Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tucson, AZ: COVID-19 Unfolding, Part 12: An Opinion on Opinions

Newspaper in Gallup, New Mexico. May 2013.

My opinion on opinions: Henceforth, I have none. None on corona, is what I mean. To be more specific, none that move beyond my portable six-foot bubble.

Until yesterday, I floundered at the bottom of the bottomless swimming hole of everyone's opinions. They are everywhere. Inescapable. On my Washington Post (and before that, New York Times) news feed. On the Google News aggregate news feed. On social media. Some in-person acquaintances. 

To rescue myself from that pool, I dog-paddled my way to the surface, got the fuck out of the water, and shook myself off like said wet dog. 

We are in the midst of an enormous anthropological experiment. Most folks, including epidemiologists and other medical folks, are still learning on the job about what's happening medically.

Six months from now, and better yet, a year from now, we'll be able to look back and take note of what the hell happened, what helped, what didn't help, and what we need to learn from this for the next time.

Not that we - "we" being our respective societies - will actually apply any of our learning the next time, as competing interests will always come to the game and flip the board. It's more of an intellectually satisfying learning that will occur.

CDC's 2011 zombie preparedness campaign, which makes damn good sense in a creative way.

So until AC (After Corona) and the flurry of Important White Papers, I'll ignore the pandemic chatter. I'll excuse myself from any conversations about COVID's origin, its comparative virility and lethality, and treatments.

Instead, I'll:
  1. Make the most informed decisions I can by following subject matter experts (SMEs) that seem reliable, based on their past records of clinical rigor; 
  2. Follow the rules of the land I'm in re: physical distancing; 
  3. Take measures that "my" SMEs recommend to protect my health and the health of the souls who enter my physical orbit (even if the powers-that-be decide to open everything wide sooner than my SMEs recommend); and
  4. Be of assistance to some folks who need a kind word, a generous action, and cold cash. 

I feel relieved to let go of the debates, to let cool the inner turmoil that boils up when I see click-bait headlines, pimped not only by the usual trashy vendors of salacious stuff, but by the so-called venerable news organs.

This is self-care. 

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