Fear is the New Normal – The Compassion of Compromise

It’s amazing how things work out sometimes. Was just going through my Twitter timeline and ran across this tweet:

I thought about it for a moment and made this response:

I’ll admit it… I’m pretty down right about now. I’m sick and fucking tired of being stuck at home, living on edge and in fear. Fear for my kids, my wife, my self, my family, my friends, my livelihood, etc.

I then ran across this on my FB feed that really spoke to me. I really needed this tonight. It doesn’t make things ‘better’ but it helps frame things in my mind. Originally shared by Paul Cooper.

Anxiety About Reopening

“I am seeing so much anxiety about resuming business, and so much anger about continued regulations. People are feeling the need to catapult to one side or the other, then fight the opposition.

Here’s my perspective, from a mainstream medical model. I think a lot of folks have fallen into the idea that social distancing was meant to stop the viral spread. It wasn’t-it was meant to SLOW it while we put medical infrastructure in place. It has worked. We have, in most parts, not been overwhelmed like we likely would have been without protective measures. In the meantime, our testing procedures have gotten better. We’ve increased our ventilator count. We’ve gotten a little better handle on PPE supply chains, and many have helped by making masks and gowns. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than it was seven weeks ago.

A vaccine is a long way off and not everyone will choose to get it. That is their choice. At some point, people have to be systematically exposed to begin the building of (hopeful) herd immunity. We will likely begin to experience a real increase in cases after reopening. Ideally, that exposure is controlled and calculated, in phases, to allow our medical community to respond adequately, and reduce the number of severe or fatal cases. That’s where we are.

Whether you feel like opening is too soon, or not soon enough, we were never going to social distance this thing into nonexistence. You now need to proceed as your health, wallet, and conscience allow.

If you are medically vulnerable, you do not need to be a part of what is about to happen. Stay home if you can. If you’re not, or if your financial vulnerability trumps your health concerns, you need to proceed in ways that continue to protect yourself, and the elderly and medically vulnerable around you.

All of us need to calm down. Quit telling people who are financially struggling that they don’t care about human lives. Quit telling people who are truly at risk of dying from this virus that they are cowering in fear. Remember that until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes, you should probably be careful in your judgements and subsequent harsh words.

We don’t HAVE to choose an either/or proposition and fight. We could choose other ways to be. Examples include but are not limited to:

“I think this may be too soon, so I will continue to shelter myself, and pray/make masks/ check on those who can’t.”

“I really need to go back to work, so I will do so, but I will be careful and try to protect myself, my family, and those around me with healthy strategies.”

See how those positions allow each of us to do what we need to, and also respect those who are choosing differently?

One thing that allows us to do this is humility. I can acknowledge that I am not an epidemiologist/economist/whatever, that I am making decisions based on my understanding of complex subjects and my own personal health and financial situation, that I am not all knowing, always right, and an expert in all fields, and that each person around me is doing their best too. We can make different choices and still be a supportive community. We can learn and evolve in our understanding of these issues.

Give one another the benefit of the doubt and the compassion of compromise.

Much love and prayers for everyone in making their own personal decision.”

-Author Unknown

Stay safe friends. I miss you. 

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