No, no no…I haven’t gone soft. I still believe (now, more than ever) that hope leads to despair, and most importantly, that living in the present is the key to a well-balanced and happy life.
However, when life was normal, (pre-Corona), there were also always built-in safeguards. While living in the present, we could also simultaneously take solace in something, anything, that we knew was on the horizon. The obvious examples, of course, are things like vacations, concerts, and celebrations that we had planned. Even “smaller” things like the start of football season, or the holidays, provided a needed boost when we were feeling down, lethargic, or even defeated.
2020 has, for the most part, stripped all of that away from us. By now, most people have learned to stop having hope and looking forward, which are two different things. The “hope” has finally been ripped away after too many people kept clinging to things like a summer festival, or a fall concert, or Disneyland opening, all of which have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. “Looking forward,” has stopped because every time people do, it comes with the dark cloud of Covid. As we’ve been demonstrating on the air the last few weeks, the minute you start actually thinking about Halloween or Christmas, you immediately start asking “what will that even look like?” Will Trick-or-treating even be “allowed?” What about kids sitting on Santa’s lap? Holiday travel to see family? UGH!
So, I come to you today with a very, very, very small slice of positivity offset with all of the qualifiers above as to why you really should take it with not just a grain, but rather, a silo of salt.
Super, super, super slowly…agonizingly slowly…more and more people are coming around to the reality of having to live with the virus. And by “live,” they mean actually having a life. It isn’t just an anecdotal “only hanging out with like-minded people,” phenomenon. If you look for it, you can see examples of it across the country.
Somewhat ironically, the very thing that will bring us out of this will also be the very thing under attack in America now, more than ever; Capitalism!
Too many people are too desperate; and as they look around and see all of the nonsensical conflicting messages, (none of which are accomplishing the goals they purport to), more and more people are saying “nope…done with this!”
This week, hundreds of hair stylists in California will, in unison, open up against orders. (https://fox5sandiego.com/news/california-news/california-salon-barbershop-owners-vow-to-reopen-indoor-operations/) They can’t all be shut down, or have their licenses revoked, and even those who do receive such punishments, may just ignore them, like restaurants who have literally had their health permits revoked, yet continue to serve customers (and lots of them). https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2020/08/12/el-dorado-county-business-refuse-shut-down/
On the individual, anecdotal front, more and more of us are venturing out, (no matter how miserable it may be to dine outdoors in 108-degree-heat) and we’re noticing a couple of things:
- Places are packed
- Fewer and fewer people are adhering to the dopey guidelines and restrictions
The truth is that as more people go out, they are forced, whether they want to or not, to engage in critical thinking…and they realize how ludicrous it is that they wear a mask as they walk to a table in a restaurant, and then remove the mask and sit shoulder-to-shoulder with (or right across from) someone they don’t live with and apparently, because they are going to be eating, they won’t get Covid. And for those who argue “that’s the problem! You aren’t supposed to be with people you don’t live with!” You quite literally need to get a life. Even those of us who legitimately love the people we live with are sick of them and, after 5 months, are in dire need of our friends and others…thus, the earlier reference to “living.”
Meanwhile, on a national front, as we’re inundated with endless headlines and social media posts of America’s endless counts of cases, national retailers are expanding hours and returning closer to normal…why? Capitalism! They need revenue, and their customers are demanding it, thus, screw the virus! https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/business/walmart-store-hours/index.html
The wild card in all of this is the American Parent who is now enduring a new school year in the age of Covid that they never expected. With rare exception, everywhere in America is either distance learning or making school so miserable that most people think it’s worse than distance learning! The toll this is taking on both the adults and the children is being amplified daily and will hit a breaking point soon enough. It’s human nature for us to believe that people are just capitulating and accepting this, and too many are, but enough of us are not…slowly…very, very, very slowly.
All of this is what must happen; and it will. Sadly, it will happen far too slowly and we will continue to have an endless push/pull for months. There will be more outbreaks and spreads, and more calls for shutdowns (stupidity), and when the seasonal flu inevitably hits before a vaccine, we will see an uptick in the paranoia and overreactions. The good news is that more people will be steeled for it; perhaps not enough, but more, and that’s a start.
So, am I promising you a Halloween filled with kids trick-or-treating? Absolutely not. Am I suggesting that you should “just go for it!” and book that holiday trip to Hawaii? Most definitely not. Do I think people who believe that 2021 is going to suddenly be normal are morons? You bet! Do I hate people who ask questions and answer them? YES! YES, I DO! STOP DOING THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have fundamentally altered our society for at least a generation. Five years from now, millions of Americans will still be wearing masks, and god only knows what parties, concerts, and sporting events will look like, but it will be better…but I promise you, it will be different as well.
Although, come to think of it, almost anything would be “better” than this disaster we have allowed to be foist upon us. Enough is enough…one person at a time, one day a time.