There is so much floating around the internet right now it's nearly impossible to keep your head on straight. Couple that with being told to self isolate and I can only imagine the number of people writing their own version of the end of the world. It's easy to ignore because it's ambiguous. It's easy to think you're not at risk because your're young. It's easy to ignore the numbers. It's easy, as the below image suggests, to sit on the couch for a few days. The truth of the matter is though, nothing about COVID19 is easy.
It's not easy because it's unknown. Scientists around the world are still studying the virus, trying to determine how it spreads, how to test, diagnose and treat it and maybe most important of all, how to create a vaccine to help keep us all safe from it. The unknowns of this disease and all of the he said / she said surrounding it, are only going to compound the problem. While the details are not easy to understand, the solution for the general population is, stay home and adhere to the social distancing guidelines which have been put in place.
Our grandparents were called to war, yes. Our grandfathers were drafted, loaded with weapons and shipped off to war. They were asked to kill people, watch their friends die and try to survive in the poorest of conditions. Our grandmothers were sent to factories, using any and all available resources to create products in support of their brothers, uncles, husbands and fathers who were out fighting and dying. This is different, there is no immediate enemy, no one to point to and blame. Maybe we are slow to act because we don't know or understand what we are fighting against. The solution too, is vague, stay at home? For some, it's difficult to comprehend how staying at home and "doing nothing" is actually doing everything.
The front lines are much different with this disaster, instead of young men with guns, we have nurses and doctors with the worlds best medical equipment and supplies. While many are being asked to stay at home, there are still thousands contributing to the fight, risking their own lives to help the sick and dying. So if your'e one of the "lucky ones" who has been asked to remain at home, consider taking some of your time to thank those out fighting. Send cards, flowers, letters, coffee or snacks to your nearest hospital, they'll be needing some encouragement as the situation worsens.
My two cents of hope is this. Instead of a planet divided with some countries building alliances to destroy others, the planet is trying its best right now, to work together. Instead of loading planes with troops and ammunition, we have countries sending healthcare workers and medical supplies across the globe. When things go wrong everyone wants to point fingers and find someone to blame, but let's try to avoid this. The fact of the matter is, we have a dangerous virus sweeping the planet, infecting hundreds of thousands in its path. We have few resources at our disposal now for fighting back, so the plan instead is to slow its pace, prevent the spread while we build up our defenses.
If this isn't enough for you, if you're still looking for someone to blame - well look in the mirror. We only have ourselves to blame for how things are going. This is a zoonotic disease, it came from the earth, the earth that we have been taking advantage of and destroying for the last 100 years. Maybe this is Mother Earth fighting back [punishing] us for all of the harm we've inflicted upon her. The disease is spreading so rapidly thanks, in part, to the infrastructure we've developed. The last few years have seen a huge increase in global travel - digital nomads, international trade and relations means that humans are moving about this planet at speeds and frequencies higher than ever before. Can we really be mad that the virus decided to come along for the ride?
What you should not do is point your finger at China, Yes, the virus originated there, but that's done and over with, its everywhere now. This is not the "China virus" (no matter what our Cheeto believes) and its unfair and unjust to refer to it in this way. The only thing that labeling is going to lead to is racism, stigma and unfair treatment of thousands of innocent Asians across the globe. As the outbreak began to spread here in Daegu, some started referring to us as "Wuhan 2" and at the time it never really bothered me. I now realize why, because as much as I consider Korea my second home, I'm still white and to everyone else in the world that's all they can see about me. So never will I, on first look, be associated with Asia or have to feel the effects of racist and bigoted beliefs because of it. For everyone, like me, who falls under the blanket or white privilege, a home to stay in, a job to return to when conditions improve and family and friends to turn to when you're worried, do your part to look out for everyone else.
If you don't know how, I've come up with a few ideas.
Emptying my Head
I'm an overthinker, my brain is always on overdrive. Sometimes the thoughts are pertinant to life, and other times they're just a trove of wonder. They're usually about, related to or in memory of travel. When they're good I like to share.