On Being Mentally Cured of Covid

COVID Pandemic’s impact on people’s lives reaches far and deep. I think we will be measuring the damage for years, not months. Not to minimize those who suffered physically, but in a way, “we all caught” it, even if we weren’t infected. The symptoms were physical, psychological, and financial. The symptoms continue for many, myself included.

For me, this is my last post related to the Coronavirus. I’m back to work, and my daily life is helping companies make their next steps in re-opening. So here and in my personal life, I need some mental distance from the discussion. I need forward-thinking activity rather than the timeless drifting that has filled life for the past two months. (Unless I actually get it, then I’m going to complain we didn’t do enough.)

The politics of COVID have been tiresome.

The only conclusion I can reach is that governments proved their inability to serve the people over their own self-interests. I am not surprised.

The science of COVID has been frustrating.

The scientific community demonstrated they are often political. They have talking-points too. And surprisingly, we discovered that their “guesses” were often as good as anyone’s.

The greatest health agencies in the world failed us at the most basic level—they could not provide critical information for rational decision-making. Their messages unified only in saying, “don’t feel safe, don’t be hopeful.”

I have not forgotten that we were told, for weeks, that masks were useless, and now we’re told to wear them. I cannot say, with any confidence, which is the best option.

Social media, in a consistent fashion, remained a train wreck.

Opinions abounded. Hate reigned. Stupidity delivered in abundance. Celebrities rarely missed a chance to demonstrate arrogance and ignorance.

And apparently, it became fashionable to pretend, when on video, that isolation required one look as if they just got out of bed. Water for bathing seemed in short supply. Unshaven faces marked the burden of working from home.

As we move toward the re-opening of the world, many articles warn that “we will never return to normal.” Others tout predictions of the “new normal” that envisions a surreal ghost of our previous existence.

As if normal is an actual thing. As if their predictions have any evidence.

I disagree with the warnings.

As if my disagreement has any supporting evidence.

These articles all slant toward some gleeful pessimism. They paint a picture of a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with semi-isolation, masked faces, and depression. They warn of “second waves” and “bleak, dark winters.” They claim hugging, and handshaking are gone forever.

These dark portraits envision us as the helpless victims imprisoned by fear, and powerless to do anything more than peer from the confines of our homes.

Of course, there will be hardship.

We will be required to fight for a return to life. But, I believe we will do precisely that.

I believe history shows the resilience of humanity. I think it demonstrates that we always refuse to be victims for long. Even now people and companies are gearing up to resume life . . . Are resuming life.

It’s a matter of tenacity, and tenacity is the core of human existence. Tragedy strikes, we pause for a moment, and then we fight our way back. It is true of every human tragedy in modern times.

9/11 didn’t end air travel, the Paris and Vegas attacks didn’t eliminate concerts, and Katrina could not wash away Mardi Gras.

Covid-19 will not end our way of life.

We will hug and shake hands and gather. New Yorkers will continue to love Florida. Floridians will continue to welcome New Yorkers.

I hate “the new normal” articles more than the long-dark-winter pieces.

They suggest that we will never overcome our fear. They pretend there is a solution for avoiding future viral outbreaks.

If either were true, then the 1918 pandemic would have been the last, yet people still don’t wash their hands. And people, against my personal advice, still eat at buffets.

We will make temporary changes, but it will not be the new normal for long.

People will, for a time, wash their hands and cover their mouths. We may have greater opportunities to work from home. We will, for a while, practice better preparedness.

And then, as with all things, we’ll move on, the changes thinning, and the remnants will annoy us.

The masks and gloves will disappear. The plastic shields and distance markers removed. Six feet will become four, and then two. Someone will send their sick child to school. Another inconsiderate ill-mannered won’t cover their mouth when they sneeze. Kids will again “toilet paper” neighbor’s homes.

In the early part of the 2000s, we all stood as quiet, dutiful citizens before the airport TSA. We thanked them for their service. Today, we roll our eyes at shoe removal, 3 oz container restrictions, and fume over long waits.

Even now, middle seats are being filled on planes, and droves have signed up for August cruises.

Humans don’t tolerate living in fear. In America, we don’t like “for our own good” laws.

The “new normal” has a shelf life.

The doom and gloom articles have a much shorter shelf life. In many places, they have already expired.

Doom and Gloom grossly underestimate the “hold my beer” strength of our species.

No one wants anyone to die or to have others die. But death is, of course, the only guaranteed outcome of life.

Eight thousand people die every day in the US.

Knowing that, we have no choice but to risk death each day.

Measured risk. Personal decisions to take risks. Risks that do not endanger others. But still, risk.

To endeavor life is to risk death. To live is to face mortality.

There is no dark winter ahead. To believe that is to live without hope and to be caged by fear.

There is no “new normal” to consider because life is fragile, and there is no way to avoid the risks of living.

People are survivors, not victims. It’s human nature to meet the challenges and succeed.

Sadly, Covid-19 has had many victims. I do not believe the human spirit is one of them. I do not believe we will remain its hostage for long.

I hope you remain safe and healthy.

5 thoughts on “On Being Mentally Cured of Covid”

  1. I agree with you 100%. I’m so sick of the “gloom and doom” and “new normal” spouted by the media. If they had their way, we would hunker down in our homes, scared out of our wits—at least until after the November election.
    When we look back on all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that ruining lives and destroying our economy was all for nothing.

    Like

  2. Beautifully expressed. I’m a teacher trying to wrap my head around the CDC recommendations for “the new normal classroom.” And the voice inside my head is shouting, you can’t sanitize education because learning comes through (and after) relationships. And authentic relationships can’t be established behind masks, plastic walls and distant desks. Like you said, you can’t take human spirit out of the equation.

    Liked by 1 person

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