This is still my favorite time of year in spite of all of the changes wrought by Covid-19. I usually have a constant routine of attending events and preparing for the many holidays that abound. This year has changed so many things which I don’t mind at all, but I have to admit that I am becoming quite angry that we are not more uniformly bearing the sacrifices of enduring the pandemic. I realize that some don’t get as sick as others and that we need to continue to move forward insofar as possible, but if I hear one more person suggesting that the virus isn’t all that much because it really only hurts old people and anyone with underlying health issues I think I will scream.
I’ve also grown weary of the people who suggest that we just need to open everything back up and forget all of the silliness of masks and social distancing. They flaunt their “courage” and freedom by boldly eschewing their masks and shooting the proverbial finger at such measures. They point to the fact that things appear to be getting better, ignoring the growing numbers that include thousands of new cases every single day in the United States alone. They don’t seem to understand the rules of cause and effect that they should have learned in elementary school. If we are doing better at all it is because about half of the people in this country are religiously wearing their masks and continually taking precautions. If we all tossed our masks in the trash bin I suspect that our situation would be dire.
I have no problem with mostly staying home. I don’t mind attending my Rice University continuing education class remotely. I missed walking among the lovely plants at the Houston Garden Club Bulb Mart this year but I drove through to pick up the items that I ordered online and had fun planting them in my garden. I’m sad that I won’t get to visit the extravaganza of the Nutcracker Market in person but maybe the virtual version will provide me with a fun shopping experience in the comfort of my home. I’ll miss my brother’s big family gathering at Thanksgiving but I’ll use that day to decorate for Christmas and order gifts from the online Black Friday sales. Christmas Day won’t include forty plus guests this year so I’ll see what it is like to quietly do my own thing. I can live with change if it means keeping the virus at bay.
I can make for one year to keep myself and others healthy, but please don’t act as though people like me should be the only ones playing it safe. Do not insinuate that if it were not for the old folks life would be so much better. Please remember that when the less vulnerable people flaunt the rules it makes it that much less likely that those of us who have been precautious will be able to be back in the swing of things for quite some time.
There are older citizens languishing in their houses or nursing homes who might be able to reenter the world if they know that everyone else is creating a safe environment for them. Sadly all too often there are individuals who think that their rights are more important than the common good. If I see half of the people in Buccee’s or my HEB grocery store tossing their masks in their pockets I don’t feel comfortable being out in public again. I worry that I may bring the virus to my husband or my father-in-law. I feel that I have to stay put. The precautions should based only on the condition of each person, but on the general condition of the country. We have to do this for each other, not just for ourselves.
I sense that we are in grave danger of being held hostage by widespread selfishness when a militia group plots to kidnap and possibly even murder a governor only because she has instituted strict guidelines for dealing with Covid-19. When the response to such an horrific attempt is to suggest that the governor brought the potential violence on herself, I worry that we have lost our common decency and morality as a nation. Even our president seemed more amused by the incident than concerned about its implications and he has yet to send his support to the governor.
This is not the time to throw caution to the wind. Our political leaders need to call out anyone who would suggest that only older and unhealthy people need to be careful. They should be modeling compassion and seriousness about Covid-19. They should always remember the over 210,000 people who have already died. When they compare this virus and its consequences to the flu they are slapping the faces of all of the families that have already lost a loved one. They are insulting the professionalism and concerns of the medical community. They are telling those who have been advised to stay home that they do not matter. It’s time to stop such disregard and insensitivity.
We are entering the months of the year when illnesses grow like wildfire. We have little idea how Covid-19 will act in the coming weeks. Stop the bravado. Put on the masks without complaint. Indicate your empathy for the vulnerable. Get a flu shot. Stand back from strangers. Quit insisting on being totally normal for now. Adapt, adjust and think about the good of everyone. Above all be kind.