Why is today different? Today is the day I became angry. Since the pandemic started, I have a loose daily routine. I get up, get coffee, give meds to my cat, check email, quickly peruse Facebook/social media, then attempt to work. Like most people working strictly from home, I struggle with maintaining a schedule through the never-ending sameness of every day in this pandemic. But this morning something changed.
Today, my Facebook page had three separate posts from people reposting negative graphics or comments about everyone making a big deal out of COVID-19 when less than 1% of the population has died from it. Today I asked myself the question, how many people have to die before everyone is going to care? Any statistic I post will be outdated within hours, but as of right now over 72 million people have or had COVID-19 around the world. You can bet your ass that if we were living in 1819 with a 7.7 billion population and this was the Spanish Flu, the deaths would not be “only” 1.6-ish million. We are lucky it’s 2020 and we have the medical advances we do and the ability to spread public information quickly on how people can protect themselves. But the statistics don’t tell the full story of this tragedy.
Every single one of those 1.6 million people who died affects something or someone. My mother died November 2019 and many times I have considered it was better she went before the pandemic started. As a high-risk individual going through chemotherapy with a shot immune system and all her comorbidities, this would have been a miserable life for her. She knew she was dying, and she wanted to spend her last months with her family and playing bingo, neither of which she would have been able to do past February 2020 if she was still alive. Her death made me realize all the history that my family lost with her death. There are things about her, my family, and my own life that I will never know. She was the keeper of those memories. I honestly do not wish what my family has gone through in the last year since my mother’s death on anyone. It has been a very long and rough year. These people dying from COVID create a ripple effect across millions of people and families, and it will take months and years of mourning for people to move forward in their lives.
As I write this, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law are both in the hospital on ventilators and we are uncertain if either is going to make it. I’m not special. This is happening in thousands of families this very moment , and yet I feel like we are living in a society that says it’s okay to mock other people’s tragedy. If my social media this morning was accurate, I need to stop caring and living in fear because it’s no big deal. Hardly anyone is dying from this, and it’s all blown out of proportion.
So my question to the collective world is; does this have to be YOUR mother or father before you care? At the very least, think beyond your own bubble before you re-post your anti-COVID stuff on social media. You may not care, but someone in your circle is being affected by COVID right now and I can tell you, they care.