The trickle down effect of strange, which started with our realization that we are in the midst of a pandemic, seems to have reached all levels of life. Nationwide, the social, emotional, and economic strain on the fabric of our country can be felt in a myriad of ways.
Much like the frustration encountered when you’ve put your last dollar bill in the vending machine and your giant oatmeal raisin cookies are stuck mid fall, every which way we turn, things aren’t working as expected. Consequently, people are shaking, tipping, and hitting the machine to get the cookies.
How a pandemic becomes political is beyond me. Setting guidelines and then encouraging people to protest them is not the way our government usually operates. Making fun of people who wear masks or otherwise seek to protect themselves and their loved ones from a deadly, contagious virus does not compute in my brain.
Just when it felt like we were achieving some kind of balance between community health/safety and the need for people to get back to work, we all watched Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd. The cruelty of kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes was so out of order, the nation erupted.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to declare loud and clear that we, as a country, will not tolerate the excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel. It is possible to value your local law enforcement officers AND reject racial injustice, but those have somehow become polarized positions, which makes no sense to me. I was hopeful that body cams were going to be a big part of the solution, but didn’t anticipate some cops would just turn them off. That’s out of order.
Here at home, the garage door opener isn’t operating, weather is stormy, and the heating element in our oven is broken. I’m not working or marching because, if I contract coronavirus, I’m at high risk for complications. My husband is not at increased odds of becoming seriously ill, and he is ready to go and do. He’s supportive of me staying home and I will be understanding about his need to get back to “normal,” but it feels really uncomfortable to be at different phases.
Physically, I’m experiencing a fibromyalgia flare including extreme fatigue and intermittent nausea, I’ve been using special shampoo and scalp treatment for thinning hair for several years, but I swear it looks like I have a bald spot! I mismanaged my daily anxiety medication, so I’ve been without for days.
Before veering off our routine path, I was developing plans to start a small business. Now, the economic fallout can’t even really be quantified, nor the long-term consequences reliably predicted for how we do business in the future.
Hurricane season is off to a big start, unfortunately, with three named storms already. For many folks, winds and floods will further disrupt daily life and bank accounts.
Having life out of order pushes all of us to our limits in one way or another. More than ever, we need to respect each other, especially when we don’t agree. Compassion and understanding for our fellow humans have never been more important in our society than they are today. Instead of tearing each other apart, focusing on differences rather than commonalities, and insulting those who don’t agree with our own perspectives; we can rise, unified, to meet these challenges. We’re all in this disordered world together.