Sometimes, you have just to throw in the towel, call it a day, and admit that your best just wasn’t good enough. Unfortunately, that seems to be the situation we are in.
Every day there is new news, there are counts, and there are predictions. The days go on, and the outlook becomes more bleak by the second, but for some reason – no one seems to really care. The worry only appears in their minds when COVID has reached their front door, or maybe a relative.
The days go by and more and more names are added to seemingly never ending list of those who we have lost to a monster that seems too difficult to overcome, even though we are apparently the only one with this problem. Some of us pretend we have a handle on it, some of us pretend it’s “not that bad,” and worst of all, some of us pretend it’s not there at all – the ignorance of such an enormous enemy astounding. But in reality, we have already lost the battle, we have lost to something we will never be able to see – and it’s all our fault.
I am no saint, I am not perfect, and I have no idea how to stop this virus. But what I can say is that I tried, I gave it my best – even if that meant I was alone in the fight. I wasn’t willing to put others at risk, even if my measures of safety did “not that much.” I wasn’t willing to play Russian Roulette with other lives because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. And I never foolishly complained that my rights were being taken away – which is just an excuse for not wanting to admit that you truly don’t care.
I just wish others would offer the same respect.
At the end of the day, I am tired. I am tired of doing anything I can to do my part in the effort, only for others to not do the same. I am tired of caring for others, and doing things for strangers I never thought I would do – only for some of them to look me in the face and laugh, or announce to me how much of a sheep I am, and simply not care for me.
More than anything else, this is what upsets me the most.
What you can do isn’t that difficult, it isn’t that hard, and it isn’t something that will change your life forever. Wear a mask, keep your distance, and just try to do your best. But for some, that task seems just too difficult. Whether it’s bravado, or just plain ignorance, the annoyance is the same. And the sadness I feel from this trend can be overwhelming.
I don’t want this to be the new normal. I don’t want our lives to become nothing but worry, despair, and confusion on what is coming next. I don’t want our new normal to be constantly worrying about friends and family, or if that cough could be something more. I will do anything I can to stop this, even if that means being told I am uninformed or misguided. I would rather try my best, even if others don’t do that for me.
But sadly, I think this will be our own normal – and it’s all our fault.
We don’t really care for others, we don’t really think about anyone else, and we are destined to be in this vicious cycle forever. Again, I don’t claim to know all of the answers, but I am intelligent enough to know the ways we can try – and not give ridiculous excuses for why I can’t, or won’t, even attempt the simplest things.
I haven’t been around this world for too long, just a couple decades, but even in that short time I can see a crack in our mindset that is disturbing.
Since I was a kid, I always thought of this country and it’s citizens as kind, strong, ambitious, and caring. However since the moment this thing began, I suddenly began to see those standards wash away. We have turned into the “me first” nation, the nation who believes it will never happen here, it will never happen to us, and if I’m okay, then everyone else must be too.
But that’s not how the world works. We have taken a hit, and ignoring the bleeding will only make things worse.
Somehow, we have all become experts, we all know what’s best, and we all know what’s real and what isn’t – and that’s an insult to the very people doing their best to end this the fastest they can, doctors.
When doctors signed up for med school, they wanted to help people, they wanted to cure patients, and they wanted to make a difference. They spend years in school, sometimes a decade learning the trade, getting the experience, and pushing off their own lives so they can improve ours. They delay marriage, kids, and their entire life so they can be prepared for when they are called – and when they finally are, we don’t believe them.
It’s shameful. It’s shameful to believe a group of selfless people who have dedicated their entire lives for this moment have to suddenly fight a war on two fronts, both crushing.
On one hand, the virus just won’t quit, it won’t stop, and it keeps finding ways to baffle science. It’s an enemy that seems to never run out of oxygen, and never sleeps. But on the other hand they also have to fight the very citizens they’re trying to protect. They work day and night, only to be told they’re part of “the system” and are trying to dupe the public into a world of deceit, and control. It’s a battle they were never trained to fight, and it’s a battle I will forever back them on. They don’t deserve to feel like the problem, they don’t deserve to feel like they’re making things worse – but the worst of us are getting louder, and making the solution become dangerously hard to attain.
I would never ask anyone to jump into blind faith of anyone, it wouldn’t be far. But it’s okay to admit that someone knows more than you, and that there is no dark figure behind the curtain trying to pull strings to ruin your life at the end of the day, you’re not that interesting. Doctors are doing their best, nurses are doing their best, and they’re going to continue doing they’re best even though people fight them at every turn.
Doctors do anything to help anyone, but they do have backup, a backup that may be even more devilish to some – the media.
If it weren’t for the media, we wouldn’t have knowledge of what’s going on next door, of how other countries have handled it, or what tactics have proven fatally inaccurate.
Before this even began, as I have written on in the past, the media has been vilified as another dark entity that is going to consume the world. People assume they lie, cheat, and just make things worse – only because these people are unwilling to accept the reality that is, well, reality. But in a sense, they have become science’s best friend and confidant – a band of misfits, if you will.
Just like doctors, the media doesn’t care what you think of them, they don’t care that you don’t believe them, and they will report the truth anyway. They will let you know of the progress of medicine, who is working hard and who isn’t. They will inform you when a vaccine is on the way, or when we have to go back to the drawing board. Most importantly, they will tell you when envelopes have been passed, and when we need to buckle down on who we let lead us through whatever this is.
I have friends who are doctors, I have friends who are in the media – and they are the true unsung heroes of this time. They have seen things that no one should ever see, and have had to make decisions that would haunt some of us forever. And if that earlier sentence makes you cringe, maybe you should be the one reevaluating yourself. Maybe you should look into the mirror and ask yourself why you attack the best we have to offer. After all, when we’re in a war, you don’t blame the soldiers for getting us in there in the first place.
This virus has done a lot, but this virus never took away our rights, it never made us “less American,” and it never threatened the freedoms we hold dead. However, it did take other precious things from us. It took birthdays away from us, it took vacations away from us, it even took prom away from us – but all of these pale in comparison to what we really lost. This virus took our friends, friends who didn’t need to die, and didn’t need to be in pain. It took our families, some whole, never to have another Christmas, or another graduation.
There is no way around it – if you’re worried about the false narrative that this is somehow stealing your rights, then you’re horribly misguided. You’re not thinking about the things it really did take from us, the people in our lives that we will never get back, their stories ended abruptly because we couldn’t quell our own selfishness.
I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. But I know when to call it a day.
We haven’t lost the war just yet, but we have yet to win a battle. Like a snake eating their own tail, I just hope we can realize the bed we made, and I hope we refuse to lie in it.
This isn’t a world I want to live in, and I hope you don’t either. But until we realize our own flaws, and trust the knowledge that we do have – we are doomed to repeat history, day by day.