Somebody call Will Smith because thanks to the Coronavirus, it’s like a scene from an apocalyptic blockbuster out here in these streets.
Honestly – New York City is turning into a chaotic nightmare.
People are walking around in masks, I can’t tell you the number of mass emails I’ve gotten instructing me to wash my hands (you’re breaking some new ground there, Copernicus), and everyone on the subway is actively sizing people up, trying to determine if they’re riding with Patient Zero.
And apparently, for good reason. You know it’s bad when my father — King of not-freaking out/calm-cool-&-collected/never-over-reacter — sends me a Twitter thread about the potential catastrophic impact COVID-19 could have if there’s an actual outbreak.
Sometimes, I think there’s more fear-mongering than facts circulating in the media around things like this, but respecting my dad’s concern…I caved and heeded his advice.
I went to 4 different Walgreens yesterday to buy my doomsday kit: cleaning supplies, toilet paper, bottled water, hand sanitizer, etc. – and I kid you not — all four stores were completely sold out of – not only cleaning products – but also hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap!! We’re talking empty shelves!
And – thanks to the law of supply and demand – I ended up paying a whopping $24 on Amazon for ONE canister of Lysol disinfectant wipes.
If I wasn’t coughing before, I certainly did after that price tag.
The country is freaking out.
And the fervor with which people are preparing for a potential doomsday is unprecedented. It’s like Y2K all over again. People are stock piling toilet paper and paper face masks. I met a guy at a party last night who was side-hustling those blue paper masks for $25 bucks a pop!!
It’s a frenzy. And it’s damn impressive, to be honest.
And, sitting back, watching this whole thing unfold, I couldn’t help but think to myself — what would happen if we were attack other areas of our lives with this same intensity?
People are snatching up anything “antibacterial” like their life depended on it. Bleach? Lay it on me. Antimicrobial? Here, take my first born.
There is a desperation. A determination. A devotion. Granted, it’s driven by self-interest.
But what would happen, if we were to, say, attack recovery with that same life-or-death intensity?
How would it be if we were to pursue our relationship with God with that same urgency? To save our souls, with the same tanacity as fighting to save our lives?
Or what if we were to take that frenzied energy and put it towards helping other people, loving our friends, pursuing goals and dreams, working to save the environment – or the unborn?
There’s so much complacency these days – so much luke-warmness that, quite frankly, it’s refreshing to see that, as a society, we have it in us to actually care about something. That we can set aside our differences and rally together to defeat a collective threat.
Pity, that it took the coronavirus to bring that out of us.
I pray that this corona virus be contained. It breaks my heart to see what’s happening overseas, and to hear the death toll continues to rise.
I hope that with the arrival of spring, we can kick this virus, and move forward to days where the threat of a hand sanitizer barter system isn’t on the brink of reality.
Because in addition to ruthlessness in the CVS aisles, COVID-19 has also brought out the absolute worst in people: Despicable acts racism and overt prejudice against our brothers and sisters from China are sadly a reality, and people are letting fear cloud their judgement and influence their words and actions.
It’s gross and completely unacceptable.
So, I think we all need to take a collective deep breath. Act with common sense — yes, wash our hands — Act with prudence when it comes to staying healthy.
But try to channel this panicked energy into positive intensity towards things that also matter.
Starting with kindness. How about that.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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