What I said to a coworker yesterday, how I will style my hair tomorrow, will I have enough money to pay rent next month… normal thoughts that keep people up at night, but in this new world of a pandemic my thoughts tend to stray in a different direction. Do I have enough supplies to last me two weeks indoors, do I have a mask if I want to go outside, will I be able to travel to my sisters wedding are examples of the tame end of the spectrum…
The things that I worry about the most is how our country is responding to this pandemic and don’t get me wrong there are a lot of positive things happening in the world around us, but there are other things that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. By following headlines and news stories it scares me to think of who people are choosing to listen to and the results that is leading too. When you hear leading news stations are having competing doctors voice facts vs. opinions on how people should handle the pandemic, juxtaposing a doctor who is working on the front lines of this pandemic with doctors whose fame comes for TV shows they host (and people choosing fame over someone whose job it is to study this pandemic). Is there no standard to which we hold our news anchors? Is there no moral compass these people have to follow? They do know that the majority of people that watch their shows don’t question what they hear, right? I know they probably justify their actions by saying that people have the right to choose what news they listen to, but if they are knowingly feeding them false information or information they themselves wouldn’t listen to, then why are they spoon feeding it to the general public as fact?
In the past in times of war or crisis there has been a unifying voice of strength and hope for people to follow. Where is that today? We have a leader who is supposed to unify the states and speak for the people, who would rather leave it up to the states to look out for themselves while sitting on his ass and blaming everyone else. The only thing left for states to do is exactly that, look out for themselves and if they are lucky they will find neighboring states that feel the same way. This creates a patchwork attempt at fighting a virus that is highly contagious and doesn’t care about state lines and thus prolongs its presence in our communities and doesn’t lead to a decreasing number of sick citizens. Add into the equation a federal government system that is not prepared for the economic impact of this and vocalizing a want to open up systems again when they know this threat isn’t gone. People shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on their table, a roof over their head, paying their utilities and going to workplaces surrounded by people, exposing themselves to a virus that has the potential to put them in the hospital (which means wracking up thousands of dollars in medical bills, because your medical care is dependent on your job not a human right) and could even kill them leaving family members to grieve, with the bills, and one less check coming in to support the family left behind.
All of these things raise tensions in a country that is hanging on to its unity by threads that fray more everyday our leader gets on his soap box to sow chords of distrust, hate, and slander. We are a country made up of people from all walks of life and these differences should strengthen us, not divide us. We should look for common goals between us and work towards them.
We should learn to question what we read and hear to filter out the falsehoods and find the truth. People may distrust experts because they feel that they are being patronized, but we should also stop and realize that experts have spent their entire lives acquiring the knowledge they have and we should listen to them. Learn to question what you hear from people who claim to be experts, but only surround themselves with people who commend their talent and works. Experts by definition have to defend against differing views with facts to back up their findings not attack people who question them.
This is a scary time to be a human and you may feel, like I do, that you are powerless to change society, but you have to remember that you are not alone in the world. There are other people who stand with you, who believe that there will be a better tomorrow, that there are people who will fight to make this world a better place to live in for our next generation. You can create positive change in your world.
So yes things that keep me up at night revolve around our entire governmental structure and the way society perceives facts vs opinions, but I have to keep hope for a better tomorrow because at the end of the day what else is there.
Be the change you want to see in the world – Ghandi
Be strong because things will get better. It may be stormy now but it never rains forever – Unknown