,000 Americans still die annually due to flu or flu complications.

Oh, you’ll mandate it in order to attend school, travel to some foreign countries, etc.? We already have a growing number of vaccine researchers refusing proven, tested, well-known vaccines that have been administered for decades! Do you really believe the majority of people will flock to get a fast-tracked vaccine, whose long-term side effects and overall efficacy rates are anyone’s best guess? How long are we going to cancel? Postpone? Reconsider?

Now we are advised against in-person school until the second quarter? What if October’s numbers are the same as August’s? Then what? Move football to spring? What if next March is worse than this March?

When do we decide the quality of life outweighs risk? We understand this virus can be deadly for SOME, but so are shellfish, peanut butter, and bee stings.

We take risks every day without a second thought. We know driving a car can be dangerous, but we don’t leave it parked in the garage for months on end. We know the dangers of smoking, drinking, and eating fried foods, but we do it, none-the-less. We speed on highways, some idiots still don’t buckle their seatbelts, we take medications more than “as directed,” and a good number of individuals don’t think twice about unprotected sex. Is hugging Grandma really more dangerous than rush hour on the freeway? Is going to a bar with friends riskier than four-day-old gas station sushi? Or operating a chainsaw?

When and how did we so quickly lose our free will? I want a waiver that says, “I understand the risks, but I choose a life with hugs, smiles, college athletics, the state fair, concerts, and school dances.”

I understand that there is a minuscule possibility I could die but, more probable, I will end up feeling like junk for a few days. I understand I could possibly pass this virus onto someone else, but I can pass ANY virus onto someone else at any time until the end of time.

Are we busy living or busy dying? It’s hard to tell these days.

-Author unknown