By now we are all suffering from information overload on COVID 19. And there are an exponentially higher number of opinions on the topic, with, as usual, the least informed making the most noise. It’s tiring.
The fact is, we have not seen anything like this in 100 years. Some have compared this global pandemic to the AIDS scare of the 80s, but that’s not a true comparison for several reasons, most notably the ease and speed at which this virus spreads. It’s also true that, as a species, we were woefully under prepared for this, in spite of experts warning us in earnest for years that something like this would certainly happen and probably sooner rather than later.
I understand why people are frustrated over cancelled concerts, vacations, and other fun events. I understand – up to a point- why some people are buying extras of the essentials.
But there’s a lot I don’t understand. I don’ t understand why so many people here in the US were compelled to purchase 12 months’ worth of toilet paper. I don’t understand people who are more worried about the stock market than their friends and neighbors. I don’t understand why so many people (also mostly here in the US) don’t have the support they need from their employer to take care of themselves and their family (and I thank God that mine IS doing the right things for us). I don’t understand how anyone can be so callous as to try to make a buck by trying to resell hand sanitizer and related items at high profits.
Most of all I don’t understand how anyone can say “only the immunocompromised” need to worry about COVID 19- as if we don’t ALL know and love people who fall into that category! We all have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends who are at risk. Maybe it’s simply due to their age. Maybe they are cancer survivors- or worse yet – are getting treatment for cancer right now. Maybe they have COPD, or diabetes, or heart disease. Fun fact- I am a diabetic over 45, so I am considered a higher risk individual.
Do you remember H1N1? I do. My fever was so high I hallucinated for 2 days. Yes, obviously I survived, but I was housebound for a week. And hundreds of thousands of people died from that. COVID 19 spreads much faster and easier than H1N1. Conservative estimates are predicting millions of deaths world wide, some are predicting up to 100 million.
So sure, I’ll laugh at your fun memes about toilet paper and about people being stuck having to actually interact with their families. Sure, I’ll laugh at your story about the crazy person you sat next to on the bus. Hell, humor is my main healthy coping mechanism (my other main mechanism is carbs- not awesome even if I wasn’t diabetic)! We ALL need to be able to laugh about the absurd around us.
But don’t ask me to laugh at people “overreacting” by closing their schools and businesses. Don’t ask me to agree that this is some big media conspiracy. Don’t ask me to participate in racial profiling. Don’t ask me to agree that the President is doing a great job on this when he’s done everything in his power to downplay the severity or even existence of COVID 19 in America until he was forced to do otherwise.
This is serious. Deadly serious. But I have faith we will get through it. We will find joy in the simpler things we forgot for a while. We will help our friends and neighbors who need some extra support. We will survive, and perhaps even be better for it. But for now please be careful, Follow the CDC’s recommendations for stopping the spread of COVID 19. Triple check before posting anything on social media. Be a good human. We are all counting on you.