Are People Just Stupid?

Every day The Washington Post sends me Coronavirus updates. Today the big news is that people traveled and gathered for Thanksgiving and more people than ever are now ill and hospitalized (and dying). Then I read this:

Being told to stay away from family and friends at the holidays is difficult, especially during an extended public health crisis, and there is plenty of evidence that the pandemic is exacting a severe psychological toll. Depression and anxiety are up, alongside drug use and alcohol consumption. Suicidal thoughts are increasing, particularly in young adults. Here are some ways experts say we can be there for loved ones, even if we can’t be there. And a psychologist’s advice about how we can keep our own sadness from evolving into depression

I lost my dad to multiple sclerosis when I was 20. He was only 45. I miss him every day of my life and wonder all the time what it would have been like to have known him well into my adult years. My hero is a woman, an artist, who is exactly my dad’s age, 95. I love our conversations and her perspective on things. She’s awesome. I’m grateful to know her and love her dearly. She’s been virtually isolated at home since this started, but I have yet to hear her whine about it. We all wish we could be with our friends and family, but …

To me it is absolutely totally OBVIOUS that the best way for people to “be there for their loved ones” is to fucking BE THERE meaning HERE on the planet and ALIVE for them.

I’m willing to admit that my need to “gather” is not as strong as many peoples’. I know that. But even IF I had a need to gather, I don’t see myself being “sad” because I can’t. I can SEE that there are legitimate, concrete obstacles in existence right now as far as “gathering” is concerned. My emotion? I don’t have one relative to this unless resignation is an emotion. Or bewilderment that people don’t seem to get that the risk to gathering and traveling is NEVER being able to gather AGAIN. That is pretty clear to me. I have a lot of friends and people I love, but none of them I love more than myself (first of all) and second, I love them too much to want to risk their becoming ill and dying or being permanently damaged.

What’s with people? I’m sad there is a deadly virus. I’m not sad that it keeps me from “gathering.” I know “gathering” will happen and, in the meantime? Far, far far better for me and my friends for me to wander the wildlife refuge alone with my dogs and cranes than to hang out with my friends. And, when it comes to that, when I CAN hang out with my friends (locally), we do it in such a way that the risk is minimized as much as possible. I love them all the more because they respect themselves and me.

36 thoughts on “Are People Just Stupid?

  1. The advantage we have today in comparison to 1918 is that most of us can isolate and still see our loved ones. Still engage in fun activities even though we may not be physically in the same place. We too often look at things from a deficit. This is an opportunity to try something new. Learn a new language, take up drawing, catch up on reading, learn a new card game etc. It’s all about shifting mindset.

      • I wonder that too. I think of my parents generation who lived through WWII, many of them did not see friends or relatives for years and they did not have the comfort of regular phone calls or video chats. Occasionally they might be lucky to get a letter, written months earlier and they could only hope they would be reunited one day. I am sure that did take it’s toll but they got on with things because that is what you had to do.
        Here in Australia the state borders are finally being opened to everyone after months of restricted travel, especially for those folk in Victoria who had a 112 day lock down. It was hard for them. I read many blog posts from people desperate to see family and friends but they hung in there, stayed home, wore the masks, did what they were asked. Victoria has now gone over 30 days with no new cases and there are no active cases in the state. Australia can look forward to a bit more freedom this summer but we still have to be careful. As people start to move around again the risks increase. I wish that people in the USA and other countries would realise that sacrifices have to be made for things to get better.
        I’m not a gatherer either which I think helped me during the early weeks when my part of Tasmania was completely locked down and later when unnecessary journeys were banned. I didn’t see my sister for about three months but we kept up a routine of phone calls and chatting online and that certainly helped me as the only people I saw during that time were the people at the local shop and the odd grocery delivery person and dog walkers.

        • You guys did amazing. Summer saw us having fewer outbreaks in the states that followed sensible restrictions. But our stupid ass president held big rallies and those states has problems. I agree with you about our parent’s generation. I don’t think they expected everything to be good for them all the time. It has been for us, mostly, and even better for our children and their children. I’ve seen my friends here a few times in these months and every meeting was held safely and each time was really wonderful. But with the Internet and telephone we can do a lot of things that our parents had no dreams of being able to do. ❤

  2. Agree!!! It makes me sad. I’m thankful my family thinks of one another. We have already cancelled a Christmas “gathering” that we try to have each year. We love each other that much. Love you my friend. ❣

  3. ANd, not even looking on the bright side, I simply nod to discern the workability. We’ll be around the ZOOM Tree. Heck, it’s a new and different experience, and that is in itself a gift for us all to unpack together.

    • I agree. Other than the incredible sad reality of people being sick and dying, I’ve liked this year. I don’t want to go back to whatever that was before. For me there have been lots of good lessons and good work.

      • Me as well. I in no way mean to minimize others’ pain and loss, though it’s been Covid Blessings for me… just dialed right into where I had already begun heading with my work 2 weeks before the shutdown, and I protected the momentum like children. Plus, I have connected with and participated with so many new people from around the world that I would have otherwise not been able to do.

        Yes, lots of good lessons and hard work. Well said.

          • Excellent. Good for You! I dropped Consultant work in Architecture and Construction Administration and turned my sails to tack into the wind of only being a Tarot Reader, Author, and Astrology Artist instead of all of them. I was just trying to do too much before, and depletion indicates mis-spent efforts. I appreciated the shutdown’s help in getting me to stay the course of my massive professional ballast dump.

  4. For me, this has been an opportunity to really get to know what the people in my life are made of. Can’t stand to be alone? Just used me I guess. Can’t delay gratification? Hmm that’s not my type. Don’t care if it’s not about you? Ah, myopic if not downright selfish. Still wearing gloves even though we’ve learned that surface contact isn’t the means of transmission if you just wash your hands? A bit too paranoid for me. Willing to sit six feet apart in the park no matter the weather with our masks on? Ah, you are my people. Not constantly whining about the before times and how you hate the new normal? Let’s be BFFS.

  5. I hoped it was only those who had already recovered from the virus that were the ones doing the travelling. I can’t imagine why those who live far apart would travel long distances to potentially expose other family members to the virus. And as you’ve mentioned, for families who live nearby, there are ways of enjoying each other’s company at a respectable distance.

  6. My son often intoned, “I hate stupid people” that of course was when he was a teen. Now he’s 32 and that phrase was recently heard from his lips again. This time I didn’t try to soften it but agreed. I can’t wait until there is a resolution. Perhaps it will require strict travel bans. Maybe it will take the form of teeth to the “no entry with out a mask” that will require wearing it over the nose and mouth! I don’t know. At the university I am being required to have a weekly COVID screening test. And I’m more than okay with that! We are doing the zoom meetings with family and though it is different it is still good to see and hear them in real time…. Stay smart!

  7. so true and yet sad , i have no problem staying away from people as much as i can, i dont mind the alone time with my humorous thoughts, the problem , i mean one of many, is that people dont know how to be self entertained.

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