Argh…the things you hear Brian Williams say on the cable news when you plug back in, as I did a couple of nights ago.
You guys. Don’t think only about the “economic hit” of things this COVID-19 season, please. Our connectivity, if not our humanity, is being challenged and showcased here – one 🌎, one ❤️, one all. Y’ know how we are all interconnected, globally and especially locally? This is our time to shine, for any one of our moves will depend on and affect the folks in front of us and behind of us, too. Earlier this week, Mayor London Breed from San Francisco announced a preventive shelter-in-place ordinance for the City by the Bay through April 7, at least.
This is so not a drill. Stay in place, save lives. And let’s take a look at lives and our culture.
These days, a good 10-, maybe, 15-minute Reuters digest at the end of the day and keeping up with my local news is all I need, but, whaddya know, there Williams was again last night, singing a similar tune, talkin’ about how the United States of America is a land of innovators and how the struggle will be real, but we got this in the bag. Together. Now, that is how quickly evolving this pandemic situation is, and this is how we might consider moving forward, more conscious of our role and place on this planet, and awake. In the know. Better prepared and determined to put demos back in “democracy.”
We have a chance in this moment that we find ourselves, this time in which we are having to reshuffle and adapt our lives to work from home and keep the kids safe and fed and learnin’ and entertained, and our elderly and most vulnerable safe and present of mind. If we lean into this exciting opportunity, we will re-define how we do things and how things (i.e., our systems of government and our economy, our public services, our communal interactions – I could go on…) actually ought to run and work best for all of us.
In a lot of ways, the future is here.
Sad but not surprising to state, the Republicans in United States of America are still failing the country and their constituents (two different things in America in 2020) – hard-working Americans who, btw, are not immune to or the only ones affected by this pandemic (I can’t even with all o’ that right now). Policies that could save lives in the face of an infrastructure that systemically has been run rugged simply are not the priority in this country right now. We got no leadership. And throwing money at the problem after the fact, as it’s being openly discussed (because populism!), does not keep issues from arising or from getting worse.
There is no denying that glib and willful ignorance (our so-called president spent the winter months downplaying the threat of COVID-19 and calling the whole thing a “hoax” from Democrats), and unprecedented and brazen criminality, have contributed to this catastrophe.
And who pays for this incompetence? The people of this country? (I’m sure a lot of this applies to wherever you’re reading, so connect the dots.)
My friend, who tells me he’s been doctor-ordered to self-isolate at home and like, basically to hope for the best for three weeks now, ’cause he cannot be tested for COVID-19 ’cause he isn’t critical or “at risk” enough (even though he’s had a fever and has been vomiting and dealing with a sore throat and a cough and shortness of breath), he’s the one who’s been suffering because America wasn’t ready. And it’s not like they ever had a test to administer…or like they had gotten ’em earlier this week. My friend had to go to the ER last Sunday night, he felt so crap. I heard back from him late Monday afternoon, after he was sent back home to resume his quarantine.
“Test kits are sparse,” he tells me via text. “It’s crazy how the U.S. responded. Trump and his Republicans are idiots. It’ll be a week or two before kits are really available. That’s why numbers are so low right now. No one is being tested.”
Well. The rich and famous apparently are being tested.
Enough. No more.
A new, environmentally cleaner democracy is free to rise. The people of Venice will tell you today: a cleaner environment is rather quite the eye-opening, I should trust, sight to see. The famous canals over there have not been this clear in ages. (Perhaps, it’s time tourism-based economies worldwide evolve into locally sustained economies? In the case of the Italian city, that could take the edge off of the whole sinking thing.)
Let’s work nuance – us! – back into the conversation. The time to re-invent how we love and live on Earth is right now, as we remind ourselves to put humanity – especially humane humanity – on the spot to effect meaningful change.
Let’s get upconscious.