I just don’t know. And I don’t enjoy not knowing. Not knowing makes me feel unsafe, vulnerable, uneasy, and human.
Without watching a single newscast. Without reading many news articles on the latest COV-19 reports, I’m getting new information from everyday people like me, like you; from family and friends who have become pseudo reporters, informing me about the latest municipality that has decided to prioritize public safety over commerce. I’m hearing from social media how some cities are closing schools, quarantining the city; modifying how businesses operate, and even how people congregate for religious services.
And you know what makes all of this “real”? I’m receiving this information from people whom I trust. This isn’t coming from a wire service, or from some paid “talking head” reading prepared news copy. Real people are sharing their experiences, some of which are not pretty. Some people are losing their jobs. Some people are in financial peril or are dangerously close to it. Some people are ill and therefore even more susceptible to this pandemic.
This is bigger than toilet paper. This is unprecedented times for most of us. And while some are able to see the silver lining, and maintain the coolness of an experienced cardiologist preparing to perform major heart surgery, others are forced to contend with a reality for which they are unprepared. We can judge and chide folks for failing to have a financial back up plan, but guess what? All of us have an area of our lives that we would rather not expose. That said, a little humility and empathy is in order.
Are the local mandated social distancing measures too excessive? Is everyone over reacting? I suppose time will tell.
In the meantime, this virus has me feeling conflicted. For example, I love Starbucks. I visit my favorite store every week day. I’ve also developed bonds and have gotten to know the PEOPLE who work there. Is my penchant for espresso more important than the people who make my drink? What about me and them? Whose needs matters more? Or, when I need to replace perishable food items same day, I need a place to go and get what I need. What about those employees? Sure, I can use self-check out to minimize contact, but I’m already in the store. With employees who are working and vice versa.
We live in a heavily-consumer based society. Even though e-commerce is dominating many industries such as retail, there is a person (for now), who must pack, ship, and deliver our items. If you shop online or order food, there is a PERSON involved in the transaction. So what is the right thing to do right now? For all of us? I have more questions than answers. And I feel conflicted about it.
What about you?