The Next Phase

By Richard Davis

We are now entering a new phase of pandemic adjustment. The first few months were a novelty and, although many people had a hard time adjusting, it seemed that most people were able to cope while holding out hope for temporary change.

Now that it is clear that we are going to have to change our lives for the long term and that there is no exact time frame for society to re-open, people are losing patience. Early on, people were almost too friendly, trying to be respectful of each other in supermarkets and other places that have been able to remain open. But that friendliness is wearing thin and some people are taking out their frustrations on others.

Then there are the mostly brain-dead yahoos who think their personal liberty is more important than the lives of others as they protest around the country. Thankfully, they are a minority, but they are being supported by Trump. Some governors have decided that reinvigorating commerce is more important than protecting lives. That puts all of us in jeopardy.

Part of the reason that this pandemic is so hard to deal with in the U.S. is because of the leadership vacuum at the top tier of government. These are the times that a president and his staff should be taking charge and acting in the best interests of the majority of the American people. Instead we have a president who doesn’t have clue how to be a leader, a president who is only capable of lying and trying to use the current crisis to bolster his re-election strategy.

Congress is not much better. They think they are helping by passing bills to support the economy and individuals, but their efforts will fall short and we will be dealing with the economic effects of the pandemic for years. We do need a few band-aids, but this should be a time for politicians to act on principle instead of being guided by politics. Don’t hold your breath.

Instead of recognizing that we have an inadequate and Darwinian health care system and economy, politicians are supporting what is worst in all spheres of our society by siphoning money into the same bank accounts of those who have continued to profit from government-sanctioned greed and inequality for decades. Some money is getting to the little guy, but it is more token recognition than sustainable support.

All of this means that we have to take matters into our own hands if we are to maintain our physical and mental health. We need to learn how best to protect ourselves. There are many places to obtain reliable information. Common sense can go a long way.

People are finding it more difficult to remain at home. For those who live in close quarters in cities, this is a difficult problem. Those of us who live in more rural areas can use the outdoors as a refuge.

Garden supply stores are selling out and, as soon as spring finally shows up, many of us will be able to spend more time working the soil.

That is always a therapeutic activity. Exercise of any kind is critical now. You don’t need a gym to take a walk, ride a bike or take advantage of the multitude of online exercise programs.

Daily routine is important. Every morning I try to make an effort to plan my day and break it up into blocks of activity. I have found that maintaining some sort of routine helps to give a person a sense of control over their life.

We have lost control over the larger world and there is little hope that any government official, whether competent or not, will be able to convince us that matters will be under control for the foreseeable future. Accept that truth and do what is best for you and those close to you.

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