Life seems a bit like the ominous answers from an 8 ball lately. "Better not tell you now." "Outlook not so good." "Don't count on it." "Reply hazy, try again." "Cannot predict now."
Tuesday, we Angelenos got the word. August. Well, it was "through July" for a few hours & then quickly clarified. I, for one, am relieved. Yes, it's a LONG time. More than twice as long as it has already been. And if that's what it takes for us to safely & successfully rebound, I am in favor. I applaud my local officials for listening to experts, taking precautions & making plans that rank human lives as a priority.
I realize that I am exceptionally lucky to find myself in a situation where I am staying afloat & the threat to my livelihood hasn't shown its face just yet. I harbor feelings of weighted uncertainty & caution, but for now, I'm more than content to be okay.
By the way, I should define "livelihood," since opinions on what is & is not considered as such seems a bit skewed at present. I mean my health & safety- first & foremost. Second, my ability to afford the cost of living. Third, the knowledge that my loved ones are healthy, safe & have what they need to survive.
Conveniences I have taken for granted do not fall into the category of "livelihood."
I acknowledge that people are suffering- physically, emotionally & financially. I should define "suffering." Experiencing a life-threatening illness with no cure or vaccine. Losing a loved one to a life-threatening illness with no cure or vaccine. Being separated from loved ones. Being trapped in quarantine with an abusive parent or partner. Struggling with mental illness. Struggling with isolation. Struggling with instability. Going hungry. Facing bankruptcy. The list goes on.
Having to do without conveniences that are taken for granted does not fall into the category of "suffering."
Advertisements keep saying we're all in this together. I wish that were actually the case. This pandemic has put a magnifying glass on the true colors of my fellow Americans. We have devoted nurses & doctors sacrificing time, energy, health, blood, sweat & tears. We have committed essential workers showing up & making sure the basic services needed are provided. We have dedicated teachers adapting & reimagining education. We also have celebrities complaining about having to spend time with their kids. We have people starting verbal & even physical altercations when asked to comply with CDC guidelines- a few even going so far as to lick supermarket shelves just to be d*cks. And we have armed people demanding haircuts. There is beauty & there is ignorant, heinous selfishness.
Is this who we are now? Saints & savages with no common ground?
"Better you than me." "Every man for himself." Unfortunately, these seem to be the war cries of far too many. It's like the Wild West out there right now. Maybe a little less manslaughter & spitting, but I'd say the attitude of "this town ain't big enough for the two of us" is rampant.
Why is it so hard to give a sh*t about someone else?
People are dying. A lot of people are dying. A lot more people will die before it's over. Entire families are getting wiped out. I don't understand why that concept is so difficult to grasp. And I really don't understand why this wave of callous disregard is so strong.
We've all pretty much made up our minds at this point where we stand in this debate. Either you're going weather the storm with grace or steer towards those rocks the lighthouse is trying to warn you about. I'm not here to change your mind. I'm just here to ask... will you be proud of what you've done & said when this is over? Can you live with the knowledge of how you responded to a, yes, annoying & inconvenient, but also temporary setback? Were you part of the problem or part of the solution?
If wearing a mask & giving people a little more space is asking too much, partner, you are welcome to the karma hellfire.