Strange Times

The way things are going nowadays have me thinking about the apocalyptic themes that ran through movies like A Quiet Place or Birdbox or books like Station Eleven. Of course, I’m being melodramatic, but the world is in a weird place right now. The rapid spread of the Coronavirus has everyone worried and many people panicking. I’m sure the doomsday preppers are laughing in their bunkers right now as they try to chew through the 30-year-old MRE they just opened. Too bad they’ll eventually have to come back to the real world. We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but things may be very different going forward.

Let’s be honest, most of us underestimated the severity of this virus. I certainly did. While it appears that about 80 percent of the cases are mild and similar to the regular flu, the remaining cases can be severe and deadly. Those remaining cases can easily overwhelm the healthcare system leaving doctors and nurses in the unenviable position of choosing who lives and dies because there aren’t enough ventilators or other equipment to save everyone. I wouldn’t want to be on either end of that scenario.

The hardest thing for those of us who want to do the right thing is parsing through all of the information and misinformation that comes our way. In any chaotic scenario, rumors and false conclusions spread like wildfire. It doesn’t help that social media channels are chock full of total bullshit, but before I sound like some old person and bemoan the effects of social media today, I have to remind myself that the same thing happened at every point in history during a crisis. It’s just exponentially amplified now with social media. The good news is that you can eventually get to facts nowadays given the generally free flow of information. Back when I was a kid, many adults around me couldn’t get to facts or didn’t bother with them because it was too hard to get them, so the ill-informed stayed that way.

I don’t doubt that there are harder times ahead for all of us in the short-term, but I do believe that the inimitable human spirit will prevail, that we’ll come out on the other side of this challenge like we have every other great challenge in the course of human history. Adaptation is the prevailing force of evolution, and we will adapt. Let’s remain calm and power through these strange times.


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