Are we going to allow fear of COVID-19 to fundamentally reshape social behavior for many years to come?
It is hard to imagine a world where we are all afraid to shake hands with one another and where getting close enough to someone to actually have a conversation is deemed a “major risk”.
Yes, this virus spreads incredibly easily, but eventually this pandemic will fade and hopefully a lot of the measures that were instituted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will fade away too. For example, I really don’t want Walmart telling me which direction I have to go down the aisle. If I am in serious shopping mode, I want to be able to go up and down a particular aisle as much as I please.
If I get kicked out of a store someday for “going against the arrows” I am going to be really upset.
And I really, really don’t want to have my temperature checked when I go to eat at a restaurant, but that is apparently starting to happen all over the nation…
With staff wearing masks, checking customers’ temperatures and using disposable paper place mats, some of the nation’s restaurants reopened for dine-in service Monday as states loosened more coronavirus restrictions. But many eateries remained closed amid safety concerns and community backlash.
Checking temperatures is not going to stop the spread of this virus, because people can spread it long before they are showing any symptoms at all.
So that needs to stop right now. If you try to check my temperature when I enter your establishment, I will promptly turn around and go get a burger somewhere else.
And it isn’t just businesses that are giving in to the hysteria.
For example, a North Carolina woman named Erin Strine burst into tears when she realized that people would be sitting next to her on a flight that she was taking…
Strine said she was alarmed by how little social distancing was taking place on the packed flight. She expressed concern for her health when she realized she was placed in a middle seat.
‘I really felt like my life and the life of everyone around me was at risk,’ she said. ‘I just sat there silently crying into my mask because I was really overwhelmed by how unsafe I felt.’
I have a really easy solution for her.
If you feel your life is at risk, don’t get on the plane.
This isn’t rocket science.
Her story caused me to recall one particular horrid flight that I once had to endure. Like her, I was in the middle seat, and two extremely overweight individuals were stationed on either side of me. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the person directly in front of me decided to recline their seat all the way.
But instead of whining like a baby, I took my ordeal like a man.
Look, I am not trying to minimize the threat of COVID-19 one bit.
In fact, I was warning about the danger that this virus posed all the way back when the very first reports were coming out of China. Anyone that follows my work on a regular basis can easily verify this.
At this point, there are more than a million confirmed cases in the United States and more than 56,000 people have died.
That is serious.
And things have been particularly nightmarish in New York…
Nearly half of all New Yorkers say they know somebody who has died of coronavirus, a new poll finds, shedding a stunning light on just how deeply the pandemic has hit the Big Apple.
The state-wide survey, carried out by Siena College, discovered that 46 percent of New York City residents personally knew someone killed by COVID-19, as do 36 percent of respondents living in the suburbs, and 13 percent of those living upstate.
Other areas of the country have been hit very hard as well. In fact, the Boston Globe published 21 pages of obituaries on Sunday…
As the total confirmed COVID-19 cases approach one million this week, including over 55,000 deaths — the vast majority of these concentrated in American east coast cities, especially in the tri-state area — newspaper obituaries in the same cities are expanding to unheard of numbers of pages.
As a stunning case in point, The Boston Globe on Sunday included an unprecedented 21 total pages of death notices due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The newspaper said its archives showed on the same day last year, the obit section was at its usual seven pages.
This is the biggest public health crisis that our generation has experienced so far, and anyone that is not taking it seriously is just being stupid.
But it isn’t the end of the world. Much, much worse things are coming, and it is important to understand that.
If we are not able to handle this pandemic, how are we possibly going to deal with all of the stuff that we are going to have to face in the future?
On Monday, I was absolutely horrified to learn that a top emergency room doctor in New York City had committed suicide…
The head of the emergency department at a Manhattan hospital committed suicide after spending days on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, her family said Monday.
“She tried to do her job, and it killed her,’’ Dr. Philip Breen told the New York Times of his physician daughter, Dr. Lorna Breen, who had been medical director of the NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital amid the pandemic.
I can’t even imagine the horrors that she witnessed on a daily basis, but suicide is never, ever, ever the answer to anything.
And nothing is ever so bad that it should make you want to kill yourself.
No matter how difficult it was to deal with dying patients, her story never should have ended this way…
In the days leading up to her death, the 48-year-old reportedly recounted to family members a series of traumatic scenes she’d witnessed working in the Manhattan hospital, including an onslaught of patients dying in front of her before they could even be removed from ambulances.
Breen had recently contracted COVID-19 but had returned to work at Allen after a week-and-a-half of rest. After the hospital sent her home, she re-located to Charlottesville to recuperate under the instructions of her father, Dr. Philip C. Breen.
There is always hope. And in her case, she could have certainly walked away from being a doctor and done something else.
Life is such a precious gift, and to see it thrown away so needlessly is absolutely heartbreaking.
Yes, this pandemic is going to be with us for a while.
And yes, a lot more Americans are going to get sick and a lot more Americans are going to die.
But at this point nothing that we can do will be able to prevent the virus from spreading, and an increasing number of Americans are simply not going to follow restrictions anyway…
Data shows that Americans are suffering from ‘quarantine fatigue’ and are venturing out of the house more often as the coronavirus pandemic continues – as researchers say that 44 states are actually going backwards when it comes to social distancing.
A COVID‑19 mobility trends tool created by Apple shows that an increasing number of people in various major cities are now leaving the house more compared to the beginning of the month.
If you are elderly, have a compromised immune system or are in some other high risk group, you will need to quarantine yourself for the foreseeable future. But the rest of us are going to have to try to start resuming normal activities.
Unfortunately, the “new normal” is likely to look a whole lot different from the “old normal”, and many people are not going to like that at all.