I am thinking about this time last year. I was in the City, which was empty. The stores were all closed and the streets were like a ghost town. Within my time in this world, I have never seen New York City like this. Shut down. Boarded up, as if World War III dropped the bomb on us all.
I walked across 3rd Avenue in the middle of the business day. There were no cars. There were hardly any pedestrians in sight. Again, this was like wartime. We were quarantined. People were running out of toilet paper and there were restrictions at the supermarket.
No one expected this would last as long as it has. No one thought the virus would kill so many or keep growing. There were second waves, third waves and supposedly a fourth wave too. Only, it was strange to me because it seemed like none of us have recovered from the first wave yet.
They called this the Coronavirus or Covid-19. They said it was flu-like symptoms. And to some people, this was meaningless. Some people are asymptomatic, which means the virus had no effect on them. Some people experience mild to moderate symptoms, and others well, they were intubated and died alone. There were some that survived the worst, which is miraculous. Except, now there are some that have post-Covid syndrome because of the results on the lungs.
Where did the virus come from? Who started this? Who is right and who was wrong? There was information and misinformation. Politics became the new religion. There were riots and racial tensions, which did nothing more than further divide us.
There were people that used our unsettledness to their advantage. I really believe this. I believe people use anything to advance and gain their platforms. As for me, I watched my city move from full-speed to hardly at all. And like everyone else, I am a year deep in this pandemic. I have lost people too. I work with someone who has lost five family members to this crisis. How does one mourn a loss like this?
How do you process something like that? How can you heal from one loss when you are constantly hit by another? Talk about the definition of merciless and this is it. No mercy at all.
Next, the news is a hopeless stream of information.
I watched a video of a man kick an elderly woman in the face. I saw this on television and rather than discuss the shame of something like this, I listened to people rant and rave about the association of race. And meanwhile, I’m like who cares about the color of his skin or the background of the elderly woman? He kicked a woman in the face!
By the way, the attacker was out on parole for killing his own mother. If you ask me, this is not a problem of color or creed. However, this says more about our mental health system than anything else.
I sat nearby and overheard people discuss the different mass shootings that happened in recent news. They debated the term, “Hate crime.” I just shook my head.
This is crazy to me because I cannot see a time when murder is not a hate crime.
I get it though. Hate makes the world go-round. Right?
Maybe we need something to be angry about. Maybe we need to materialize the sad separation we feel. Everything has become virtual now and less personal. How is it that death has become so desensitized as the new normal?
Holidays have passed and the celebrations were weak. The spring is upon us but what does this mean?
Does anybody really know?
I have heard the best way to control people is through fear. However, it seems to me that the fear has backfired. Our mental health is slipping. We are regressing more each day and the news proves this to be true.
(If you watch it, that is.)
But I don’t watch the news. I don’t have the time for this.
I’d rather sit and build. I’d rather bond than destroy.
I’d rather boost morale than berate one another and point my fingers.
I always say, “It’s time to put the virus behind us!”
This is an original quote, by the way.
And it’s true.
It’s time to put the virus behind us.
It’s time to stop the nonsense.
Stop letting everything offend you.
By the way, nothing happens when we’re offended. The world keeps going. People still laugh and live, except for those who’ve been offended because they personalize something instead of rise above.
Remember, no one can argue with you if you’re not there.
I find this advice to be extremely useful.
Besides, I’d rather build us back and create unity.
A year in review and I wonder. I wonder if this was a test and we were all being graded, what would our grades be?
Would I have failed as a human being?
Would I have passed with a C or a C+ ?
Or would I have upped my score and gained extra credit?
Which, by the way, this is what I’m trying to do.
I want to up my score.
Sorry if that offends you . . .