Are you scared yet? Angry? Motivated? Tired?
Are you convinced yet this threat deserves your attention, your cooperation, your oh-so-minor sacrifice?
Even those who only believe what they hear from Donald Trump now have something to cause them concern.
It’s simple, really. The president was first predicting COVID-19 deaths that could be counted on your fingers. Then that it would be back to business by Easter. Yesterday, however, he conceded he had been wrong, that 100,000 to 200,000 coronavirus deaths are likely. Multiple times, he mentioned that worst-case scenarios predict as many as 2 million deaths. 2,000,000 people. Dead. In the United States.
Did that get your attention? Are you ready to protect yourself and others?
Let’s do this
The fix – the only fix available to us now – is to break the chain.
The disease is easily passed from person to person. The answer is to not encounter the virus in the first place. Since you cannot tell who might be carrying it, that means you do not interact with other people, or, when it’s necessary, you do so with both parties taking precautions.
“What?” some have screamed. “You want me to stay inside for weeks? Maybe months?”
Possibly, but you can do it.
In the movie “Blast from the Past,” Brendan Fraser’s family spent more than 35 years living in an underground bunker. In “Cast Away,” Tom Hanks spent four years all alone on a deserted island. In “The Martian,” Matt Damon spent more than a year and a half alone on Mars.
And you’re fussing because you’re being asked to spend a few weeks in your home, watching TV and surfing the Internet?
How do you do this? You just do.
The same way you get up and go to work even when you really, really, really don’t want to. The same way you visit your in-laws and just keep your mouth shut. The same way you let your husband scream at a sports event on TV.
You just do it.
To increase the odds you do not get sick. Maybe die. To protect your family and neighbors.
At 65 years old, I’m considered a high-risk target, even though I’m in pretty good health. My wife appears healthier than me except she has an autoimmune disease that – though it is well controlled right now – can make her much more vulnerable. Yeah, you probably have no idea how many people close to you are more susceptible to such a disease than you thought.
So, for them if not for yourself, rein in your expectations for an exciting life just for a few weeks.
Stay at home. Maintain social distancing if you absolutely must go out. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands.
Finally, do what you can to not lose control.
Read, watch television, play on the Web. If you’re lonely, call up someone to talk with. Hit up your social media messenger or text to exchange greetings and information with someone, particularly a person who you think might be lonely.
Just do it.
If we all committed ourselves into personal lockdowns, maybe we could keep that death toll below 100,000. If we don’t, then a million-plus body count is certainly possible.
Spread the word. Challenge your friends to help keep the death toll down. Shame them, if necessary, into staying as isolated as you. Whatever it takes.