Last Sunday, I wrote a post about Halloween and how my wife and I chose to allow our children to celebrate by indulging in treats at home as opposed to putting them at risk by wandering from house-to-house (here is last Sunday’s post, if you didn’t read it). I felt the post was well-written and was clearly categorized as an “opinion” piece, but some felt that my opinion was wrong, perhaps even presumptuous. And people can, by all means, feel however they wish to feel about my opinion. It doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. However, it raises something of an important issue that I’d like to address today.
There are a lot of thoughts floating around about what the next best step should be in regards to the current pandemic. Some people believe that we need to lock ourselves down tighter in order to mitigate the COVID-19 issue we currently face, while others believe that we need to loosen the noose a bit and try to start living normally again. In order to examine and open a constructive discussion on this topic, I’d like to start by sharing a post that an ER nurse apparently wrote. I got this from a friend on FaceBook, and I have no source for it, so you need to take it with grain of salt. But here it is:
“Anyone out there who can tell me what our end game is with the COVID-19? What is the magic formula that is going to allow us to sound the all clear? Is it zero cases? The only way that will happen is if we just stop testing and stop reporting. Is it a vaccine? It took 25 years for a chicken pox vaccine to be developed. The smallpox inoculation was discovered in 1796 the last known natural case was in 1977. We have a flu vaccine that is only 40 to 60% effective and less than half of the US population choose to get one, and roughly 20,000 Americans will die of the flu or flu complications. Oh, you’ll mandate it, like other vaccines are mandated in order to attend school, travel to some foreign countries, etc. We already have a growing number of anti vaxxers refusing proven, tested, well known vaccines that have been administered for decades but aren’t necessarily safe! Do you really think people will flock to get a fast tracked, quickly tested vaccine, whose long term side effects and overall efficacy are anyone’s best guess? How long are we going to cancel and postpone and reconsider? You aren’t doing in person school until second quarter? What if October’s numbers are the same as August’s? You moved football to spring? What if next March is worse than this one was? When do we decide quality of life outweighs the risks? I understand Covid can be deadly or very dangerous for SOME people, but so are strawberries and so is shellfish. We take risks multiple times a day without a second thought. We know driving a car can be dangerous, we don’t leave it in the garage. Many speed and don’t wear seat belts. We know the dangers of smoking, drinking and eating fried foods, we do it anyway. Is hugging Grandma really more dangerous than rush hour on the freeway? Is going out with friends after work more risky than 4 day old gas station sushi? Or operating a chainsaw? When and how did we so quickly lose our free will and give up our liberty? Is there a waiver somewhere I can sign that says, “I understand the risks, but I choose a life with Hugs and Smiles, and the State Fair and go to Church and go hug my Mom in her retirement home? I understand that there is a minuscule possibility I could die, but I will most likely end up feeling like crap for a few days. I understand I could possibly pass it to someone else, if I’m not careful, but I can pass any virus onto someone else. I’m struggling to see where or how this ends. We either get busy living or we get busy dying. When God decides it’s your time, you don’t get any mulligans, so I guess I would rather spend my time enjoying it and living in the moment and not worrying about what ifs and maybes, and I bet I’m not the only one.”– Unknown ER Nurse
Like I mentioned at the beginning of today’s post, I got this from a friend’s FaceBook page and I wasn’t able to locate its source online. Maybe one of you will have better luck and if so, please free to name the source in the comments. But I think it’s important to give that paragraph a careful read. Look at the two-sided message it provides and how there are significant contradictions involved. A lot of what’s written in that quote is shared by many member of the public.
Although I agree that we need to start working on developing some level of normalcy within your society, what that “normal” will look like may not be what we’re all expecting or hoping for. Do I agree that we face risks of danger and imminent death on a daily basis? Absolutely. But most of what’s written in that quote is a matter of choice. We CHOOSE to operate motor vehicles. We CHOOSE to drink, gamble, smoke, use recreational drugs and have unprotected sex.
But nobody should CHOOSE to take unnecessary risks and potentially catch COVID-19. Even the comment on strawberry and shellfish allergies is a bit on the ridiculous side, and isn’t a choice. It’s an allergy one is either born with, or developed. That’s a far cry from allowing yourself exposure to a life-threatening virus. There’s nothing I want more than to travel back to New Brunswick and see my family, but in doing so, I risk endangering their lives. People are of the unfortunate belief that COVID-19 “isn’t all that bad” and that “it’ll pass.” Yeah, sure. It’ll likely pass, but it’ll change the world and how we do things before it does. It already has.
Folks, you need to realize and understand that getting COVID-19 isn’t like getting a bad cold or flu that you’re likely to recover from. It carries serious risks, and even a healthy person can succumb to it if it isn’t taken seriously. Everyone is tired of quarantine restrictions and self-isolation. I, for one would like to walk down my street without worrying if that jogger who’s panting heavily will spit Corona particles into my face, or worrying about what my child may be exposed to while in school.
This pandemic is far from over, and there are steps we all need to take to help mitigate the damage. It isn’t about a “minuscule possibility” of dying, it’s about protecting ourselves and the ones we love. That’s what it all comes down to. I don’t do politics. And I generally don’t follow trends. But I also know common sense, if such a thing exists, when I see it. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Wear the mask. Don’t go out into large crowds unnecessarily. Don’t expose your family to things because you think you need to “either get busy living or get busy dying.” That, in and of itself, is a defeatist attitude and humanity deserves better. ☯