The vast majority of the USA, and a lot of the developed world right now, is taking unprecedented steps to squash a global pandemic disease. That’s scary. There have been a whole bunch fictional books and films, some well written and made, and some terrible, that have tackled this very event in a nightmare scenario kind of way. I’m certainly not making light of any situations or glossing over any very real, very negative results, outcomes, and consequences from both the disease and the panic and extreme measures the disease is driving.
People are going to get sick. Maybe a whole bunch of people. Some people are going to die. Certainly more than if this disease wasn’t out there. Lots of businesses, particularly small businesses, and individual people are set up to face some very dire and real economic hardships. A lot of weaknesses in community structures, healthcare, childcare, economic, employment, and educational systems are being revealed. And also a lot of hypocrisy.
Who cares about dengue fever? A disease that’s more prevalent, currently spreading, and more deadly than COVID-19? Nobody. But COVID-19? Yikes!
Gun violence and domestic violence and lack of good, affordable health care for other diseases like HIV, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even strep throat, and preventable disease like measles also cause MORE illness and death and are just as much of a ‘pandemic’ problem as COVID-19. In fact, 1 in 6 seniors will be diagnosed with a form of dementia, which is not only incurable, but untreatable, and unrecoverable, with a 100% fatality rate. There’s never been a survivor of Alzheimer’s Disease. Or ALS. But those things aren’t creating panics. In fact, some folks get up in arms (sometimes literally, at least here in the USA) about limiting access to guns to prevent injuries and deaths, and about limiting a parent’s right to choose not to immunize their children against preventable diseases where vaccines are available. People ignore the recommendations from scientists and social scientists on other diseases, violence statistics, and climate change, but are more than willing to rush out to react to COVID-19 in an emergency manner. (A disease that the overwhelming majority of those infected have a mild case of and will 100% recover from).
That stuff bugs me. I’m not brushing it all aside. I acknowledge that all of it’s real. The reality is, things are bad, and it’s become very clear (if it wasn’t already) that many if not most people don’t care about anything bad unless it is directly affecting them, which is unfortunate and sad.
And it’s also clear (if it wasn’t before) that fear can be used as a manipulator and a motivator to excuse and justify some pretty selfish, entitled, and even cruel behavior. Even Positive Me recognizes the potential for human rights limitation and abuse COVID-19 has created the opportunity to exploit by local and global governments and nationalists worldwide. I obviously don’t feel warm and fuzzy about any of this.
But I can’t help it. I’m THAT girl.
I like staying in anyway. I like having my son home with me completing online lessons. I recognize my abundant privilege and know there are kids who are going to struggle with online learning and need the physical presence of a teacher; there are kids who need school provided meals; there are parents who can’t work from home or take off work to accommodate these extreme measures like me. And I truly do feel for them. I REALLY truly do. For all of them…for the world at large…I hope this ends quickly and as painlessly as possible and I hope we can return to something better than the status quo as soon as possible. But it’s hard for me to be really down when I get to see how self motivated and determined my son is to learn and work. When I get to be more involved in and informed about what he’s studying and learning in school. When I get to sit in the living room and hear him practice Ode to Joy and Bile ‘Em Cabbage Down on the violin. We’ll both get to read more books. I might take off a little weight that’s hanging on, eating right and not going out to indulge and having no excuses to not get the work out time in every day while my Boy is ‘at school’ working hard to learn in adversity. I can make this time good.
I can’t function properly unless I can find a bright side. Unless I can find something to be happy about. So that’s where I’m going to live for the next several weeks. I’m not denying the very serious problems out there. But for my own sanity, I have to put my focus on being grateful to get to spend extra time with my Boy and see what a wonderful kind and resourceful and positive young man he is, reassuring and laughing with his friends on text messaging and keeping himself on a learning schedule.