My anger came roaring back yesterday. In spite of my strong start in the guest room working out, I ended up watching too many hours of cable news. It reeled me in.
I normally have good cable news-watching boundaries and do so only in brief spurts. But not yesterday.
The TV screen presented me with too many people talking about easing restrictions on social distancing measures — even before they have been fully implemented in most states.
As a result, my hope and resolve started to dwindle. I retreated into disbelief and anger. This effort to stem the virus is only going to be effective, if it is approached as a shared responsibility.
Shared. Some people don’t seem to get what that means.
It is difficult and painful, but if we are in it together, then it will be worth it. It will be a battle fought by everyone. Together we will win a victory that will ultimately bond us together in knowing we did the right thing.
The alternative is too horrid for me to contemplate right now, and would render useless many of the sacrifices already made. We have to stay the course for this to work.
So voices from the TV screen that spoke about just throwing caution to the wind, and furthermore watching people act irresponsibly on beaches, in stores, and even being too close for safe distancing here in my own town…. it really got my goat.
Our local pier closed.
It was a good decision by local city officials. Thankfully, for now, I can still walk along the beach trail and just braved the rain to do so.
As I walked, I talked on the phone with our oldest son, who is now self-quarantining in Denmark where he lives. He had been visiting with us in California, when he was urged by the Danish authorities to return as soon as possible due to their attempts at containing the virus.
So he went home to Denmark early. I urged him to go and was happy for him to go be in a safe place since he has asthma. But my heart broke watching him leave. Who knows when I will see him again?
My mom lives over there as well, and I was supposed to go to Denmark tomorrow, and visit with her for her birthday. We had a little two-day outing planned. Just she and I celebrating in style with day trips to historical sites and museums. I miss my mom and I miss my country more than ever.
I am her only child, and the pain I feel right now of not being able to be on the same continent as my son and my mom. She is eighty-three years old. She is caretaker for someone else; she rides her bike to grocery stores; she gardens; she is vegetarian; she is kick-ass!
When I talk to her on the phone, I mention that it looks to me like the Danish authorities are handling the COVID-19 outbreak well. They quickly implemented social distancing, closed non-essential businesses, bars, restaurants, theaters, etc. They got a handle on hoarding even before it started, and therefore the stores are fully stocked. The various government parties have agreed on measures to help the population and how to implement them.
The curve is flattening in Denmark already and morale is high.
I tell her how much I wish I could be there with her, but that for now at least I need to stay where our other two sons and Walter are. He is sixty-nine and on immunosuppressant medication due to a liver transplant six years ago.
All I get from her is that I need to do what is best for us. She is love and care personified.
“Whatever is best for you, is what’s best for me,” she says to me.
She respects and understands that the difficult choices we all make at the moment. She is social responsibility personified.
There are times when we need to serve higher purposes for the common good than our own immediate satisfaction.
This is such a time.
Instead of looking to all the talking heads and the cast of assorted irresponsible people featured on the news, I am going to look to the people who personify responsibility.
I will look to those who model love in action.
I took the cover picture 10 years ago…Mike, Jon, Dylan, and Walter taking in the sunset in Denmark