It seems all our routines have changed in the last month due to this unseen, unknown pandemic called Covid-19. For most, this nationally declared emergency has been an inconvenience. For others, it has been life altering, especially if you have looked into the fearful eyes of a friend or loved one who has fallen ill because of it. When anything happens afar off it’s merely a story. When it hits home, it’s an emergency and very much real.
From personal experience, when this pandemic was first announced and given a name, it was something that affected someone on the west coast, or New York City, and there is always something affecting someone in those locations. But when real people, I mean someone I know fell ill with it, it suddenly became real.
When I first saw that people were following executive orders and not going to work, or wearing face masks and rubber gloves when they went shopping for essentials (and often for the not so essentials) it seemed as though I was living through an episode of The Twilight Zone.
To understand how to defeat this invisible enemy, it is important to know where it came from, and the conspiracy theories have been plentiful. Naturally, if we find it on the internet it must be true. Social media is like any other tool in life. It’s helpful if used properly. A hammer is tremendously useful until through misuse I smash my thumb. Humans live for the drama and events like this certainly make space for drama. However, regardless of its genesis, Covid-19 brings enough drama by itself.
The drama manifested by high-risk individuals potentially exposed to the virus in self-quarantine is drama enough, but when you couple that with quarantine and hospitalization brought on by the illness it is unimaginable.
Trying to find some good that has come from this, I’ve certainly brushed up on my history as I have heard so much about the flu epidemic of 1918, through its comparison to the Coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, I guess I knew little, if anything, about the 1918 flu epidemic. Although my father served in North Africa, Italy and Germany during World War II, I had not personally experienced it so to me it was a huge compilation of stories. However, the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 will be real to those of us who experienced it for as long as we live.
If you have wondered how long this can possibly last, and by this, I mean social distancing, travel restrictions, business closures and so on, join the crowd. We’ve all wondered that. I remember seeing a cartoon once that depicted an out-of-shape man during a visit to his physician for a check up at which time the doc prescribed a regimen of exercise to improve his health. The patient explained that it was inconvenient for him to find an hour a day to exercise. In response, the doctor posed this question. “Is it more convenient to be dead 24 hours per day, or to exercise for one hour per day?” I suppose overcoming this will take as long as it takes.
Life seems to always find a way. Convenient or not, we will do what we have to do to survive, won’t we? What is the alternative?
Personally, I have seen people who usually throw caution to the wind taking precautions to protect themselves and those around them. I have witnessed people calling family members more frequently than before to make certain of their health and welfare. I’ve heard story after story of families becoming closer than ever because of stay at home orders. Some have even found that they like one another better than they thought.
The events of 9/11 brought us closer, at least for a period. Hopefully, the upside to all this tragedy will be a longer lasting togetherness, and a much greater appreciation for one another and all those things that matter.
Stay safe and healthy.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.