If you read my first My Covid 19 Life post a few days ago, you will remember I mentioned a Chinese woman I used to tutor in English through a website called I Talki. Her name is Yang, she lives on a very modest income and has been attending school on and off in order to teach. You will recall that she sent a giggling emoji and said my face mask looked like a pair of underwear. Yang wrote me this morning wanting to know whether it was true that internally, the Trump administration was projecting some three thousand deaths per day come June. She was stunned when I told her that it appeared to be true. She also wanted to know if it was true that the government had given everybody $1000 dollars to help them during the crisis. And finally, she wanted to know whether it was true that Americans were receiving free food. Her incredulity was eye opening for me. She couldn’t believe the numbers of Americans who had died and were projected to die. The notion of this happening in America seemed unthinkable to her. And the idea of free food (Food Banks) was a novelty to her. She explained that she had spent 1-2 Yuan for a head of cabbage and now was paying 10 Yuan. She was outraged. I explained ‘price gouging’ was illegal here.
It was all quite confusing and foreign (of course) to her. But part of what was foreign, was how her image of our country did not comport with the notion that our government would deem losing up to 3000 people per day an acceptable trade-off for getting the economy open.
Yesterday, Chris Christie drew a parallel between the Second World War and sending our soldiers to die in battle and sending the providers of essential services to work in nursing homes and hospitals, driving busses, and so forth. Keep in mind, if essential workers refuse to work, they will not get unemployment insurance, because they have the opportunity to work and have not been laid off. Also keep in mind that a vast segment of essential workers are paid somewhere around minimum wage. The NY Times ran a piece in today’s paper about a bus driver with an immunocompromised daughter. He frets after several of his colleagues died from the virus, that he will bring it home to his daughter.
I don’t know what the administration or Chris Christie is thinking when they come to these conclusions. I have to assume that the virus is faceless and without an identity for them. Isn’t this how we manage to look solemn but act casually. Every so often you see someone make that connection and their reaction perhaps momentarily is radically altered. The newscaster on CNN made a comment this morning roughly similar to, “Each one of those deaths is a person, with a family, maybe kids!” It does change how we think of it when we consider one of those deaths as our wife, or husband, or child. And still, we are left with the matter of what to do.
Of course, we should do social distancing, wear masks, wash hands, support our scientists working on vaccines and treatment. But, as weary as we all may be getting, try to remember that those big numbers represent men, women, and children with lives and families, who are either going to work or staying at home but both are just trying to get through all this without losing everything.
It has been noted by multiple sources that Trump has steadfastly avoided talking about the victims of Covid 19. He has not consoled the grieving, or lowered the flag to half-mast. He feels he has to keep up an optimistic appearance to keep the country focused on our future. But what is the future for a people not fully conscious of the present. Isn’t that like walking into absolute darkness without a light? We can be fully aware of our present by recognizing the gravity of our circumstances, the darkness of these times, and mourn for the thousands dying, as we strive for a solution. We can do both.
May 5, 2020
7 thoughts on “My Covid 19 Life”
Absolutely! Then maybe the deniers and the irresponsible, refuse to comply with face masks and distancing people will realize this is real and it could be them or a loved one next. I actually don’t hold out hope for that. Statistically, there are a lot of low IQ people out there, easily influenced by their brethren.
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D. L., I loved your writing and I think I’m a new fan! WOW! Impressive! And I agree with every single word you typed. IF only everyone would get on the same page and do the same thing, the right things (social distance, wear masks, wash your hands, if you have to go out to work, do so safely and come back home, mingle when we are past this horrid crisis), we could all live a more normal life. Our normal will be a new normal, but, maybe, just maybe, we’ll all get to enjoy it and not just the few who are choosing to ENJOY THEIR LIVES AS NORMAL right now. I’d like to go out and socialize just like the next person, but I won’t because it’s just not the right thing to do … right now.
If those who are taking this so lightly and being selfish, would just become a little more selfless, 2021 just might look a bit differently to us all and offer us more freedom than 2020 did.
Thank you for this post. I don’t follow many blogs but here’s a question – where is YOUR follow button, Sir? 🙂
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I believe that the follow button is on the landing page but also if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the article you
should find it there. Thanks for your generous comments.Always grateful.
This is an honest and insightful post, David. I totally agree that these staggering numbers are more than just statistics. They are human beings loved by someone and are being grieved for in mass numbers. You can feel the heaviness that lays over America like a suffocating blanket. I pray that there is a light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel. Thank you for writing this!
Thanks, Jan. It has been a long year (a long four years). Normal would be nice.
David–Thank you for this. When I hear people who refuse to wear masks because it “infringes on their freedom.” What about the freedom of people not to get sick? I will be following your blog now because you make so much sense. I need to read the writing of people who make sense. So much of what’s swirling around me now doesn’t make sense. Three of my friends have died from COVID19, and 20 friends have been hospitalized with COVID19. The latest one was in the hospital for four-and-a-half weeks, three of which were on a ventilator. He’s having to re-learn how to swallow and talk, as well as walk and squeeze with one of his hands. I’m tired of hearing about hoaxes. Thanks again.
Wanda: thanks for sharing this. It makes it all that much more real!
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