I keep reading and hearing that we are all, “In this together.” and “We will defeat COVID together.”
Is that really true? Or are we on very different agenda-driven teams? Are we “In this together.” in life overall?
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Wow, Will, you usually have such professional and provocative featured images; what’s up with this pile of plastic-wrapped doggie do? I am frequently on this little used fire road deep in the hills with an access point less than 70 yards from my home. I see an occasional fellow hiker, sometimes with a dog or two, horseback riders and the odd mountain biker.
And here by the side of the fire road is this carefully wrapped and tied plastic bag of do-do left in plain sight. And not all that far from one of the more recent piles of horse road apples. It takes work to get a small thing like this all wrong. The best thing to do is just leave the droppings. Very few people come by, and it will return to nature a lot faster than the much larger horse droppings. If you want to pack it out, well, then do it. The worst possible approach is to pack it in plastic, then just leave it. I have seen this done on frequently used trails and residential sidewalks where, unlike this remote fire trail, packing out Fido’s business is clearly the right thing to do. And people are usually watching to see what you do. So these citizens pack the feces in plastic, and go along their merry way. Leaving the “present” for someone else to deal with. And, yes, I picked up the package in this episode’s photo and, well, dumped it when I got home.
People who do things like that are clearly not “In this together” with anyone but themselves. And our daily lives are rife with similar examples. Here are some small and large examples:
- People who leave their shopping carts in grocery store parking spaces.
- Are they the same people who hoard critical supplies when there is an emergency?
- Drivers who cross three lanes of traffic, crowding other drivers to get to their preferred exit.
- Drunk drivers.
And what about the “In this together” of the corona world?
From everything I see, here’s what is really going on:
- “I am in this corona world with everyone who agrees with me. And I will fight those who disagree.”
- “My primary purpose is to be right, and to make those with other beliefs wrong. COVID is just the vehicle for my fight.”
No, I have not heard anyone say exactly that, but those two statements are very much what is communicated.
Let’s start with what should be an easy topic; face masks and social distancing. Either they work to protect others and should (must) be used when within the 6’ social distance of non-household members, or they don’t protect others and need never be used. Much of the intense disagreement over what is a very easily researched subject comes from what I see as agenda-driven, willful ignorance. For example, there is a photo of a box of cloth masks circulating on social media, with a warning that these masks do not protect the wearer from COVID-19. Well, D’uh. That is not their purpose. Here’s the photo
Along with one of the more benign comments, “Masks are useless?? Says so right on the freaking box!!”
When I am feeling reckless, here is what I will post in reply. “There are different types of masks, with different purposes and capabilities. Cloth masks are designed to and are proven effective at protecting others from the possibly infected droplets we all expel when breathing, talking, coughing or sneezing. Only N95 masks, correctly limited to certain medical uses, are effective in protecting the wearer against tiny incoming viruses. This warning lets wearers know that cloth masks will not do the job of an N95 mask.”
Anyone want to guess what I get back from that post? The responses range from the ridiculous to the vile, and not all from the anonymous social media cowards. Many of the insulting and ignorant responses come from people who have real identities, and places in the community. But instead of doing the five minutes of research that led to what I just quoted, they use whatever flimsy data and what might pass for logic to “prove” their positions. That’s why I call it wilful ignorance.
My point–honest–is not to make a case for masks. My point is to make a case for honest, data-based conversation.
Speaking of disagreement. A California Democrat seemed less than upset at the news that entrepreneur Elon Musk planned to pull much of his company, Tesla, along with an unspecified number of jobs out of California over coronavirus shutdown rules that have stalled the automaker’s operations.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego appeared to be saying something along the lines of “Good riddance” – except she didn’t exactly use those words.
“F— Elon Musk,” was Gonzalez’s brief response on Twitter.
Her message contrasted sharply with those from lawmakers and candidates in Texas and Nevada, where Musk said his company plans to relocate. They seemed pleased with the news that the jobs would be coming to their states
As raw as Ms. Gonzlez’s tweet was, “F— Elon Musk,” isn’t that basically what we are saying when we come at each other from a position of needing to be right and the equal drive to make the other person or group wrong?
There is a lot of talk about the so-called New Normal. Much of the Old Normal is: 1. Start with an agenda 2. Find any kind of supporting data 3. Go to war. How’s this for a new Normal? Start with honoring your Moral Compass, your True North. 2. Serve Others. If we all follow this New Normal, we will indeed all be in this together.
We must fill ourselves with a deep and determined resolve to have this powerful, lasting and transformative New Normal take hold and become permanent. Not just working from home when we can and getting more takeout food. And not just having our temperature taken by TSA.
The New Normal: Honoring your Moral Compass, our True North, and serving others. Both done with a lasting resolve.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.