What I’ve Learned In The Last Week

 

I’ve learned that whenever Anthony Fauci speaks, I listen. He has been the most honest and direct voice in speaking to the American public. We may not like to hear what he has to say, but the man doesn’t sugar coat the truth. He is giving us the worst possible scenario, if we don’t take action, but he is also giving us hope, if we make the sacrifices that are necessary right now.

I’ve learned that panic is understandable. There are so many whose lives are fragile to begin with. Throwing this type of stress and levels of restriction at them make it difficult to function. Then there are those who panic when two inches of snow is forecast. Throw in a pandemic and the roof comes off the building. This is what happens when people sense a loss of control. They attempt to gain whatever control they can in their lives and buying supplies is a beginning. Their immediate world becomes safe for the moment, and that’s and understandable human reaction.

I’ve learned, once again, that there is a special place in heaven for first responders. Those people who walk into fires when everyone else is driving as quickly as possible in the other direction .We sometimes forget that they also  families also and yet they’re out there working our communities. I pray they all stay healthy.

I’ve learned that it is possible for our political parties to work together and agree on what may be best for the country. How sad that it takes this type of situation to bring about that type of cooperation.

I’ve learned that some young people in this country just don’t get it. While it’s natural for the young to feel they are healthy and immune to what’s going on, the ignorance and indifference they show to other member of their respective families and communities is disheartening and infuriating. It’s unfortunate that the stereotype of the “me first” mentality of young people is plastered on TV’s as they party in bars and social gatherings while the rest of the country attempts to alter their lives for the greater good. They don’t understand that this isn’t about me, or you…it’s about US. Their cavalier attitude and not understanding that asymptomatic carriers will only reduce our chances of controlling this virus is hard to comprehend. Again, the majority of young people are being responsible, but there is a large segment that doesn’t get it, or just doesn’t care.

I’ve learned that the top officials in the Clearwater Beach area of Florida who refuse to close the beaches to spring breakers are being driven, not surprisingly, by greed. While the rest of the country is attempting to practice social distancing, young breakers are carrying on as if nothing is happening in their world. Even more disturbing is the attitude of the officials in these counties.
Councilman David Allbritton- “Beaches are an economic driver for us. Let’s see what happens in the next week or so, and then after that.”
City Manager Greg Mims- “There is not a lot of will to close beaches.”
Sheriff Bob Gaultieri- “I woud not support closing the beaches. With all the cancellations and business closures, people are going to need some sort of outlet. This is going to be around for a while.”
Really? I could go on but what’s the point. Money talks. It doesn’t matter that all these young people will scatter across the country after break is over and probably come to a town near you. By the way, where are the parents of these young college aged kids and why didn’t someone sit them down and say…NO, NOT THIS YEAR. Or is that not good for their fragile egos and self confidence. Maybe if we gave them a participation trophy their attitude might change. Sorry,..but  it’s discouraging to watch.

Eighty years ago, American’s did what they had to do. They rationed food and gas, worked overtime in factories and sent their children to war for years. It has been called it The Greatest Generation for a reason. While this situation is not nearly in the same ballpark, it does provide a glimpse into our mentality, attitude and ability to sacrifice for the greater good. Not for years, but maybe a few months. Are we up to the challenge?

If history has taught us anything, it has shown that there will be a reckoning of sorts when this is over. There will be a large mirror held up in front of us individually and as a nation. It will judge how we responded as a country, as individual communities, as friends, and as families.

This will define us for years to come. How it does remains to be seen.

68 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned In The Last Week

  1. colinandray

    Hi George. As much as I would love to add to all that … I can’t. You said it all.

    I have said to a few people here that I am constantly puzzled at how we ever became the dominant species on this planet. There is so many “me first .. screw you” personalities, which become more common as the threat level increases, that I just shake my head in despair. Conversely, I really believe that our species will be forced into totally re-evaluating their needs and priorities as a result of COVID-19, and that can only result in changes to the good! Great post George. Colin.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Colin. I hope you’re right and that we really take a step back and re-evaluate our lives and focus on what’s most important. Maybe the end result will be worth the sacrifice.

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  2. John W. Howell

    Well said, George. We used to live in Port Aransas TX (another spring break destination) and I can assure you city officials think nothing of risking the lives of the locals in favor of the drunken kids on the beach. We move last year before the break and have never been happier. This year the first break went on as usual and then finally the Governor put a halt to the town father’s irresponsibility. Now the town council is free to say, “What could we do?” when the Chamber of Commerce comes a calling about lost revenue. Kids are kids and somewhere adults have to tell them to ” Pipe down and go to your room.” I blame the adults for being spineless in the face of their children. I also hope that any grandparent who is “lucky” enough to have one of these revelers in the family avoids them like the plague. Another well-done piece.

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  3. LA

    I’ve seen things all over the place. I’m tired of blaming one another though. Leaders have made decisions…they’ve been in a tough spot, no matter what party they belong to. There is no rule book on how to handle this, and everyone has an opinion, but there are no right answers or wrong answers but just a bunch of people trying….

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    1. George Post author

      I’m not blaming our leaders. They’ve made some mistakes but also some good calls. You’re right, there isn’t a handbook on how to handle a situation like this. My issue is with those people, young or old, who blatlently disregard guidelines that were put in place to keep everyone safe. To ignore that is irresponsible and selfish. That’s just my opinion.

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  4. samfiftysomething

    I’m finding it all very interesting, watching human behaviour, at this time. Here in the UK, I have to say, it’s not only some young people who are acting in the same way as you explain, but also some elderly people who are actually rebellious and not wanting to adhere to the advice.

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    1. George Post author

      Oh, I agree. The elderly can be pretty stubborn. I have a 93 year old aunt who insists on going out to the store so she can buy bread to feed the birds. We had to have a conversation about that..:)

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  5. Sorryless

    Damn if that doesn’t say it all. I used to wonder what happened to that thing called accountability, but now I have to hope sacrifice hasn’t become a foreign concept as well.

    These kids want their “fun” but at what expense? The very idea that risk is involved that will not only affect them but possible many others SHOULD be deterrent enough. But I guess not. Sadly. And shame on these officials who cannot see through the cash cow of spring break.

    Well done, sir.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you. This type of irresponsible and ignorant behavior from both young and old enough to know better is disturbing. We aren’t more than a few days into this and people are already complaining. My fear is that some people will do this for a week or two and then go back to their lives, regardless of whether it’s contained. I hope I’m wrong.

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  6. Dale

    Well done, George. I don’t understand. Well, no, I do understand as I have two young adults in my home. They feel they are indestructible and I tell them that while they are, they could be putting others who are not so strong in danger. Mine have mostly listened.

    That said, shame on the beach owners. When this hits closer to home, I wonder what they’ll say then? Me, me, me… shaking my head.

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  7. George Post author

    Thank you, Dale. I’m not surprised your sons have listened. After all, they have a great role model..:) I’m sure once this hits closer to home for them, and I’m sure it will, they will complain about funding and help from the government.

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  8. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

    We seem to have lost the collective “we” mentality and have turned more towards making decisions based on personal gain… or at least minimizing personal sacrifice as much as possible. Where we end up after all this is over, and how long it will take to get there will be a true test of our humanity. Great post!

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  9. murisopsis

    Excellent exposition on the situation. However it isn’t just the youth – I’ve heard several mature adults poo-poo the precautions. Sadly they will not be the ones who suffer. My in-laws (86 & 87) are isolating themselves from family and friends alike. I can’t fault them at all as I’m isolating as best I can too! Stay safe and healthy!

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    1. George Post author

      I know. My aunt is 93 and all she wants to do is go out and get 20 loaves of bread to feed the birds outside. She doesn’t get that she shouldn’t be out there driving around.

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  10. cupcakecache

    My parents went through the great depression successfully and taught me many life skills. Parents today would be wise to pass these life skills on instead of going to yoga, tm, having a life coach to cope with the world. Perhaps we need a dose of common sense and a sense of our own health and invincibility. While we don’t want to become cry babies and isolate ourselves, we can still enjoy ourselves and not panic at the drop of the hat. All things in moderation.

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    1. George Post author

      That was a different time when sacrifice for the greater good was not anyone had to think about. Those lessons should be passed on, though I’m not sure some will listen.

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  11. cupcakecache

    All around me I see people out of necessity continuing to work because they have to and continuing to support small businesses because they want to and those running to wipe out the stores. We will always have selfishness in our society…leave some things for others and there will be those out to make a profit…or condemn…such is the nature of the beast. We should always take care with our health, finances, and community not just when the circumstances call for it.

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  12. Ann Coleman

    I always love your posts, George, and this one is no exception. We can’t panic, but we do have to act wisely. I don’t understand the mentality that allows for packed beaches and bars during Spring break, either on the part of the young people (they really are old enough to know better) or the civic leaders. I know these areas count on Spring breakers for money, but these are tough economic times for most people. My niece lost her 26-year old son last March, and this March she’s probably going to lose her restaurant…and sole source of income….as well. In times like these, we need to support each other, not hurt each other.

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  13. dfolstad58

    Lots of meat in your post George and I have to careful how long this comment is. I think government at the municipal and city level take their direction from higher up. I think this is the situation where if people won’t voluntarily act for the greater good, then enforcement is needed. I remember from reading that blackouts were enforced in the UK during the bombing in WWII. I see this as similar. Freedom I know is enshrined in the USA but not at the cost of others freedom, or is it?

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    1. George Post author

      That’s an interesting question, Dave. I usually don’t care what other people do as long as it doesn’t create harm to someone else. Live your own life. In this case, the actions of some may lead to an adverse reaction to someone else. Now hypothetically, if you told me these thousands of young people wanted to ignore warnings, party as they see fit and live within the confines of their own world, then I’d say good for them. Whatever happens to them, happens. Their choice, their consequence. But if someone walks into my world with something that can make me sick, or worse, because they acted irresponsibly, then I’d have a problem with that. Freedom is a delicate thing and you raise a good point. My only thought is sometimes we have to do what’s necessary for the greater good.

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  14. Inkplume

    In Quebec, two days ago our premier appealed to musicians, professional athletes and other celebrities admired by young people to urge them to respect social distancing. Many responded with successful and creative appeals on social media. Today, he appealed to seniors! Some are, of course, isolated or lonely in the best of times, so they are reluctant to give up their mall walks, coffee meetings, etc. We should all make an effort to reach out to the elderly in our lives to 1) Make sure they are OK and conforming and, more importantly 2) Keep in touch with them so they don’t feel totally isolated and abandoned now and after this is over.

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    1. George Post author

      That’s an excellent point and wise to appeal to a group of people others can relate to. Keeping seniors occupied and well during these times is critical. Thank you.

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  15. roughwighting

    Is it amazing that I have noticed, and agree, with every single thing you say here? I don’t watch any of the politicians on that (too crowded) podium, but when Fauci speaks, I listen. For the most part, in our NE village I notice so much CARING and SHARING. Most people here are helping out the elderly, shopping for those who can’t, encouraging people to take take-out and keep the restaurants going. The young? (Those under 30) They have a lot to learn, and I hope they are learning the lesson of BEING there for each other – soon.
    Excellent post.

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    1. George Post author

      I agree, there are so many people who are helping out those who are less fortunate or at higher risk. There is a lot of good that comes out in times like these. I just wish, like you, that some these young people get it before it’s too late for them.

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  16. JT Twissel

    I agree with Colin – you’re said it all and brilliantly. Those kids partying on the beach are doing themselves no favors by being interviewed on air – those interviews have gone viral on social media. I never thought at any age that I was owed a drunken week on the beach.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you and you’re right, they are not doing themselves favors and my guess is this is going to come back and bite them somewhere down the road. And I don’t think their communities will be too happy to see them back in town.

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  17. Osyth

    George, I have been AWOL in a deep dark despair for too many moons but have emerged blinking in the light of a new dawn somewhat ironically feeling spry of the psyche once more at a time when the world is justifiably gripped by fear and anxiety as this novel virus cuts its emphatic swathe through entire countries and continents. I can’t really express how delighted I am to ‘find’ you here with your stylish wisdom and good sense, your empathy and your gut-punching reality. Long may your ride, good sire. I have hope that the human species will emerge from this crisis (and this too shall pass) more cooperative, more decent, kinder and more tolerant. It remains to be seen whether my hope has any credence 💫

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Osyth. It’s good to see you back and I do hope you’re doing better and that whatever despair you’ve felt has been lifted or is in the process of being lifted. Like you, I hope we learn from these experiences and come out of it better people. But as you say, it remains to be seen. Stay well!

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  18. Miriam

    So well said George. I think most young people are trying to do the right thing but, scarily, there’s always a minority that think they’re somehow not susceptible. Take care and I hope you and your loved ones stay safe. 🙏

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  19. George Post author

    Thank you Miriam. Yes, the majority of young people have addressed this in irresponsible way. And to be clear,some adults need a reality check also. I just hope we work it all out soon. Take care of yourself and stay well!

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  20. Ilona Elliott

    Where are their parents? I wondered that myself George. One of the things that is becoming clearer to me as I age is that there will always be those who just want to do what they want to do, right or wrong, and then there are those who just want to do the right thing. Living with that tension in a free society is a given, so I try really hard now to look to the “do the right thing folks”. Like Dr. Fauci, and all of us who don’t panic shop but just get what we need, who stay home and practice social distancing and who are intent on doing the right thing for the sake of all of us. My greatest fear, because this virus is so insidious and you can have it and barely feel symptoms, is that I would unknowingly pass it on to others. Especially now that I know a student in the same college building I was in ten days ago has tested positive. I’m not freaking out about it, but it is making me even more cautious knowing I really could be carrying that virus around with me. Stay safe and be well George.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you Llona. I just hope people choose to do the right thing so that, hopefully, we flatten out the curve and get back to our lives more quickly. Otherwise we will really be in it for awhile. All we can do is be cautious. Stay safe and be well.

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  21. thechickengrandma

    Well said George! I have to wonder if the parents of those partying beach kids ever told those kids “No”. I have a feeling they did not. Perhaps the cities those kids go back to should not admit them back in but quarantine them in the local high school gyms for the duration and make them sew masks for the first responders, and medical people….maybe not practical but it is a thought.

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  22. Margy

    I think the only action I have control of, and should take, is personal responsibility for my health (which currently means social distancing, hand washing, etc). Expecting that all the other people will do the same thing is, sadly, unrealistic. On the plus side, that other segment of the population may possibly, by virtue of their social mingling actions, do us all the favour of building the herd immunity…

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    1. George Post author

      You’re right, Margy, we only have control of ourselves and the actions we take to stay healthy.
      Conversely, if the only offshoot to the herds social mingling was building immunity there might be some benefit, unfortunately they don’t live on an island so their responsibility, like our should be for the greater good. Sadly, not everyone is reading the same book.

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