When I saw this I had a true reality check. It is as if all of my emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. about the COVID-19 panic came to the surface…I could see them all at the same time. And I was deeply saddened. Reading the caption and the first comment cemented that I was not the only person disappointed in what is happening.
We’ve read the stories, seen the videos or pictures of the two women fighting over a package of toilette paper, the little girl who was injured by being run over when people rushed to get the food off the nearly empty Walmart shelves, the senior citizen woman who had a gallon of milk stolen (last one from the milk case) from her cart by a young woman, the young mother who went to buy some diapers and they were all sold out due to panic buying hoarders…and there are more stories…all sad commentary on who we are as a people.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about all those pushing the panic over COVID-19…those disgusting purveyors of hysteria. The picture and stories coming out drove home to me just how malicious their disgusting hype-hustling actions are. And those actions, their influence, is now taking a toll…a human toll on the innocent…on us all.
Night before last my wife and I had a long conversation about the state of affairs in the US. Neither of us is scared, or even worried, about what is happening in regards to the virus itself. We are taking the necessary precautions to build our immune systems and other safety measures to help prevent contracting COVID-19. But, we are not becoming hermits and we are not panic buying, and we have resolved to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Yesterday we started implementing our plan…in the morning my wife took the better part of a meal to a local family who just experienced a tragedy in their lives. They were very grateful and she felt a great sense of satisfaction in reaching out to others in need. Yesterday afternoon I went over to a neighbor’s place, he needed some tractor work done, and no tractor himself. Couple hours later as I was leaving he was thanking me profusely. And about an hour later he brought over some Mexican blend cheese, homemade tortillas, and some of the best refried beans we ever tasted. We added some diced beef, some salsa, and the three of us ate burritos together. Then about an hour sitting around our firepit enjoying some good conversation and friendship.
Today though the plan takes on a new phase…a much broader action…we are going to get the directory for our church congregation and begin making phone calls. A couple of families live close to us so we will start with them. Then we will call single older women and single mothers, and then on to older couples. We are just going to chat a minute and then ask them if there is anything they need, is there anything we can do for them. We have no idea, or expectations, of what folks may say…but we are determined to help where and when needed.
You can drown yourself mentally in reading all the crap out there about COVID-19. There is an endless stream of media releases, public statements, closure announcements, political speeches, TV talking heads bloviating, medical advice, doomsday projections, people telling of melodramatic dreams and visions, people reporting shortages of this or that, etc. You could spend all day reading that junk…and it is junk!
Sure I want you to have great Situational Awareness…no doubt about that! But, there comes a point when enough is enough. And I am telling you this straight up…we’ve hit that point! Maybe even a week or two or three ago.
We all have our opinions of how deadly, or not, the virus is. We all know how we have bare shelves and people are still panic buying. We all know that schools, restaurants, businesses, and some government offices are closed or soon will close. We all know about washing our hands, social distancing, etc. We all have heard over and over to boost our immune systems. So what more do you need? How much more information is actually needed? Does hearing about some state hundreds or thousands of miles away announcing their restaurants will be closed help you be more of a genius?
I would propose the answer is “no”.
What I am seeing, and have been seeing, are previously intelligent and decent people become weird whack jobs. They focus on the virus, they surround themselves with others doing the same. They spend hours every day on prepper websites or social media sites soaking up the latest informational tidbit…whether it is true or not. And they have become fearful, panicked, and miserable…and they are spreading that misery faster that any virus ever could produce a single sneeze.
So what am I suggesting?
That my friend is simple…STOP! Yup, stop with all the craziness, stop with all the virus tunnel vision…just STOP! Get off the extremist prepper websites, slow down your social media, avoid the panic pushers. Sure, gather a limited amount of quality news each day…maybe 10 – 15 minutes tops. Then go about your life. Or better yet…step outside of your life.
- Call an elderly couple and ask them if you could do their shopping for them.
- Take some diapers over to a single mom’s home.
- Give a couple of rolls of toilet paper to the largest family you know.
- Take a meal to an elderly woman’s home.
- Call your friends and ask them how they are doing and if they need anything.
- Take a big container of soup to your neighbor’s house for dinner.
- Get on Skype and read books to your grandchildren.
- Ask your church’s congregation leadership if a family could use your help.
- Identify some older couple in your neighborhood and call them each day to see how they are doing.
- Take a gallon of milk to a needy family with kids.
- Bake a loaf of bread for your Pastor/Minister/Bishop.
- Post positive stories and messages on your social media account.
- Text friends telling them you are thinking of them and hope things are going well with them.
- If you are shopping take only what you need, and don’t take the last item…look around for someone who needs it more…especially if they are elderly…take it over to them and offer it to them.
- If you are shopping and you see an elderly person shopping by themselves…help them…or at least make eye contact and smile at them.
And that is just the start…you are more creative than I am with your own situation, talents, and community needs. Brainstorm with your spouse, children, and friends on what ya’ll can do to ease the lives of others.
Get off your butts and be part of the solution not part of the problem!
OK, sorry…I wasn’t yelling at you…well, not too much. I wasn’t trying to be mean or trying to bully you. I was trying to motivate you in my own weird humor-attempted way. But, you get my point.
Please, I implore you to shake off this panic and fear, and especially get rid of the sources feeding the hysteria that has gripped the country. We are better than this…we can do better that this…we can do more…we can be more!
I would love to hear your experiences and stories of you living outside of your own bubble and helping others. Right now we need positive examples of how good we are. We need to know about good leaders and how they are leading. Right now…we need more good!
Send Me Your Experiences & Stories…
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