Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Sadly Still Apropos

Wrote this on this date in 2020.  I wish it wasn’t still relevant.


 Ok...I’m taking as deep a breath as I can manage at the moment, girding up my loins, and setting aside my distaste for confrontation and unpleasantry.

My rant:

Hurrah for you if you’re among the 80% who are young, healthy, asymptomatic, lucky, or who made a fantastic and timely deal with the devil.  You feel fine.  Maybe you don’t have it or won’t get it.  Maybe it’s super mild and you recover quickly.  Fanfreakingtastic.

Whoopdedo .

Who are you go spouting off about how this COVID-19 isn’t so bad, and people really shouldn’t be so panicked, so worried about it, and we can all just sit back and relax because you had it and it went just fine?  Perhaps you might consider the other 20%. 

You know, that other 20% of people who are older, immune compromised, or who happened to draw the short straw in the genetic lottery, and will get hit by this hard and fast?

All this quarantining?

All the social distancing?

It isn’t about the 80% who will be ok.

It’s about that other 20%, the old, the injured, the chronically ill, the people who have high risk factors. It’s about keeping them out of hospitals. It’s about not inundating our scarce resources with more patients than they can handle. 

I get it, you don’t like that you’re being told you can’t go to the bar, the restaurant, the movie theater, the concert, the dance party, dying the river green, the beer fest, or whatever it is that you find so terribly important.

It’s a real bummer that you have to interrupt your life.

Much as with vaccines, this is about protecting those who are most vulnerable, and the least able to get the care they will need to survive. Social distancing is the same thing as herd immunity. No, I generally don’t need a flu vaccine. You better bet, though, that I will be getting one every year from now on because I know people who can’t and whom the flu would kill.  If I bring the flu to them whether I have it or not, if I simply have it on my hand and touch them in some way, I endanger their lives.  That’s not ok.

If not endangering the lives of the vulnerable is such a huge inconvenience that you feel you should be exempt from it?  Fuck. You.

Yes, that’s right I said fuck. You.

I realize that it seems like much ado about nothing. A tempest in a teapot. Foolishness on our part. If everything goes as it should, then almost nothing will happen. Then we will hear the voices crying out “See?  I told you we didn’t have to do this!”

If nothing much happens, then all of this quarantine and social distancing worked.

The whole purpose of this is so that nothing much will happen.

I would far rather sit at home, missing out on income, performances, interacting with the people whom I love, knowing that I will be able to do these things in the future, than do them now, help spread this nasty disease, and risk murdering any of those people whom I love because of my selfishness.

In the beginning, I was one of those who said oh, it’s no worse than the flu. What’s all the fuss about?  Then I started reading.

Having access to the World Wide Web means I also have access to worldwide news. I have access to people who are living in the middle of this hell, people who are able to write about their experience and share it with those of us who aren’t yet experiencing it.

I am glad that 80% will be just fine.

I am terrified for the 20% who won’t be just fine. I am terrified because of scant resources, because of a lack of global response, because those who imagine themselves to be our leaders are pooh-poohing the need for care and action now, not later, and I am terrified of the attitude of those who think that just because they won’t be hit hard doesn’t mean anyone will be. That laissez-faire attitude is horrifying to me.

It’s like we’re saying that the 20% don’t matter, they’re disposable.

For the sake of full disclosure, I should tell you that I am vulnerable myself. I have a number of factors that put me in the high risk category. If I get this thing, it could hospitalize me or worse.

My son is also among the vulnerable, despite his youth.

I have friends and family who are among those considered most vulnerable.

You’re upset, and want to mock me because I’m choosing to stay home? You are trying to minimize the seriousness of this, so that you can go out and do the things that you feel you ought to be able to do? Thank you so much for telling me and those whom I love that our lives mean nothing to you, that we’re less important than that concert you want to attend or going out to eat.

No, no, no backpedaling now! Do you think this is all foolishness and that life should go on as usual?  You think that you shouldn’t have to give up anything just because some of the rest of us might be more vulnerable than you are?  OK, fine. You feel that way, and there’s nothing I can do to change that...but if you are going to go out and live life as usual, carry on as if nothing is happening, then you get to take ownership for your actions.

You, yes you, going on out into the world and doing whatever you want and laughing at the rest of us. You are murdering us. It is murder. You are knowingly spreading a virus without any care for the impact it will have on others. All you care about is you. Fine. We’ve raised several generations in this nation to be quite selfish. Heck, I remember when children of the 80s were called “The ‘Me’ Generation” because they were among the first of us to be clearly, solidly,  openly all about themselves, and only themselves to the exclusion of anyone else.

I lived through it. I’ve watched it happen generation after generation since I was old enough to understand human behavior. That was a really long time ago, by the way. You  want to be all about yourselves, fine. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend that everything is hunky-dory, and that you are not absolutely in the wrong. You are.

Doctors in other nations face having to make the choice of who lives and who dies because they are running out of equipment and medication to treat patients. Do you have any understanding of how horrifying that is? Can you even begin to imagine what it must be like to be in that position? Would you even bother imagining? 

Stay home. Wash your hands. Avoid large gatherings. Inconvenience the fuck out of yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about the people around you. I can guarantee oyou that if your behavior endangers and ultimately kills someone in your family or one of your friends, you will look for someone to blame. I would suggest that you have no further to look than the closest reflective surface.

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