I live in a nation that, since it’s battle for independence, has never felt foreign boots on our soil, or citizens displaced because of war. We fought WWI and WWII and the Korean “Police Action” and Vietnam remotely without feeling bombs shaking our living rooms or walls falling down around us. Generations have lived in comparative luxury, unchallenged by the need to find one’s own food or shelter; relying upon distribution chains and the illusion that life can be as we want it to be.
How will we fight against an enemy like Coronavirus; an enemy with no remorse, with no ethics, no hesitation to wipe as many of us from the face of the earth?
You might think that this is a very negative way to begin a blog, and I agree it’s scary, but the situation the U.S. finds itself in right here and right now is just that: scary. But the scariest part is that a great many of our friends and neighbors still don’t believe it’s something that can affect THEM.
You and I can’t solve the pandemic alone. In fact, none of us is able to just make it go away. The virus emerged from the world of nature on it’s own, it will stay around for a while and eventually it will go away. That is the way of nature. Nature has ways that are beyond our ability to control, or to even understand. We aren’t superior to Nature, we are her vassals; we serve her whims in more ways than we consider. The only question is how many of us will suffer before we work together for self-protection?
Yesterday I mentioned the state park parking lots that were as busy as during a normal weekend. Today I read on my news feed that even as the infection total rises and even as the death toll climbs people are still praising government inaction and still arguing about why they are not complying with orders for self-quarantine or sheltering in place. Collectively we are not learning the lesson and until we do the rate of infection will rise; it’s not rocket science people. You don’t have to be a scholar to get the fact that sick people infect sick people and you can infect someone even before you show symptoms yourself. You can also be infected by touching things an infected person has touched — and those germs we are finding out now — can survive on surfaces for hours and days depending on the surface they land on. It’s a dangerous world out there — the very one we took for granted just a few days ago.
I don’t want you to fear; I want you to take all the actions you possibly can to protect yourself. Fear helps nothing, saves nothing, accomplishes nothing. Action based in knowledge changes everything.
I read last night that California and New York have changed their testing for COVID-19 policy. Both states will not routinely test, and in fact they will only test if the results of the test are likely to change the outcome of the treatment. They are reserving test kits for the most ill and for the healthcare workers working to save lives. That’s a scary decision, but it’s the only decision left to them.
We know a lot about what’s happening in other countries, but to be honest we don’t know a lot about what’s happening here. We have not tested on the same scale as other nations, we were unprepared for what’s happening — but the comparison above indicates that not every nation was unprepared. Some nations took the warnings of scientists to heart and worked to address their weaknesses. The U.S. did not. Plain and simple. The numbers don’t lie.
There is no answer to the title question. I don’t know how long it will take. But you and I and our families and friends are going to be here to find out — and our own actions will help shorten that time, or lengthen that time.
Now would be a good time to have confidence in your neighbors. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, I don’t think I’m very confident in them at all. After all, look who they voted for; the one man who has made the situation infinitely worse because of his inability to admit his own mistakes.