2020 – Rethink. Reduce. New Cycle.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC PARANOIA
Sweeping across the world, finally in the United States March 2020
For most people in the connected world, the past month as been interesting to say the least. In America unemployment is sky rocketing as industries are collapsing while others are rising and amidst it all, we see each other’s true colors in the face of fear.
Well, maybe not our TRUE colors, but certainly a few new shades under the circumstances.
During the initial shutdowns in Florida, I found myself in a terrible situation. I choked on a Pizza Hut pizza dipper. Yes. Choked. Went down the wrong pipe and coughed it back up. Now this normally isn’t a problem, but the pizza dipper contained marinara sauce that left some residue in my trachea. I could feel the dampness in my throat as it evolved into a cough and within days – aspiration pneumonia. The symptoms very much like those of the Coronavirus, so naturally everyone at work and my home asked me to self-qurantine. I did, out of social compliance. In that time, I watched Netflix and browsed the internet like most. I watched the terrible paranoia sweeping across the screens and watched people do absurd things that they believed would keep them safe from the virus, then watched them do things that most certainly would not.
I don’t mean to be insensitive, certainly thousands will die from this no differently than the flu, pneumonia, HIV, or nearly any other virus that attacks any vital system of the body. I’ve seen memes about how gays (since I’m gay I subscribe to a lot of gay media) treat the coronavirus with protection, but are nonchalant about HIV. I’ve watched conspiracy theorists encourage the public to take arms against the government. I’ve witnessed first hand how some kids are failing school now, because no one seems to give a damn if they learn while they’re at home, then conversely I’ve seen children improve while at home receiving one-on-one attention from people that genuinely love them and have not had the time to be home with them because of the demand of work. I’ve heard about good Christian people in fights over hoarded supplies at the grocery store, but saw videos of porn stars handing out food, daily, to the homeless.
It seems that this pandemic has revealed to many, and confirmed at least to me, that the American way of life – work, entertainment, and family – needs a great deal of reform.
I’ve never been happier with my work and home life balance than I am right now. I get to spend more time with my family, work on projects that have been requiring my attention for years, and am far less stressed. Why? The absence of everyday people-problems. It’s so sad, isn’t it? How much people complicate fairly uncomplicated ideas and systems. How much people expect, then demand from one another creating a cycle of overuse, abuse, and overrated expectation.
It’s as if we all needed a very serious break, and the Earth itself – her very spirit, demanded we take time out to think about what we’ve done and where we’re headed.
I don’t think we’ve been thinking, because the paranoia has us too focused on the problem at hand. But I urge anyone reading this to look at your day-to-day and rethink how you do what you do. How can we reduce how much trash we make? How can we reduce our consumption of energy, food, or even other people’s time and effort. How can we be more balanced with nature and cohabitate with animals, including the ones we consider pests.
We’ll protect ourselves from this virus with so much vigor, would you protect the Earth with just as much? All life deserves to live. All life is precious and worthy of protection.