Friday, May 15, 2020

Reopening is what will drive me off the internet

It's been a long time since I skipped a Thursday Thoughts, which happened yesterday. That standard weekly blog post and TWTW are usually ones that carry on through vacations, etc. Yesterday I full out forgot it was Thursday until almost 2 pm. If I don't have a post written before or in the morning, I would usually do it at lunch, but I forgot about lunch too yesterday until I was hangry. It's been a forgetful week. 

I have not forgotten to stay off the internet. I'm doing that more than ever. 

I'm doing that because you literally cannot fucking win, no matter what you do or don't do. I swear the reopening of this country is what will drive me into myself because people are fucking ruthless about other people. Just absolutely ruthless. This coming from someone who has dabbled in over four years being anti-trump and anti-MAGA and gone toe to toe on that about a million times. I have found haven amid people with beliefs that align with mine. Corona Land is splintering even that. 

I am sick of the People Police judging other people for existing. When protocols are relaxed in their states/municipalities and people start doing things, other people do not fucking like that and they make it well known. I get it. You disagree. I also believe in science, but I know where I live. In a country that will not allow for the most caution to be taken. All of these things do not change the fact that people are going to do what they are allowed to do and they are going to do what capitalism demands they do. They're out there licking doorknobs and coughing on people? Threat to public health. They're out operating in line with the current restrictions but not in line with what I'm personally doing? Nah. There's not an award for best quarantiner. There's more than one person doing this right. We're all constantly weighing risk vs. reward and have been from the start. 

I wish people would channel communications and anger at the fucking government who completely fucked this eight ways to May from the start. Yes, this means you too, people on "my side." Complaining on the internet is not calling your government representative every hour. If you want everything closed for two years, talk to the government about freezing everything and providing economic relief as well as testing and free medical care to ALL people, adequate PPE without a fucking bidding war to ALL healthcare workers (as well as those in other essential industries) as well as whatever fucking state they're in - blue or red, free masks for those who cannot afford them or make them, and a hold on businesses who cannot operate as essential with no penalty or taxes or evictions or any damn thing. 

And at this's too late. That shit should have been done from the start along with a million other things the federal government failed at. Don't how would we pay for that at me either. We fucking have it. 

And. My people have forgotten something very important in all of this. 

Stay Home is a privileged concept, especially if you are staying home and still have one or two full salaries, work for a company that enables work from home and will continue to, have the ability/provisions to work from home, have savings if that is not the case, do not work in a business deemed essential (raise your hand if you live in a state where you are surprised at what was deemed essential - beer distributors? weird), don't own a small business your entire life savings is tied up in, are a citizen entitled to unemployment benefits, live in a home without any type of abuse, live in a home with a dedicated outdoor space, live in a home with a yard where you can see family and friends, and can still afford food which has gone up by at least 20% and is unlikely to come back down etc etc etc. So, yeah...people who live in 500 square feet with no outdoor space and have been out once a week are absolutely going to go to the park or beach when they open. People who work in nail salons are absolutely going to go back to work when they can because they can't afford not to, and people who get their nails done will support those people because they want them to survive, too. Likewise, as things open, people with compromised immunity need protections and, yes, likely economic support. 

Am I saying everyone do whatever they want? No, of course I'm not. Do you know me? But putting people on blast for operating within the protocols is a complete misdirection of our collective energy. Especially because unless the government freezes everything and provides for everything there is no outcome that is good for all people. Not one fucking outcome. There is risk in everything aside from that thing where everything is closed and everyone is looked after health-wise and economically until this is under control. Which we have seen will not happen. Not with this government.

So, onward. Only the road to onward is full of hellish judgement from everyone about everything. 

 What I have feared all along is happening - people are afraid to leave their homes when restrictions are lifted, which is understandable and absolutely fine, but they are freaking out because other people do not have that fear. And people who are not afraid are fucking furious that people are afraid. People leaving their homes to do what is essential to them or support small businesses they deem essential are judgmental of others doing the same, as if everyone is doing it wrong except them. As if they are the only ones with the correct intentions and essentials. I have seen people post things online shaming other people then in comments refer to doing the exact thing they were shaming people for. Whaaaaat. As if only businesses they patronize are essential and worthy of surviving this. Stop. You cannot lash out at other people  who are operating correctly in the world as it is at this time, mindful of space and their own immune systems and yours. They're not making the rules. The government is. 

This is a public health crisis we will not fully understand for years until it can be studied by scientists. In the meantime, people are not going to stay at home for two years because as mentioned above, it's not possible here, and by all accounts, that was not the intent - the initial shut down was meant to flatten the curve and not overwhelm the hospitals. 

So now we have people who want everything shut down until there is a cure, people who will not get a vaccine when one becomes available, people who are ready to get back to living hut adapted with new protocols, people who refuse to adapt and want to live the old way, people who want safety guarantees for something we don’t even fully understand, people who are rejecting science because it is not working quickly enough for them, and people who think it’s a hoax or man made. 

And everyone thinks they're right and it is fucking exhausting. 

On one side there's people screaming about reopening every damn thing and I don't even know what to say there. On the other side Governors who have been lauded for their lockdown policies and listening to science and healthcare professionals are slowly re-opening their states and the same people who lauded them are convinced those governors are no longer listening. What? Where are we right now where we believe what we want to all the time, and stop believing it when it no longer feels comfortable for us personally? On both fucking sides. Both fucking sides. 

Spying on neighbors and photographing them doing things you don't think they should be doing and all sorts of other bullshit is very reminiscent of a lot of bad history. It fills me with rage and a deep, deep disappointment. If you are so concerned about how people are behaving and have nothing better to do, turn your energy to the government and ask where the tests are. Where the economic support for all people and businesses is. Don't fucking turn on your neighbors because you think they're making the wrong choices when the choice has been opened up for them to make. 

People can be taking this seriously, worried about the economy, grieve the loss of life as we knew it, be out in public, be afraid, support healthcare workers, support small businesses, AND STILL DO THE RIGHT THINGS. All at once. Do some people not give a fuck? Sure. Are there more of us who do? YES. 

It's all just too fucking much. I can't get through this period in time sitting in judgement of people doing the best they can with what they have where they are. I just don't have it in me to have a worldview where only I have good intentions or an acceptable impact and believe the majority of people suck. That's not me. And I can’t watch other people do it either. I need to come out of this with my sanity intact and if that is with a smaller online circle, then that's what it is. If you need to remove me from your circle because I'm not participating in this online stoning, that's okay too. We all have to do what we need to do to come through this. 

Whew. Sorry. That was a lot for a Friday. Since I missed Thursday Thoughts, this is the week in pictures. I've been sitting on the porch, looking at my plants, hanging with the fam, walking on the empty beach before dawn, spray painting and organizing shit, making one of the only crockpot meals I like thanks to my sister-in-law, working from home while the dogs sleep from home, catching bay-side sunsets, checking out provisions the shore is putting in place for reopening. 

Oh. And Corona Land...but make it fashion.

Happy Friday!

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