THIS COVID-19 DIARY FOR MY KIDS… AND THEIR KIDS. Read our illustrious Week One HERE (complete with a can-do attitude & God-Is-Watching-Us hope). Our Week Two can be found HERE (chock-full of rationing & rage). Our Week Three was full of being fine, faithful & fabulous.
Five weeks down, four more to go (so Gov. Newsom & Mayor Garcetti tease May 15)… but I feel like much of this is just getting stupid now.
Before you attack me for having an opinion and sharing it on my own blog (gasp!) I’ll start with all the wonderful good we’ve done and felt and shared since my last entry: Baking. Easter service & brunch at home (dressed up). And Grandma’s 100th celebration with extended family via FaceTime (hell yes I put on a sequin gown).
An abundance of life-giving things have happened these last several weeks that I continue to be thankful for — my family is healthy, we are safe at home and are doing inexplicably well during this jacked up time (minus normal, human-nature squabbles about this that or the other). The important things are still good. We’re still good. Except…. I’ve read the facts and followed the data and I’m at my limit with accepting certain things just because we’ve been ordered to.
It hit me after my Grandma’s FaceTime party — all of us [family] have been safely sequestered in our own homes for the past 4 weeks, none of us have been ill, yet we couldn’t get together because the GOVERNMENT said we can’t? I was gobsmacked. And I don’t even use words like gobsmacked.
I soon started noticing things… like:
When everyone’s wearing their masks at stores (like we’re all supposed to, myself included) but then fiddling with it or taking it on and off to breathe or answer a phone call or show their face to the checkout clerk because they’re being carded for buying beer… what is that?! FACT THAT ANY DOCTOR OR SURGEON OR NURSE WILL TELL YOU: If you put on a mask, DO NOT TOUCH IT until you remove it for good with clean/washed hands — otherwise, you’re contaminating the mask with dirty hands which can then possibly now infect you and others. But you can’t enter a store without a mask on. But then you can touch it and/or flip it down to talk if you need to. See? (Stupid.)
When a handful of my *very well known* news reporter friends (here in Los Angeles) secretly reach out via text supporting various comments I’ve made about how California seems to be disregarding facts when creating public policy at this time (ie: not allowing hospitals/businesses to slowly begin operating again with caution despite our low numbers and containment, how some communities are now threatening fines for not wearing a face covering even if you’re standing on your own residential street). Because they’d be publicly lashed for digging deeper and/or sharing a logical POV about any of this for fear of getting reprimanded or fired…. (Scary and also stupid.)
When the Los Angeles County Health Director (Barbara Ferrer) includes the quote “you don’t need to wear a mask when you’re walking your dog in your neighborhood” in her most recent televised briefing, and then I go on a solitary walk around my own neighborhood and see several solitary folks coming out of their own houses to empty their own trash into their own garbage cans and then walk back into their own house WITH A MASK ON. So then I get home and post a snarky vent on my own Facebook profile questioning the logic of living in fear and challenging us all to “be smarter” with what we’re sheepishly doing because we’re afraid…. and then get hollered at about how I’m a bully / uninformed / flat-out wrong. That’s some peer-totalitarian nonsense that frankly has me more worried about what’s happening to reasonable public sense than what this virus is doing. SPECTRUM 1 NEWS HERE IN L.A. DID A STORY ON MY TAKE ON MASKS… WATCH HERE.
The biggest thing that weighs on me these days is herd mentality not based on data, not examining actual mortality rates categorized by age & pre-existing conditions, and ignoring likelihood of calculated risk. I was raised to trust government officials, honor police officers and respect local community leaders. But, so many numbers and actions now conflict that I can’t help but question things — are our basic freedoms under attack, is our common sense irrationally smothered by fear?
This virus is new and unknown, highly-contagious and absolutely tragic for elderly and immune-compromised (and sadly a very few others too, who don’t classify neatly into these categories). Yes. We. Need. Protection. And. Caution. (And face coverings at businesses and grocery stores are understood.) But when COVID-infected Chris Cuomo is still doing well enough to perform his nightly show on CNN and Tom [Hanks] & Rita [Wilson] are back in the U.S. and recovered (doing interviews) and Andy Cohen is decked in a freakin’ tuxedo continuing his on-air/online chats with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills… what does that tell you about this virus?!?! It tells me that the likelihood of getting it might be high, but chances are we’ll be ok. Balancing data-driven risk with common sense logic is paramount for all of us to get through this.
It also tells me I can walk around my neighborhood, by myself, without a face covering and have educated frustration about why others are smothering themselves in their driveways. For what?!
ME POSTING MY OWN FRUSTRATION ABOUT SHEEP MENTALITY, ON MY OWN FACEBOOK PROFILE, IS NOT ATTACKING YOU — even if you want nothing more than to read it as such. If you don’t enjoy freedom of thought, you’re welcome to keep scrolling. I don’t mind. (I’ve kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling with many of you the past several years… I don’t attack you on your Facebook profiles. Hm. Maybe I should? Not my style.)
What I do aim to do, if and when I express an alternative perspective, is to ignite us (myself included) to think, to question, to preserve what little quality of life and freedoms we have right now.
I speak up to protect our good sense (which disappointingly seems to be nonexistent with so many now, thanks to fear), incite sincere curiosity about information we’re being told vs government guidelines that don’t align with what medical experts have communicated and remind ourselves that common sense (based on facts) should always trump fear. The chances I might carry the virus after being sequestered in my home for the past month and that, if I go out on a run, a single droplet will fly from my mouth and latch onto the wind and then land in your nostril from 20 feet away…. well that’s just farfetched. Some might say it’s stupid. (But some of you probably couldn’t get past my usage of the verb ‘trump’ in the previous sentence to get this far?)
Yes, listen to credible doctors and experts. Yes, follow medical recommendations. Yes, talk and vent and keep ourselves expressive and flawed and imperfectly human as we all have the freedom and right to let our emotions out and trudge through this to figure it out.
Because I fear this whole thing is starting to get stupid. And I fear that we, and our kids, might be turning totally stupid with it too. Not on my watch.