I’m dismayed by many my age in the US and their reactions to COVID-19. It was part of the impetus to fully leave my last social media hold out (instagram) in July. Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to think about how this might impact my friendships with others who continue, despite soaring cases, to act as if everything is fine. In doing so, I keep coming back to this question: How do I trust someone with my SOUL when they are reckless with my health and that of the wider community?
I don’t have any good answers and I expect to continue to have a lot of tough conversations. For now, I recognize the following that adds to the complexity:
- That my approach of remaining in full quarantine (including things like grocery pickup) isn’t doable for everyone and partially comes from a place of privilege
- That we can each do our part to keep our community safe with day to day personal actions. Actions impacting environmental impact is a good analogy to hold in your mind.
- That our government in the US is failing us by pointing to individual actions people can take over enacting “politically fraught public health rules that may actually make a difference, like closing businesses and mandating mask wearing” (pulled from a recent NYT article). Again, much of this reminds me of environmental problems where there needs to be industry wide regulations.
- That problems with misinformation in technology is only adding to the chaos and what people view as “truth”/who people trust to give “truth”.
Sigh. For now, I stick to hugging trees rather than hugging people and will continue to live in a “stay at home”/quarantine existence. Ultimately, it’s not my health I’m worried about (I’m young, have great health insurance, have access to a solid hospital, have no pre-existing conditions, etc) but my community’s health. On tough days when all I want to do is see loved ones, I ask myself this question to recenter myself: Will this action be a step away or towards a world where I’ll be able to see my grandma safely? Sometimes I replace grandma with another loved one who is immunocompromised or a future wedding I’m really excited about. If you find yourself struggling to follow guidelines and stay consistent, I urge you to find a question like this that you can pause to ask yourself.
Worst case, think of my grandma. She’s pretty freaking adorable and I frankly don’t want her to die alone: