Just a few thoughts.
First of all, we need to recognize that we’re in a serious situation here, but be grateful that it’s not something like Ebola or Spanish flu. We’re in for somewhat less dire consequences, but we’re getting a wake-up call. The people who catch it are getting much more than that — it’s frighteningly fast and furious and a lot of people are suffering and dying. Have some compassion.
Second, I don’t care if you call it COVID-19 or Coronavirus or the Vacation Virus. I’ve never heard anybody called a racist for saying Ebola or MERS or Spanish flu, so I’m certainly not wrapped around the axle if somebody calls this the Chinese virus, but some people are. If you want to argue about it, go ahead but take it someplace else. We all know what we’re talking about no matter which term we use. The term that offends me is Legionnaire’s Disease, because it sounds like veterans are just old & moldy and probably have leprosy or something all on their own. If you want to get uppity about changing disease names, change that one back to Philadelphia fever like it started out and let the Philly folks fuss about it.
There are a lot of us who aren’t infected but are still affected, because we’re isolated and the world is in turmoil. We need to take advantage of our time. Writers don’t have as much trouble as normal people with the isolation, because we tend to sit by ourselves and stare at walls anyway, so we should use the time to sharpen our pencils, wits, and skills. We can write, research, and contemplate. Everybody else can do the same, really. Get better at what you do, or learn to do something new. Our pastor is learning to live-stream his sermons and is now on Facebook for the first time. If he can do it, you can do it. Be bold.
Communication is important in one way or another for all of us, and the most important communicating we can do is to make sure our loved ones know that’s what they are. We may not be able to see them or be with them, but we can call, email, message, text, Skype (whatever that is), write a letter…so many choices. But let them know, because there’s a lot of uncertainty out there and if you wait until tomorrow, it might be too late.
Let’s not be knee-jerk negativists. Don’t think the worst of somebody without knowing the whole story. It might just be possible that somebody with a cart full of toilet paper is shopping for a homeless shelter, or a nursing home, or an assisted living facility, instead of being the poster child for greed and selfishness. On the other hand, if you’re being greedy and selfish, knock it off! We’re all in this together.
Like Gunny Highway says, “Improvise, adapt, and overcome!” When your deepest fears are realized and the world actually runs out of toilet paper, google “cloth diapers,” which everyone who had kids in the 70s or earlier are quite well acquainted with. Almost everything else has an equivalent work-around if you look for it. You can do anything you have to do when you don’t have another choice.
It’s possible all the high school seniors have had their last day of school already. However, if the last 13 years hasn’t prepared them to face the world, the next two months won’t help. Yes, they might miss getting their diplomas handed to them in front of a crowd. Be sorry for them, take pictures and share them on social media, and tell them how proud you are. But most of them will realize that a couple minutes of ceremony will not define who they are and who they will become. And they’ll have a story to tell their grandkids.
You can quit laughing at the preppers now. Now you know what it’s all about. Think about having some food and supplies stocked up in your closets or under your beds in case it happens again…or something worse. You really don’t know when an earthquake might happen. Or a volcano, meteor, comet, solar flare, tornado, chemical spill, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear accident, or alien invasion. You just don’t know. Do you know how to build an emergency shelter? Start a fire? Set a snare? Defend yourself and your family? Survive? Think about it.
If you do survive this event, a lot of the reason will be the doctors, nurses, scientists, EMTs, police, firefighters, military, and others who can’t stay home from work and have to carry the rest of us through this. Thank them.
Be nice. Keep your distance. Wash your hands.
Any other thoughts? Let’s hear ‘em.