Listening to Linda Rondstadt on repeat as I download video file after video file for post production work, I am shocked to find myself whimsically wondering when the time for human beings to reclaim their humanity will come. Yes, there is a virus swarming over the global community at present. Yes, it is bad. But no, we have not all found the beauty of life in this newfound way of life, and I fear, we may not find it in time to save ourselves.
This morning, while reports of the first one hundred deaths in the United States cycled in and out of the news, newer reports of spring breakers packing themselves along Florida beaches also surfaced. How could these young Floridians take such liberal chances with the lives of their neighbors? How could they assume that their own health would remain robust when so many others deemed healthy would die? I wonder at their idea of fun. Sure, my take on fun is playing Rumikub while my roommates and I shelter in place, eating strictly monitored recipes that will get us through an uncertain future in New York City, but there is a strategy and a self-preparedness that can be fun. It can be fun to know I am not actively infecting someone’s grandmother on the train. It can be fun to realize that I can work just as well remotely as I can in an office. It can be fun to convert my commute time into creative time. And it is fun knowing that I am not guilty of heightening our already terrifyingly high caseload curve.
Perhaps I sound a little righteous, and let me be clear, I feel a little righteous. I feel a righteous anger toward these beachgoers and viral naysayers. There is a pandemic currently spreading like wildfire and still human beings find ways to live in denial. Twisting reality to suit our own desires and conclusions is nothing new, certainly not in recent history. However, this disregard for our fellow man is getting old. I am tired of watching people decide for themselves that they are enough of a worry as it is, so the rest can kick a kite. I, for one, do not enjoy kicking kites. It’s far better watching them fly!
But that’s just it, isn’t it? People get the wrong ideas into their heads and soon nonsensical self-serving behavior becomes the norm. Denial doesn’t breed a faster global recovery; it merely causes more death, grief, and panic. Watching those idiotic beach goers, one could feel envious of their misplaced trust in their immune systems. Yes, they are young and healthy. But as we have seen in every country throughout history, youth and health are no protection from one another. None at all.