Do You Remember?

Let’s face it. The pandemic has been a part of our lives for at least nine months now, President Trump not having declared the Corona virus a national emergency until March 12th. Here in the US, the political turmoil that should have ended with Election Day in November continues to plague us and I suspect will do so until at least January 20th, if Inauguration Day goes off without a hitch. These two things have taken all of our focus and are why we all agree that the year 2020 pretty much sucks! Well those, and the toilet paper shortage due to hoarding!

But the year didn’t start in March with the announcement that the virus had become a pandemic! In January, these events made national and international news: the Australian Wildfires the Iran-US Conflict, the Ukrainian Plane Crash, the Taal Eruption, the plane crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

And February had its share of note-worthy and unpleasant news: a gunman attacked a Greyhound bus and, on the same day, a shooting occurred at Texas A&M University, a ruptured gas line in Corpus Christi, Texas caused massive destruction with flames reaching over 150 feet, the Boy Scouts of America filed bankruptcy as hundreds of sexual abuse claims made their way into court, an over 206 million gallons of sewage that made its way into Fort Lauderdale’s water supply was discovered, a mass shooting occurred in Milwaukee, as well as a shooting outside of a popular Atlanta restaurant.

Other shootings, and fires, and riots and so many other things happened in 2020 besides the pandemic! But we seem to be so caught up in the anxiety of the pandemic that we’ve forgotten all of the lives and property lost because of other terrors that have ripped through the world this year.

2020 was yet another year that we lost many beloved celebrities. And, as usual, California had to deal with massive brush fires. Joe Exotic, who found instant fame as the “Tiger King”, was convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire. Megxit, when Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, chose to leave the Royal Family and the country, happened effective March 31st, 2020. These are some other things that made national and international news in 2020.

But we’re so fixated on the pandemic of COVID-19! Yea, it’s still really scary for each and every one of us. This virus knows no gender, no race, no age, the health of the person it affects. We can be very proactive about protecting ourselves from contracting COVID, but the only 100% guarantee is to live alone in a bubble and have simply no contact with anyone! One person I know has completely barricaded herself inside her home, only venturing outside to walk around her front yard if no one else is nearby or to relax in her back yard if no neighbors nearby are out. But her husband goes off to work every day, and he could bring the virus home to her without knowing. Her son played some sports early in the school year, and while she masked and distanced herself from the crowd of parents also there to cheer their sons on, the boys played without masks, and the game requires physical closeness and some possible physical contact, so….

Again, we simply cannot guarantee ourselves 100% prevention without that bubble. And yes, we’re all anxious about the second spike happening, and yes, we want it to be over. I’m simply suggesting that we remember that there are trials and tribulations that affect someone in the world every day. Let’s not forget to care about those things and those people, too. There will be car accidents, and house fires, and sadly, shootings that will occur every day in some part of the world. People will lose their loved ones, not even necessarily from the COVID virus, and will be dealing with pain and grief. We need to remember that the world will keep spinning on its axis and the calendar pages will keep turning as days and months go by.

Be proactively careful. Mask up. Use social distancing steps. Avoid being in a mass of people, including your loved ones. Limit your exposure, but don’t let the precautions limit you. There is still hope for this world, and hope in each of us. Let’s quit obsessing about something over which we have no guaranteed control. More than ever, reach out to the needy in any way that is safe to do so. Be kind to everyone, and especially the ‘essential workers’ who risk their lives by going to work every day so that we have and/or able to get what we need. And pray for those who experience loss in any way during this pandemic. Let’s all work together!!!!!

I’m not Switzerland…

…and I don’t claim to be. My readers know that I’m quite opinionated, and have no difficulty expressing my opinions. Just because I’ve never written a post about political views, doesn’t mean I don’t have them. Those of you who actually know me know where I sit on that fence, but most of you could only make an educated guess.

Twenty-four hours later, after I’d written that paragraph and a few more in addition, I’ve deleted all but the first paragraph. I was really frustrated yesterday, feeling the need to rant about some totally inappropriate comments people are spreading on social media. Today, I’m choosing to ask for patience in myself (not a strong suit in me, to be sure!) to breathe in and breathe out.

My buttons get pushed the most by close-minded people and by the fact that so many are expending so much energy on the “blame game”. I have my ideas about that, certainly, but as the Pennsylvania Dutch would say, it’s like “closing the gate after the horse has gotten out.” The virus is here. It is affecting millions of people’s health. It is causing a financial depression for all businesses, big and small. No matter whose fault it is, it is here! Our energy needs to be spent in following common sense safety rules, not sitting behind our computer screens lamenting whose fault that is. We, as a people of this world, need more than ever to band together for a common good, not divide ourselves further apart.

I don’t know why this pandemic has become such a political sore point here in the US. It has affected countries across the globe, and social media lets us reach across that same globe, yet I’m not seeing posts from people in those countries fuming about why they are dealing with this virus. They have the ability to look past that and focus on how they can affect changes to deal with, survive, and hopefully overcome this crisis. As a country, the US has always touted itself to be a ‘leader’ and ‘ahead of the times’. Right now, we aren’t walking the walk that proves that.

I’m frightened. I’ve become more frightened for the future of our country than I have about catching COVID-19! This fear for our country from a political standpoint is mentally draining.

Regardless of where you sit on the political fence, I believe you must surely agree that we need to take the politics out of the equation and put our energy into a resolution for all people, despite their political persuasion. You know, the way we did almost nineteen years ago when the events of 9/11 showed that we could band and work together for our fellow beings, period.

I am going to attempt not to let my buttons get pushed by this anymore. Realistically, I’ll be satisfied if I can just move past it without comment.

Wish me luck!