Is it time? Yes, it is time. Time to talk about the uncomfortable realities we learned in the last 15 months because knowledge is power and in order for history not to repeat itself, we must learn from it.
- We were and continue to be unprepared for pandemics. And I don’t just mean isolation so pandemics don’t spread when they arise, I mean dealing with a healthcare system which does not keep the population healthy.
Did you have a horrible healthcare experience in the last 15 months? Surgery postponed, no access for a sick loved one, maybe no access to any care, not able to grieve in person, feeling like mental health care is only for the rich, not sure who to call when the walls cave in? The system is broooookkkkkken and will take more than America’s hottest new bachelor (Bill Gates) to fix it.
And don’t get me started about ventilators and PPE and hydroxychloroquine and mask
policies and inequities and the homeless. Plus, why do we still not know where the virus
came from (Bats, Pangolins, Labs)? And why is the vaccine distribution so unequal?
- Who or what will stop the lies? Six months after the election, 25% of Americans (including many members of our elected government) believe that Donald Trump is the “true president”. I have heard that the vaccine causes diabetes, herpes, blindness, blood clots, will implant a tracking device in you, will implant aborted fetuses in you, is the sign of the devil, and will make you sterile. None of this is true but if you say it enough and convince the right people, the truth doesn’t really matter.
The truth always matters.
- Question authority because systems can do better. Government, education, capitalism, racism, sexism, prisons, police, infrastructure. The policies we live under might need some tweaking because they are evolving as we evolve. The world is a giant snow globe and as the snow settles again, we can walk down the same paths and have the same results or CHANGE. The previous administration blew up government, lots of smart people are trying to change education, Dodgecoin and Jeff Bezos and others proved capitalism is broken, George Floyd taught us that racism and police policies need work, #Metoo did the same for women, and why did it take so long for someone to begin to make plans to rebuild America? Real projects, real building, real things over virtual things.
- Life is simple. Love yourself, love nature, love other people, find a way to make enough money and don’t leave messes. Maybe we did learn it all in kindergarten but it took the pandemic to remind us what is important. This blog is not really that important (unless that one thing makes you change), your Facebook, Snapchat, Insta, Tik Tok feeds are not that important. Check in once a day if you must do social media but create more and consume less is a great summer mantra for all of us.
- The kids are all right. Headachey (Not a word but so what), annoying, boring, stressful, memorable, challenging, chaotic, slow, tiring, frustrating, painful, these are the adjectives the kids used today when I asked for one word to describe the schoolyear. They also learned tech skills, perseverance, tolerance, empathy, time management and adaptability. Plus, all the lessons about race and gender and equality and priorities and civility and I could go on but when we let the virus be our teacher, we see that some simple life lessons came through. And maybe understanding where we’ve been will help us move forward in the right direction.
- Have some fun people. Summer is here and parties are being planned. Here’s some good intel, be one of the first to throw one so that others will have to invite you to theirs. Go low key with a potluck in the plaza or turn the Moose Lodge into Studio 54. Give it a theme like Christmas in July or just have that couple over for dinner who would walk their dog by your house making you think, “Hmmmm, when the pandemic is over, I’d like to get to know them better” (Yes, JGrey I’m talking about you). Humans like connecting with humans, act accordingly.
- Be gone vile pandemic. Sure, it’s not over and things are in no way normal but last weekend we went to a comedy show at Reel and Brand and the best laughs were non-Covid laughs. People are tired of it and ready to move on, art needs to keep this in mind.
- The people are speaking and they want clean water and air, they want to save the elephants and narwhals, they want a government that represents their interests, they want a livable wage and a sense of fairness where bigotry loses to empathy. We can get there after some uncomfortable decisions where polluters are called out and bad people stop winning.
June is here, summer is here, the vaccine is here which means it’s time to shake off this scratchy and uncomfortable blanket we’ve been carrying around for over a year and get back to what is important.
Now, go make plans for your potluck in the plaza.