It is not possible to end-run a virus.
A virus cannot be second-guessed.
The virus does not care about our sense of entitlement to roam free, what we may believe we “deserve” or to what we think we have a “right.”
The virus wants only one thing; and that is our death; to feed on us until there is nothing left to consume, then on to the next host.
If we don’t like it; then we are free to not vote for the virus. The virus does not care.
The spectacular failure of the United States in dealing with this virus sits on more than just the shoulders of our self-interested administration. We now know – to no one’s surprise – that those in power have seen this pandemic as a political opportunity from the outset: placing our lives as expendable in the greater picture of their popularity and profit.
Though, these are not the only complicit.
Business and political leadership and “journalist” mouthpieces have – from mere weeks into the pandemic – been calling “when can we reopen the economy…??” Implying from the outset that this is about the economy before being about people. While most of the country began immediately to worry about feeding their families and keeping them warm and protected; the networks were giving advice on 401K’s and recommending buying laptops for the kids to study at home…broadcasting from well-appointed NYC apartments and green-lawned Connecticut homes.
Throughout the civilized world (which seems, de facto, to no longer include the USA), citizens complained about being quarantined for weeks and months…but they did it. They complied with medical and government directive in order to shut down the disease as much and as quickly as possible. In doing so, many discovered how much more they could accomplish without the commute, the increase in time with families or their own thoughts (though being alone with one’s thoughts can make some uncomfortable).
Except here in the US. Here, we argue with fact, we argue with evidence that does not fit our wishes, we assert “rights” about which the virus gives not a <redacted>. Thus, we die.
We coin catchy phrases such as “The New Normal” and ask Are We There Yet? “When can we get back to normal?”
- When can we get back to normal?
- When will we reopen the Economy?
- When can I stop being responsible for my actions?
Within weeks of inception, high-profile companies in various industries began to issue “White papers” full of expert opinions on how it’s all going to look when this crisis has passed; when it’s “probably” going to end and to intimate that we’re talking months and “maybe” a year. All this conjecture is based on…nothing factual. This is opinion and fantasy (well, to be fair, some of these presumptive soothsayers – storytelling colleagues of my own industries – actually create and sell fantasy, so what else might we expect?) presented as knowledge.
Succumbing to public and political pressure: Disney opens, then closes; restaurants open, then close; beaches open, then close; people gather, then die. As though demanding to breathe among crowds makes the inhaled air safe “because it is my RIGHT!”
Springtime gatherings are pushed to summer, as though those few months are going to see magical disappearance of this organic menace. Finally, the cancellations. All the big stuff is now (optimistically) postponed to 2021…and y’all, that is optimistic.
Personally, I find the opening of theme parks during this pandemic – especially as it rages through the US – as egregiously irresponsible. Disney’s opening is taken as a signal to the entire country that it’s okay to get together…”Disney’s doing it, so we can do it…meet me at the <name of local thing> and we’ll <fill in group activity that will result in dropping adherence to social distancing guidelines and ultimately kill more people>.
Whether or not you went to Pandemic Disney and adhered to social distancing policies; we know that is not the case for every park guest, all day. And we know that the example that sets gives thousands if not millions throughout the US a sense of false security and “This Thing Being Almost Over.”
It’s not almost over.
NO one knows, can know or can have the solution until this virus is understood fully and a vaccine is tested and available. This is another year, minimum. Min. I. Mum. To presume to predict how it’s all going to look while all the parts are still freely moving is a little foolish and a lot delusional.
Friends and countrybeings; there IS no going back; NO “Normal” to which we might return…and no “Normal” to which we might find our way. It is vastly irresponsible of our press and politicians to have pushed that delusional concept upon us…
Ain’t no cavalry comin’. Best to find a way to accept this.
Perhaps we might stop Predicting and spend this energy on Observing.
Maybe we could STFU, stop pushing for and demanding what is not possible, stop deluding ourselves and begin simply observing the world around us – and our possible places in it…
This is organic. Unresponsive to physics and politics; unphased by our desire, our wants or needs. It will take its own time to unfold, to be addressed and until a new reality manifests. Until that reality is evident, until there is a vaccine, all we can do is observe. Observe and consider options; but make plans? I think not.
I see limitless potential in embracing the absence of knowledge.
I offer that we could be spending this time in observation and self-examination: who am I, what do I bring to the table, what are my values, what do I value, who do I value, what is my value? What might I do to support myself and what is my responsibility to community…and how might I fulfill that?
Everyone has something to discover, to teach, to share.
Certainly, the vast numbers who have been working in now-and-newly-handicapped industries – theatre, entertainment, theme parks, restaurants, leisure, recreation, exercise eminent among them – need immediate support, security and assurance during this “temporary” hiatus. We must find ways to help our comrades, colleagues, peers and neighbors; it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
That said, it might be wise to see “temporary” in the context of the cosmic smackdown taking place.
We are not talking days and weeks: rather, we are looking at months and quite likely years before anyone can actually relax and mingle.
and now, The BOOK!
Now in Kickstarter Phase, to be published in early September. Two weeks remain open for participation. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kileozier/imex-in-my-experience-tactile-edition?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=IMEx