“We are all in this together” was a popular refrain in the early weeks of this current pandemic.
Communities rallied to do the right thing by separating ourselves from each other, including loved ones. Like so many tragic or challenging events, the best of human nature can often be observed. However, in recent weeks that cooperation seems to be fracturing.
In some communities, people have been rebelling against the stay-at-home orders in a misguided attempt to politically pressure the authorities to reopen the economy before medical professionals say that it is safe to do so.
In spite of the fact that both federal and state governments have agreed upon the process and timelines required to safely open our economy, these individuals are trying to take control of a process that they do not understand.
The definition of investment is the commitment to an action today for a return in the future. We as a society have invested precious time staying at home in order to help stem the tide of the movement of the coronavirus and it is paying dividends.
The benefits that we will reap if we act according to the guidance of science and not political expediency will be measured in both human lives and our future economic recovery.
Patience Is A Virtue
We are not under Martial Law as some are insisting. This is also not “house arrest” or any other draconian measure applied by a totalitarian state. We are in a voluntary quarantine. A safety measure to save lives and limit the long-tern negative effects of the economic shutdown.
The volunteers, in this case, are us and our state, local and federal governments. We are in a process of cooperative effort that quite simply will take time. How long is still yet to be determined.
My mother use to say “patience is a virtue,” and that is exactly the virtue that we must aspire to today. Some Asian countries have done quite well in combating the virus in this regard as many of their societal norms are based on a focus on virtue and common good—the Golden Rule, the Eightfold Path, etc.
This allows them to work communally in order to combat this threat much more readily than individually mined societies of the west. In the United States, the most individually minded society on the planet, some are deciding that their personal comfort should come above all others’, potentially endangering the rest of us.
As a health professional, and Medical Director of a Specialty Hospital, I work at a site where potential infection is a real and persistent threat. As with most medical professionals I go not because I want to play the hero. I go to do my job.
If history and literature has taught us anything it is that most who seek heroism for heroism sake, are most commonly found in cemeteries. We, by fate alone, are the foot soldiers in this battle. We confront his threat daily at personal risk to ourselves and, if we become infected, to our families.
To those wishing to speed up the recovery and to end social distancing, I say that this is not time for political expediency. The virus knows no boundaries. Staying-at-home is working, and the re-starting of the economy is about to take place. We will get through this but only if we all cooperate. Take a deep breath, stay home and follow the lead of science.
None of us can “will” the virus out of existence, but our behaviors and actions can help it to burn out more quickly and less destructively that if we do not. I
We are all on this together, every time someone goes to a large gathering for political purposes, it is putting all of us at a greater risk. This is not about demonstrating who is Freer but show who is Safer.
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