By Terry Allen
It has been four weeks or more since coronavirus aka COVID-19 has turned our interactions from personal and upfront to distant and nonexistent. We are blocked from hanging out with friends and family, reduced to shopping for essentials as necessary, and prevented from any public social gatherings. Not since Xerox, Google and FedEx became action verbs have I seen so many new terms —contact tracing, flatten the curve, social distancing, and new normal.
I went to sleep in one world and dreamed all night, and then I woke up to a real nightmare that presented a new reality that I did not like at all. No self-respecting extrovert would like to wake up in a world where isolating elders from young ones is a CARES ACT and an embrace and a kiss is now an assault charge and/or murder weapon. A walk in the park is a city ordinance violation and opening your barbershop/ beauty shop is a death sentence for your patrons. Six Flags is no longer a great place to ride and no one wants to take a bite of the Big Apple let alone visit it.
But we are resilient. We embraced slang nicknames and basic adjectives, turning them into services. Yes, we ZOOM our meetings and TIK TOK our workouts and QUARANTINED our clubs. We stayed at home and we did it. We began to slow the spread of the illness and we found celebration in the isolation. We stayed home and our first responders, nurses, and other medical personnel burdens were lighter. The hospital surge became less overwhelmed and the community began to support flattening the curve. Awe, but the devil came back! Just as we see the promise of prevention and intervention, the devil shows up. The devil shows up with a bad haircut and an overblown ego disguised as our leadership. Then the devil placed medical advice on the backburner.
The devil said it was a hoax! The devil delayed the process to help us weather the Corona Storm. The devil used public access to influence the minds of the weak and placed doubt in the midst. When do we go back to normal? When can we leave our homes and see friends again? The devil put on a dress and shouted we will open up and defy the law! We need to work! We need to feed our kids! The devil wore Prada and raised $500,000, manipulating the bias of the weak and ignorance of the privileged.
The devil got the misinformed and the mentally-stressed excited about lifting social distancing restrictions to pimp the ignorance of the devil’s followers. COVID-19 spreads like wildfire around the world because it is highly infectious and passes onto others within seconds. The virus had too many invisible and silent carriers. People transmitted the virus when they were asymptomatic. COVID-19 had us infected before we could mask up! The cases are surging as the devil says “open up.”
We have proven the importance of social distancing and reducing the number of contacts in our household. So, when do we go back to normal? The answer is clear— tests the entire population and develops a vaccine. Then and only then can we normalize our lives again. So when the devil comes knocking at your door enticing you to come out: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE and shut the door.