COVID-19 And The End Of Complacency

First off, let me just say I thought COVID-19 was the name of the virus and the sickness you got was just a sickness. Apparently, I was wrong. COVID-19 is the sickness and SARS-CoV-2 is the virus. Personally, I think they need to come up with better names for both the disease and the virus. Although, to be fair, COVID-19 has done an admirable job of striking fear into the hearts of the world.

But, let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before the first COVID-19 World Tour 2020 shirts start popping up.

As of this writing, we’re still semi-confined to our houses. I say semi-confined because essential businesses are still operating. Restaurants are doing take-out orders, grocery stores are still operating, and half of Albuquerque is at Lowe’s at any given point in time. Drive around the city and there’s still traffic, albeit less than usual. But all the fun stuff – libraries, bars, movie theaters, that Savers thrift store I love to visit, gyms, etc – are closed. Those of us still fortunate enough to have jobs are primarily working from home and school is moving to an online model of education.

The online world is filled with people saying, “When this is all over, I’m gonna…” It could be go bar hopping, or hug friends, or go to a movie, or have wild, drunken sex in a truck stop parking lot, or whatever. All the stuff we used to do without thinking about it. Pumping iron and listening music. Hitting a punching bag. Shaking someone’s hand without worrying about a slow, lingering death. Interacting with people face-to-face. Checking a book out at the library or buying used pants. Little things. The stuff of normal day-to-day life.

These are weird times. And whatever son-of-a-bitch keeps saying, “May you live in interesting times” needs to shut the hell up. But it’s important to realize this isn’t forever; it’s just an intermission. This is a chance to sit at home and wonder if all the crap we used to think was important really is all that important. Or maybe all the stuff we took for granted was really the important stuff all along.

A weird thing people do is put things off, thinking there will always be the time to do something. And then, when it’s well and truly gone for a while, we realize the right time to do that thing was always right then and there. Take that trip. Adopt that cat. Hug that friend. Write that damned book. If there’s one thing we should be taking away from this whole mess it’s that putting things off for some made-up reason isn’t doing us a damned bit of good.

We got complacent. We thought all that stuff would always be there because it’s free or cheap or sounded like it might be hard or uncomfortable or that thing would always be there.

Someday this pandemic is going to end and we’ll all be free to go back to whatever passes for normalcy. The question is how much of that normalcy was frivolous and how much of it was actually important and worth returning to?

5 thoughts on “COVID-19 And The End Of Complacency

  1. ALOT of it was frivolous. I wish I could say I was optimistic about humanity learning the lessons here also, but it tends to be incredibly short sighted and forgetful. Morel likely instead of preparedness, self-reliance and appreciating the little, important things in life, all they’ll take away is that the governments that failed to prepare for this are the answer to everything.

    • I think the fact that we now know, beyond a doubt, that the government is largely incompetent during a crisis is an important lesson. You’re right, though, hopefully some measure of self-reliance will trickle into everyone.

  2. Love it Eric.. we’re in full lockdown essentially – only supermarkets and pharmacies really open.. weird with no pubs or restaurants in this country.. virtually part of our national identity.. but we are ‘flattening the curve so to speak let’s hope we stay that way.. only – I say only but wach one a tragedy – 98 deaths up to yesterday. The Irish response community wise and governments wise has been incredible if not inspiring for me.. you are so right in what you say.. I reckon a lot rethinking needs to be done… but will we really learn? Hope so ☘️🎈stay safe my friend

    • We can get still package takeout from Abq’s many, many taprooms, but it’s not quite the same as sitting on the patio drinking an Imperial Stout. We broke 400 cases here in NM, but only 7 deaths so far. Nationwide, it’s a bad scene, but my state is pretty reclusive by nature so we haven’t been hit as hard.
      I like to think we’ll learn some things – like putting people in massive cubicle farms isn’t a great idea – but time will tell. Stay safe, bud.

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