Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
June 16, 2020
(Please click on all the hyperlinks for added context… and motivation.)
I’ve been confined to my neighborhood of Astoria for a little more than three months. For most of that time, it’s been very comforting to witness how diligent the locals have been with adhering to mitigation guidelines. Considering that Astoria sits in the borough of Queens in the City of New York, it’s not shocking that we were doing the right thing. We have, after all, been dwelling in the epicenter of the epicenter.
Everywhere I go, crowds of people -- not wearing masks and not keeping social distance -- are back as if nothing ever happened. And it’s not just Astoria, of course. Most of America is “re-opening” and that means everything from malls to presidential rallies.
It could be “pandemic fatigue.” It could be related to paroxysms of civil unrest right here in NYC. Maybe it’s just the nicer weather or an honest misunderstanding of what “phase one reopening” means. But, like communities from coast to coast, my beloved Astoria has grown complacent. You might even say “arrogant.”
Now, I understand we need to safeguard our financial and mental health as well as our physical health. But when was it decided to pull a complete U-turn? How did Americans go from taking pride in staying home to callously drinking outside bars in huge, mask-less packs… in less than a week?
If anyone tells you they know for sure it’s safe to do so, they’re lying. If they tell they know for sure it’s unsafe, they’re also lying. Covid-19 is a brand new disease, barely six months old. No honest person can tell you what will happen in the short- or long-term. No one knows.
Breaking news: This is precisely when and why you take precautions.
Think of it like wearing a seat belt or not eating food past its expiration date. Measures like this may or may not be necessary but we typically take them anyway. Not smoking while you’re pregnant, choosing a designated driver, putting on a helmet before riding a bike, practicing safe sex, locking your door before you head out -- nothing controversial. Just being smart and careful.
Instead, many Americans have decided to roll the dice with a novel disease about which even the medical community remains clueless. Even so, health professionals with hands-on experience are imploring us to not let entitlement, boredom, and selfishness overwhelm prudence.
Here’s just a tiny taste of what we don’t know:
We also don’t have a deep understanding of the long-term impact of the novel coronavirus. How could we? There is no “long-term” to analyze yet. The little we do know is daunting and under-reported, e.g. according to the UK National Health Service:
In the name of straight-up jolting you into compliance, here are just a few details from a riveting June 12, 2020, Vox article:
As a healthy, 32-year-old Covid victim put it: “It is a true roller coaster of symptoms and severities, with each new day offering many unknowns.”
When you get on a roller coaster, do you ignore the safety precautions?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
If we cannot prevent a second wave, the impact on our collective financial and mental health may be irreparable. How does your desire to get drunk, attend a rally, or toss your mask stack up against this risk? Regardless of where you stand politically, philosophically, or geographically, there is no harm in maintaining the basic, common-sense mitigation tactics for now. No one’s asking you to hide or wear a Hazmat suit. Just be a good neighbor.
In a system seemingly incapable of cohesion, the only choice still remaining under our control is harm reduction. Let’s make that happen…
Mickey Z. can be found on Instagram here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!