To the extent we can step back and get a universal view of the varied reactions to the presence
of Coronavirus one must come away with the realization that humanity is headed in many, many directions. Whether it be ourselves, our families, our neighbors and friends, those with whom we work and the hordes of people we can read about day in and day out, it’s very easy to come to understand that we are anything but united in terms of how we are reacting and what we are inclined and willing to do about that.
What strikes me are the ways in which we as individuals are responding. Our individual response and attitude is what seems to determine how we react … how long we will tolerate the situation and whether or not we will follow recommended guidelines aimed at greatly reducing the hundreds or thousands who have contracted the virus and even died from having it.
It seems apparent that how we do respond and for how long we are willing to adhere to any suggested remedies has so much to do with what the existence of COVID-19 has imposed on our lives. None of us need to go far to hear or personally experience some of the following:
- I am sick and tired of wearing a mask
- I am a prisoner in my own residence
- I believe this is a manufactured ailment and has created uncalled for hysteria
- I am not a trained teacher and my children need to be in school to learn properly
- I am tired of not being able to do the things that make me happy and I’m done!
- I am not going to let the politics of the left/or right dictate what I need to do and how I get to live my life
- I am going to be out on the street if I don’t earn money. Restart the businesses now
The bottom line here is that it would be extremely difficult to find anyone we encounter who won’t agree with being ‘over’ this. And this is where we run headlong into the problem. As we realize we’re done with this and move to take back the life we want to live, we individually resume doing the things that serve to prolong this sad situation. And yet, if you have spent any time studying our country’s map and how each state is doing you must notice that after 6-7 months, we do not seem to have flattened any national curve. In fact, it is rising, and we have been warned to expect even more as we move beyond summer.
Convenience and Reality as Inconvenient … and Perhaps Unrealistic … Bedfellows
I am hard pressed to find any of the suggested ‘as needed’ remedies aligning with actions that can also be considered convenient. Apparently, gaining control over the explosive nature of COVID-19 is going to require some form of shutdown representing a massive reduction in the things that we consider our rights as citizens. Here are what some of the conveniences that we long for that, in fact, appear to take us and things in the opposite direction from gaining control over this explosive virus:
- The ability to hold celebrations that we have planned and for which we have waited and of which we have dreamt
- The ability to frequent restaurants, bars and nightclubs freely and without concern
- The ability to shop be it at our favorite mall, store or market
- The ability to send our children to school as they have always been able to do
- The ability to socialize with others without the need of personal protective equipment
- The ability to go to the office to accomplish work in a business-like setting
Certainly, there are other conveniences that are or have been missed and it is understandable that our individual tolerance for what we are expected to give up varies from person to person. And still, when we consider the lack of progress that has been made within our country, state or city in terms of curtailing the spread of this monster, we realize the apparent incompatibility of convenience and reality.
What Is the Win and What Will It Take to Achieve It?
This is the decision that we are individually going to have to make. What will it take for us to reach the limit of our willingness to fight what the reality indicates is needed to gain control over the past and future devastation of COVID-19? Personally, I have no answer as I can only think of myself and my willing actions. However, this is a decision that we are all going to have to make. And … it appears … that until the noise representing resentment, refusal and intention to defy any and all suggestions that support the reality of our devastating situation we will continue to fan the very fires for which we have lost patience and tolerance. Until we can all give in to the reality of this challenge and bring our actions into alignment with what recovery will take, we stand to deepen the horror pit that has been created.
Yes, it is our individual choice. Yes, we are all sick and tired of having to contend with the malady of inexperienced proportions. And yes, we need to redefine what winning really looks like and requires. I can only hope that we can all begin playing the same game with the same rules and the sooner the better.