For all intents and purposes, this is week two of the COVID-19 panic. There were teasers and Easter eggs about it throughout the past few months. But last week was when everything started shutting down. So let’s call this week two. We’re all reacting differently, some reactions more effective than others (see Norm Macdonald Kills with Eight Minutes of Coronavirus Jokes [VIDEO] and If You Weren’t Sick Before, Here’s a Montage of Celebrities Singing ‘Imagine’). For those of us at home, we’re making the best of a bad situation and wondering when we’re going to get any answers. Mike Rowe did his best to make sense of things in a lengthy Facebook post. No answers, but he talked out where I think a lot of us are right now.
I do know that recessions and depressions can impact a country in ways no less catastrophic than a pandemic. And we are most assuredly headed for both, if we continue to operate from a “Safety First” state of mind. Because “Safety First” is never a long-term solution.
We are being bombarded everyday with facts and information with extreme urgency but no context…I don’t know if we’re overacting, but the manner in which the information is being disseminated suggests the situation is already catastrophic…we’re treating a virus that MIGHT have devastating consequences, in a way that will GUARANTEE devastating consequences.
Personally, as an avowed non-expert with a large Facebook following, I do think a temporary shutdown makes sense, while we gather more information and answer some pressing questions…Consequently, people are arguing over which is worse – hundreds of thousands of dead Americans, or another Great Depression. Unfortunately, I think that misses the point. I think the worst-case scenario, is both.
I have two elderly parents solidly in the “at risk” group, and believe me, I want to do all I can to protect them. But I also know that Safety First is no way to live indefinitely. We are at base, a Safety Third nation. We can’t remain in the air raid shelter indefinitely – if we do, they’ll be no country left, when we finally emerge.
I’d settle for, if not an answer, an educated guess to the following question: What’s the endgame? What’s the specific point when people get to go back to work and America is open for business again? Because while the speaker of the House is holding up financial aid so that she can exploit the tragedy and the President of the United States is whining because the press is mean to him, and while the national press is proving its utter uselessness in reporting things like facts or actual news, everyone else just wants to know when they can go back to work. Or when their elderly parents can leave the house without wearing a hazmat suit.
This is week two of the panic. Americans have mostly been patient and understanding. We’re going to start being less patient and understanding at the start of week three if there still aren’t any answers.