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Thread: Our War on COVID-19

  1. #1

    Exclamation Our War on COVID-19

    Times are tough right now - physically, financially, and mentally - in Hawaii and around the world. Many of us have been self-quarantining since March, and have rarely been outside our homes in all that time. We miss family and friends and coworkers, we miss having a sense of security about our lives, we miss all the little things we normally overlooked that made our lives what they were. We're angry and snappy more often, when we're not numb, sad, or clinically depressed. A lot of what we knew and counted on in our lives has changed or simply disappeared. And the things we often turned to for comfort during rough times have also changed or disappeared - we can't hang with friends, we can't visit bars and restaurants, we can't go to gyms or even exercise safely in most public places. Sadly, we can't share breath, the literal meaning of aloha.

    All things are interconnected, but this may seem more obvious in Hawaii where multiple generations of families often live together, and the economy is based almost solely on just two industries: military and tourism. It seems as though everything we know, rely on, or participate in suddenly present a terrible risk.

    People miss their former lives and livelihoods so much that they they are willing to risk lives - their own and others - in order to bring back some sense of normalcy and financial security. Even as people continue to get sick and die, others are pushing for restaurants, bars, gyms, retail shops, sport and music events, and even schools to reopen. This is the kind of thing that only movie and TV criminals did until recently, a response to crisis that we expected of comic book villains, not our neighbors. In this case though it's not greed that drives people to push for reopening, it's intense desperation. In war time, what would we do to protect and feed our families? Nearly anything of course, even things that endangered us or other people.

    We are indeed at war now, but this time our enemy is a disease rather than a nation. We follow the directions of scientists rather than generals. Bullets and bombs are useless; instead, our weapon is isolation. That is the only weapon that works. As in any other war lives are turned upside down and put at great risk, especially those of civilians living on the front line. That's all of us today. When we look out our windows it doesn't look like we're on the front line, until we remember that our enemy, the disease, has snipers in position aiming at our doors. For those that must go out, our protective gear isn't kevlar and helmets, it's masks and social distancing.

    There was a time when news of the number of deaths alarmed us, but after a while we got strangely used to it. Maybe we stopped paying attention to it. More deaths in the Middle East? More deaths in Sudan? More COVID deaths right here at home? What used to alarm us is now just a blur, maybe not even a top headline anymore. Sickness and avoidable death have become a part of our daily lives, especially here on the front line. Unfortunately, when sickness and avoidable death become normalized some of us give up the fight. We surrender, we lay down our weapons, and maybe even encourage others to do the same. But the enemy is still there, and the war continues even if we choose to ignore it. That's when we inevitably become part of the statistics, just another number that people around us don't pay attention to anymore.

    Like all things, even wars, COVID-19 is temporary. It's important to remember that yes, it will end, even if our best strategists don't know exactly when. When the war is finally won, victors like you and I will lay claim a landscape that looks very different. Not due to the physical damage of bombs, but due to the financial damage the fight caused. Rather than flattened buildings and destroyed bridges, we will see "closed" signs. How many closed signs the fight causes is up to us; when our frustration causes us to put down our weapons and walk into the war zone unprotected the fight will be even more devastating, and the more closed signs we will see when this is all over.

    As in any other war, we stand the best chance of survival when we support the health and safety of everyone around us. When fighting a disease rather than a nation, that means wearing our PPE and staying away from one another. COVID-19 is spread person to person, so the more we stay away from each other the sooner we win this war, the sooner our economies can restart, the sooner we can begin our new lives. Don't ignore the horrifying statistics, don't allow sickness and avoidable death to become so normalized that you lay down your weapons and walk into the minefield. I don't know you, but I value your life. You and I are fighting on the same side, doing what we can to defeat our common enemy, and the sooner this is all over the better. When we stay safe in our homes, we stop the enemy from spreading, and we WIN.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Our War on COVID-19

    Covid “Caution fatigue” has set in for many people. Those who are determined to do the best they can to avoid catching covid (or unknowingly spreading it to others) seem to be hanging in there a bit better than those that only half-heartedly took notice in the beginning. Plus the "throw caution to the wind" attitude of our President has seemingly given permission to those who are maxed out with trying to now just stop trying. What a mess we have, and the mixed messages from ALL the different levels of government is so confusing, it make it near impossible to really know what is science-based info vs nutty assumptions and directions.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Our War on COVID-19

    It's been like the movie "Groundhog Day."

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