While this whole pandemic thing has been scary, morbidly interesting, heart breaking, stress inducing, terrifying, thought provoking, etc…It’s also getting boring. I know, I know…it seems shallow to complain, but what the hell, I’m going to do it anyway.
Before you throw your laptop, iPad, phone or whatever at me just listen.. Yes I’m aware that there people dying. Yes, I am aware that there are people suffering horribly, barely managing, or even failing to put food on their family table. People loosing jobs and getting evicted from their home or apartment. People have lost family members, women giving birth in isolation because they can’t have anyone with them.
Then there is the opposite situation about famous, rich people whining away on Instagram while in their enormous mansion, with a pool, tennis courts, helicopter pad, riding stable, paint ball, arena, water park, blah blah.. I have a weird and rather controversial take on this. They are people too and yeah, they aren’t at the bottom of the human heap of suffering, but they are still capable of compassion. And anyone can start to feel cooped up regardless of the size of their cage. A cage is a cage.
I came about this weird way of looking at things when I was talking to my Mother a while back. To those of you who follow my blog, (and thank you if you do) My Mom lost 2 daughters a couple of years ago. Less than 6 months apart. She went from a mother of 6 to 4 living. I went from having 3 sisters down to 1. This tragedy was an enormous shock to the whole family.
Needless to say she has been having a really hard time. She told me that she was still having difficulties, 2 years later. Then she started beating herself up for suffering. “I shouldn’t feel this way. There are plenty of people in the world who are way worse off them me. I should be happy for what I DO have.” And so on and so forth. I got frustrated and told her “Hey, your grieving is valid and real to you, and you have a right to go through process!!” Sure practicing gratitude is a good thing. But, a loss is a loss.
I feel like this whole “who is suffering the most” bit has turned into a social media circus of finger pointing and generalized hateful criticism. This situation is weird and stressful for everyone. So if no one is allowed to complain, become outraged, blurt out inappropriate things in the heat of the moment, demand changes, etc. because there is someone, somewhere, suffering more??? Taken to it’s ridiculous over blown conclusion — NONE of us are allowed complain unless we are maybe a leprous beggar living in a slum, eating garbage from trash heaps.
I think we need to turn away from barking at each other and look at the big picture. A teeny tiny little virus has almost brought the world to it’s knees. I don’t think we are there yet. Maybe staggering around a bit. There is a learning experience here. The entire collective “we” governments and citizens alike, were woefully unprepared.
When I was still a working woman I had the good fortune to be sent to a workshop to learn about creating a disaster plan. My place of work chose to call it a “Business Continuity Plan.” We talked about various scenarios, tornado, power outage, aggressive flu, terrorist taking over our building. Just all kinds of interesting things. We talked about phone trees so everyone could connect and know what the plan of action was, working from home, having paper copies of our plan in everyone’s possession in case there was no phone or internet, even switching to off shore server farms if things got really bad. The one thing we didn’t cover was a planet wide disaster.
All it takes is a quick visit to the CDC or FEMA websites to be instructed that everyone should be prepared enough to shelter in place for at least a week. Who does that? We’re all reliant on being able to get whatever we need or want at any time, if we can afford it.
I’m one of those weirdos who actually did have a plan in place. I’m addicted to dystopian fiction. All kinds of shit hits the fan scenarios. Did I have N95 masks? Why yes I did, but not enough to last this long. I have boxes of rubber gloves, but I can’t find them. I proudly possess 1 key chain sized hand sanitizer which buried in the bottom of a purse or carry on, who knows where. I do however have enough food squirreled away to last at least 6 months. I have enough water to last about 1 month, assuming no showering.
Who am I to be saying what I’m saying? Just me. I can probably plop myself down in an American middle class in terms of economic status at the moment. I do know what it’s like to be dirt poor. Try looking for bottles on the side of the road to cash in for the deposit to buy food. Yeah, I been there as a child.
The point I’m making is that I think we should all channel our outrage and fear into working together and become activists to be far better prepared for the next meltdown. And there will be one. This pandemic has been a huge wake up call for everyone, regardless of their economic status or state of health. It’s been pretty amazing that in the U.S., most of us still have the 1st world basics: electricity, internet, phone, gas stations, running water, pharmacies and so on. It could be worse, yeah, but it’s still totally unpleasant.
So that is my rant for today. Decided to try writing today, because yesterday I spent far to much time on YouTube, watching videos about how to carve a hot air balloon on a river stone, to how to make flowers out of old toilet tissue rolls. I’m even sick of playing the Sims. Enough said.