Hello COVID, are you still here?
Are you tired of COVID? I am.
The feelings of unease around other people when out in public is wearing on me.
I do not enjoy suspecting every cough or sneeze as symptoms of the virus.
Holding my breath when walking past others on the street is lame and does not decrease the chances of an infection.
Yes, the discomfort of mandatory face masks while at the grocery store and being shot in the forehead with infrared temperature guns by security guards is getting old. I’m over all of the COVID-19 related anxieties, precautions, and concerns.
I want to return to “normal.” I miss the days of going outside without worrying about a face mask. Greeting a stranger with a handshake, hug, or kiss on the cheek feels like science fiction.
While I don’t like the inconveniences or feelings of coronavirus fear, I understand that we are experiencing a pandemic.
Around the world, numbers are increasing. As of this morning, Antigua has 70 confirmed cases, 23 recovered, and 3 deaths. Worldwide there are 12.3 million confirmed, 6.74 million recovered, and 555k deaths.
Despite the US lead in cases, I was surprised to learn of last week’s “Independence Day” celebrations. I had a hard time believing that thousands of people followed #45 to Mount Rushmore to watch fireworks.
I wanted to send each of his followers a message.
The message would have sounded something like...
If you must see fireworks on a day that commemorates freedom from British rule while African people remained enslaved, turn on your TV, cellphone, or computer.
There is a GIF for everything.
Not that I am overly concerned about Trump’s supporters, but it’s important that we are careful. For the sake of humanity, let’s think people. This advice is especially true if you live in a hotspot where thousands of coronavirus cases are getting identified each day.
I have friends who have contracted the virus in the States. Some have experienced minor symptoms. A friend of a friend of mine passed away due to COVID-19 complications.
What choices do we have?
If you live in the US, you could go to the Senate floor and plead with the government to not mandate wearing masks in public. Did you see the special people argue their case in Florida? You could follow their lead and make the not convincing argument that masks are a violation of your constitution right and a divine plan affirmed in the Bible.
Here in Antigua, you could refuse to wear the masks and pay someone to do your grocery shopping. That option is expensive and not sustainable. Persuading government officials to lift the mandate is impossible without serious island clout.
There’s no getting around the coronavirus for some time. We have to adjust and accept that the masks and other changes are the new normal.
If a vaccine is released this year, would you be willing to take the first trial? I am not. Side effects are inevitable. Some responses could be minor, temporarily debilitating, or even lethal.
I am unwilling to take a new vaccine for at least five years. Vaccines need multiple years of trials before we have enough data to determine their safety. I am not part of the anti-vaccine movement, but I do avoid them when possible.
There is a time for resistance. We should challenge the racism embedded in police practices, such as the brutality that took Elijah McCain’s life in Colorado. Resist the individual and systemic racism that creates violent conditions in communities of color. We do not need to resist the coronavirus protocols.
Let’s figure out how to manage the new normal. Buy a face mask with a customized design. Wear the mask when out in public spaces and interacting with others outside your family.
Yes, the masks are hot! I get it.
Don’t abandon the face coverings, but make time to enjoy the summer weather without a mask. Keep your mask on your wrist and walk in a less populated part of your community. If you can drive without a face mask in your city, make it a priority to get out once a week and ride with the windows down.
Develop a mindful practice. Making time for prayer, yoga, and meditation are great strategies to help strengthen your immune system and alleviate stress.
The time is now to evolve and live your life. While acknowledging the pandemic, feelings of joy, happiness, and optimism are essential ingredients to nourishing your survival. It is possible to outlive Ms. Rona’s global wrath!
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