One of my assumptions in life is that others also are dealing with the exact same problems I am.
I need something, anything, to look forward to. Sometimes, that translates into finding an interesting book on Amazon and awaiting its arrival. I am getting itchy to go to the grocery store. My issue is that every time I get a timeline for when to go back to work, it gets pushed out. This does not work in the long term.
People can do anything for a limited amount of time. What people cannot tolerate long-term is having no light at the end of the tunnel. The continuing moving of the goal posts gets old fast. April 12, April 19, April 30. Not acceptable. People will simply start to disregard all the guidelines because there is no end in sight.
The problem with panic and fear is that they are not maintainable. The fight or flight response can maybe last a week or two, not go on endlessly, month after month. People will follow any rule for a definite period of time, but not for an indefinite period of time. Panic precedes exhaustion and then comes the not-giving-a-damn phase. I reached that phase with Barry. Huntington’s! Head and neck cancer! Prostate cancer! It’s like being an ER nurse. If everything is an emergency, then nothing is actually an emergency. This is the bottom-line mental health issue. Emotional exhaustion is not a great way to get America back on its feet.
Something will, of necessity, fall to the bottom of the priority list. We’ve all had bosses that try to induce a sense of urgency by making everything a top priority. It backfires. It quickly turns into a joke.
You can’t cry wolf for the next six months–even there is a wolf five feet away eating Grandpa. The coronavirus is real. It will be devastating for certain populations. We all need to get back to work. However, if we go back to work without everyone being tested first, all we are doing is spreading the virus and making the situation much, much worse.
My point? Everyone needs to get tested immediately. Then those that test positive can be separated from the vulnerable populations. But continuing to extend the quarantining indefinitely is a good way to make everyone blatantly disregard all common sense warnings. There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel–even if it is a train.