Like It or Not

Spiritual Smart Aleck

168

So much has changed in the last three months, give or take a month, changes caused by a virus that is moving and mutating so fast that you can’t keep up without a program, and there is no program.

At first it was thought to be a respiratory disease, and so it is. Then docs began noticing blood clots in some patients. Then it caused heart failure, and kidney failure, and finally, multiple organ failure and body shut down.

People reported other symptoms: body aches, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell and taste. Not everybody gets all the symptoms. Some people do not get any of the symptoms but are still contagious. Perverse little virus.

There are people who become ill with the virus, and seem to recover, and then relapse. Or have they been infected a second time? We don’t know.

Now there is a sometimes-fatal inflammatory illness in children, whom we thought were not subject to the coronavirus’s predation. We were wrong. One victim described this disease as feeling like lightning in his veins.

So what we thought was an illness of the aged and infirm turns out to be more egalitarian. It will infect any human, any age, any condition. No one is exempt. Except a few people who seem to be immune.

Lately there have been articles and news stories about people becoming mental because of the lockdown lifestyle combined with fear of the virus.

The restrictions do chafe. I feel that, but most of us accept our confinement as a price we are willing to pay for the greater good and our own well-being.

Some people, however, believe that they are being deprived of their liberty, and are protesting and agitating for freedom.

They have not shot anyone as of this writing, but they have talked about killing people, and have waved their automatic rifles around in a worrisome display of their ability to kill if they feel like it. They act with the urgent desire of King Baby: I want what I want when I want it.
Only babies do not usually carry automatic weapons, except the babies and children who accidentally find their parents’ weapons and kill family members and friends, a small price to pay for making sure we all have as many guns as we want, don’t you agree.

How many of us have thought that yes, these people need to be free to go out and infect one another? I have thought it, and then reproached myself for thinking it, but gee, natural selection.

The trouble is, as I have said before, they do not stop with infecting each other. They infect innocent children and other people with whom they come in contact. People who love them, as well as strangers, but these liberty mongers desire their freedom to infect and become infected and that desire trumps (so to speak) everyone else’s right to stay healthy, in their minds.

This is appalling to the public health sector, as well as to those of us who hoped to curtail the devastation of the pandemic with healthy practices.

Still, I get it. On March 10th, I was happy as an introverted clam. Stay at home? I got this.
But at around ten weeks I began to realize that hey, this is not changing, and further realized I’d had this unconscious expectation that things would change – back to what they’d been, or into something better, because we have all realized that life in the slow lane trumps (so to speak) the crazy rat races of life before the lockdowns.

In my mind I know that things have to remain the same – stay home. Wear a mask and stay distant from other people when I go out. Wash my hands until hell won’t have it. My hunter gatherer brain thinks it is time to break camp, scatter the campfire ashes, and move on to the next hunting ground, though.

The enforced isolation has me feeling out of sorts and rebellious sometimes. Fortunately for me, I have a lot to live for, so I remind myself to be patient. I attended a Zoom birthday party for my grandson, attend Zoom church and social gatherings, spend way too much time on Facebook, and lead an active email life. Not to mention streaming television.

Around the world there are countries for whose people this is the same old same old: horrible disease, no cure, people dying faster than they can be buried, breakdown of economies, things falling apart. Happens all the time.

For us first world smarties, it is new and strange, but as people keep saying, we will get through this together.

So we will. Like it or not.
That is, after all, our only option.