Day 48: Foolishness and Responsibility

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Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

How corona is revealing a shallow side of America

This morning’s entry is less positive than I aspire to in recording my daily random impressions of this pandemic life. My focus, if there has been one, has been on the observation of a changed world and its effect on the creative mind. How are we handling this? What are we learning and creating from it?

The unfortunate truth is that many have disappointed with their selfishness, weakness, and unwillingness to participate in society as we make unpleasant choices to protect ourselves and our neighbors. Pretending things can be different by simply wishing things away while thousands die each day. Profiting from that death and fear with patent medicines and price gouging of emergency medical equipment. Seeing a pandemic as a political opportunity. It sickens me.

It turns out we have a much more pernicious disease in this country, a disease that is one of the soul and one created within our material society. Covid 19 is a killer of bodies, an incredibly virulent and efficient self-propagator and a destroyer. But our collective selfishness kills the soul of our country and both will take generations to eliminate, if we have the will to try. Many don’t.

This soul sickness has been festering for many years. It is the virus that destroys empires. Rome fell to it most famously. Some historians believe it is inevitable, that comfortable humans become complacent humans and then no longer human in its best sense. This desire to blame others and other things for a natural event serves no purpose. Guns can’t kill viruses and money can’t make things like RNA go away.

I believe most of us want to do the right thing. I see it around me every day. I also know that the sudden disappearance of work and income is terrifying. A disaster like this should become the highest calling of a central government and ours has failed completely. When they put together enormous rescue funding and then immediately start figuring out how to restrict who gets it and how they can benefit from their largesse, the economy collapses unnecessarily. It is the cruelest, most cynical thing we will see in our lifetimes. Hunger lines in America now?

The greatest foolishness is the belief that somehow this all goes away and we get back to normal. Nothing was normal. Our country’s fabric was being methodically taken apart at the seams by politicians and hatred. The ground was laid for this breakdown of decency and generosity. All it took was a tiny virus from a small animal to reveal the rot in America.

We need to clear out Washington. We need to pay attention to real science not cooked data designed to hide and create fear. We need all hands on deck to slow the spread and develop real vaccines, no matter how long it takes. And we need to stop focusing on the minor discomforts of isolating, social distancing, masks, and giving up some stupid things we somehow thought were vital to life. They weren’t, but has anyone learned that?

Do this for someone else, not yourself. You are not important right now. I am not important right now. We have a big enemy, one we can beat, but it means sacrifice by all, not by some.

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