I understand most of us are ready to quit. We’re tired, alone, depressed, overwhelmed, isolated, fed up and done staying home. Many are desperate to get back to “normal”.
Desperate to get back to work, school, life as we knew it. Fearing we won’t be able to
pay our bills, feed our families, get the medical care or medicines we need without insurance, survive much longer.
Even those retired are impacted- worrying they may be most susceptible to the virus, not being able to socialize or see their families. Scared they won’t be able to get the resources they need. We are all devastated by these times. However you’re dealing with this national tragedy there are those starting to voice their willingness to throw caution to the wind and sacrifice lives. Is this really the solution we want to encourage? Public figures wondering why we’re worrying about a few deaths when lives are lost all the time to so many other issues.
Such despicable analogies as Dr. Phil who said that since we lose hundreds of thousands of lives to smoking, influenza, and accidents, what’s the big deal now? Instead of offering alternative solutions, he said “The fact of the matter is we have people dying, 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down for that, but yet we’re doing it for this? And the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are being destroyed.”
Dr. Oz said he that a loss of 2-3% of our school age children was acceptable to get them back to schools where they are safer and fed.
Luieutenant governor Dan Patrick, of Texas claimed, “There are more important things than living! We need to be saving this country for our kids and saving this country for everyone.”
So now “the American way of life” is more important than life itself? Seriously? Is that the cost we’re now asking people to make, let alone our oldest population? An insane comment first spouted by Glen Beck a few weeks ago when he said it was the duty of anyone over 50 to buck up and go back to work and save the country for our children, even if we die. But it’s not their families and loved ones they’d be putting at risk, it’s yours and mine. I guarantee theirs would be protected at all costs. Yes, we lose lives to horrible issues all the time, but not willingly. We legislate laws so only those who want to smoke are at risk, not those in their wake.
We have not allowed people to drink and drive without consequences and jail time. We do not let corporations do whatever they want for profits, regardless of the dangers. There are legal guidelines that protect people at work, at schools, in their homes, and out in public.
But we’ll allow individuals to walk among us infecting everyone in their path when there’s absolutely no vaccine or treatment? And is the loss of your child, spouse, parent, or other family member worth your job?
A friend claimed it’s time to return the country to normal, yelling enough is enough. He ferociously believes if, “I get sick and die I’m ok with that, as long as my kids are safe.”
The only problem is that the virus doesn’t let us pick and choose who it should infect. It doesn’t allow individuals to define who gets sick, how badly and for how long. I may think I’m ok with “taking one for the team,” but I don’t have that kind of power.
And neither do you.
Any infection can spread rapidly and infect those you intended to save while claiming to altruistically take the burden. You infect everyone around you because every one is susceptible.This is no longer the pandemic of the old and infirmed, we now know young and healthy can be hard hit as well.
Or do you return to “normal” by not staying in contact with the very people you’re protecting and expose only those you don’t care about?
And what about loved ones?
Would they really want to go on knowing Mom or Dad or Grandpa or Grandma felt compelled to risk their lives and possibly die so the country could claim normalcy?
Is that the legacy you want to leave them? Or the guilt? I strongly doubt it’d be their choice.
And that’s not the American way. I was raised that every life matters. No one is left behind. We protect those who can’t protect themselves. Together we survive, apart we die. We are Americans. There is nothing we can’t do. We have proven that over and over again. Demanding people go back to work to maintain our way of life is not American.
Protecting the weakest among us. Making sure we’re all safe, fed, protected and looked after, that is the American way.
I know it feels like forever.
I know it’s overwhelming.
But it’s working.
The numbers are horrific, but they’d be worse if we were eating out, going to the movies, ball games. . .
And the truth is, who would really take advantage of the opportunity to participate if it did exist tomorrow?
Even before the shut down order became official, I stopped going to restaurants, theaters, and malls. And I have no intention of risking my life or those I love to start again. Not until it’s safe. Because it’s not just my life I’m risking.
We can scream and argue ’till we’re blue in the face that we are tired of being prisoners in our own homes.
But the truth is, no government truly keeps us home. No government rule told us to stay away from those at higher risk. No government demanded we stop shopping- we could be going from one open store to another all day long if we chose to.
The point is, down deep, in our soul, in our gut, in our hearts, we stay home because we know it’s the right thing to do.
We crave and seek and want to know the truth and no one is truly willing to be a part of that devastating statistic of lives lost because they didn’t listen.
These are incredible times.
As a physician in practice more than 30 years, I’ve lived through horrific unknowns and fears- AIDS, SARS, H1N1, and Ebola, and never seen anything like this.
This war is not political. As in battle, any loss of life is deplorable, but striking back strategically to keep it to a minimum is imperative. Not just opening up your flank and allowing any invader to pick off those most vulnerable.
This virus does not care who you are, how much money you make, the color of your skin, where you live, your politics. . .it will infect anyone it gets close to. We need to harness all our resources and strengths to destroy the adversary- COVID 19- not each other.
The goal is to stop it in its tracks.
The only way to do this, to restore any sense of normalcy is to:
Test, test, test, test, test. . .
Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine, quarantine. . .
Contact source, contact source, contact source. . .
Test, test, test, test. . .
Until we have vaccines/ treatments and know where this virus exists,, we can’t wall it off, stop it’s expansion, and eradicate it. Until then,We need to do whatever is necessary to keep ourselves safe.
We need to stay committed to saving lives because the next one saved might just be one you love.