Before the onset of the coronavirus, I was one of those people who always tried to look at life from a positive viewpoint. Anyone out there remember the self-help books that talk about creating your own reality? Believe it and it will happen. Or as they said in the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come.”
Now I am looking at the glass, half-filled and I am seeing the contents evaporate as my hopes for humanity become shaken. Why are so many of us so selfish? How hard is it to wear a mask? Is it really that challenging to listen to the advice and guidance of doctors and scientists?
I see safety hazards every time I venture out: non-related people congregating without masks or distancing, people wearing masks on their chins, patrons sitting inside restaurants without adequate distancing or circulation. Others tell me I’m just being a worrier. I’ve had people attempt to assure me that my perceptions regarding the spread of the coronavirus is flawed, “Because we’ve just been getting more tests” and “if the government has things open, it must be safe.”
I’ve heard people say, “Our President is doing a good job. The best he can do under the circumstances.” Really?
So why is it that the United States, one of the richest countries on the globe, have one of the highest rates of infection? A look on a map shows the U.S. in the same category, colored a bright red, as Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, and Argentina. Meanwhile Italy, Great Britain, Canada, South Korea and Japan are doing a superior job of keeping the numbers down by providing faster test results and contact tracing.
More than 160,000 Americans have died and they’re still dying. The shuttering of businesses has resulted in job losses which translates into housing and food insecurity. In other words, there are people without enough to eat who are worrying about whether they will have a place to live next week. In one of the richest nations in the world our citizens are going hungry.
One way of dealing with the current situation is to see the glass as half full. Many of our politicians are seeing the world this way. Assure yourself that the likelihood of actually contracting the coronavirus is very small. Relax. Don’t worry yourself with precautions. Try to wash your hands, wear a mask when it’s required; but don’t stress about it.
Following that line of thinking you can have that family reunion you’ve been planning and meet your friends for lunch—no reason to suffer. Life is short and you might get hit by a bus crossing the street so have a good time. If we all conduct business as usual, we’ll all have jobs and the economy will be fine.
This way of seeing reality only works if you never step inside a hospital, never watch or listen to news reports, and know absolutely no one who is a health care worker.
You do create your own reality. How serious is this current moment in history? For me, in the reality I’ve chosen, I live in a world where people’s lives matter. I’m scared. I’m heartbroken by the injustices I’ve witnessed. Which is why I’m looking forward to the General Election in November. I’m visualizing a positive outcome when once again my glass will be half full.