I want to write something about something that doesn’t matter. I want to sit here at my computer and tell you about how I’m sick of the rain, or about the $75 worth of seeds I got in the mail last week. I don’t want to tell you what you already know. That the last time I wrote there were 30 something confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state. That now there are nearly 250. That by the time you read this there will probably be nearly 400, or more.
You already know this. I shouldn’t feel the need to type it out. But I do.
Adding salt to the wound, as I type this there are tornados on the ground in Alabama. I woke to thunder, lightning and rain this morning. I was scared, as I always am during storms. And then, there in the dark with my children, I remembered that other storm.
I remembered that when I had to go into the store this weekend to get diapers that my stomach hurt. Going into that store I felt like a refugee walking through a war zone , armed with nothing but a Clorox wipe. It sounds so stupid. But I clutched to my Clorox wipe and treaded the aisles of the store with fear. Unrelenting fear.
I’ve heard so many people say over the past few weeks that we cannot live in fear. But I think fear is a survival mechanism. And I can’t help but feel the way I feel.
I’m fearful that if I go see my family I will accidentally kill them. Or they will accidentally kill me. That Covid19 will get us. Somehow it will get us. I haven’t been to their house in a few weeks.
Every thought I think brings something else to be scared of, all because there is a virus going around.
I feel a sense of doom for my family, for doctors and healthcare workers, delivery drivers and people who work at grocery stores.
In part I feel this way because I only have control of my own actions and I can’t know that everyone else is doing what they are supposed to do. The President of the United States all but said that the economy is more important than our lives. He worded it something like “don’t let the cure be worse than the problem.”
I wish Bill Gates were president. He said, “The economic effect of this is really dramatic. Nothing like this has ever happened to the economy in our lifetimes. But bringing the economy back… that’s more of a reversible thing than bringing people back to life. So we’re going to take the pain in economic dimension— huge pain — in order to minimize the pain in the diseases and death dimensions.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be poor than be dead.
And, I sadly have zero faith that politicians in Alabama will make the right decisions.
On Tuesday the governor said she has no plans for a statewide shelter-in-place order. Well color us all surprised. I’m sure we’ll be close to last to issue that, just like we are close to last with everything else. At least the Birmingham City Council has the sense to get in out of the rain, as it approved a shelter-in-place order for the city Tuesday.
I wonder if anyone in charge will look back days and weeks ahead and say to themselves, “I wish I had done something.”
In other parts the world, doctors must play God. They must choose who will live and who will die. Doctors are working without sufficient protective wear. Healthcare systems are on the brink of collapse.
Here in the United States, in the year 2020, citizens are being asked to sew masks at home and send them to doctors because there isn’t enough protective gear for them at the hospitals where they are treating people with a contagious and sometimes deadly virus. Already. And we are just getting started.
The thing is, if I’m standing on a railroad track and I see a train coming, I get out of the way. Politicians don’t see the train.