Journaling the Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic, Reflection #37

April 19, 2020

You didn’t do anything. It’s not your fault, and no, failing to wear a mask everywhere or rub with sanitizer at every contact is not your fault. We have all been conditioned by the actions, rules, mores, and habits of our environment, and those things that are new are hard to accommodate and get used to. That is the human condition…not you and yours alone.

For example, many people speed in their cars but they don’t do it on purpose. They are talking, singing, listening to the radio or whatever. When I was a police officer, and also working for an auto insurance company, I was part of a study that showed, with instrumentation and empirical certainty, that fully seventy percent of speeders given tickets were accidental speeders. We buried that report because the company could charge much more for its product from people with speeding tickets on their records. Yet, the morality story I told to speeders when I ticketed them as a cop, was emotionally accusatory and tough.

This new ‘masked man‘ identity of the public is going to be hard to learn to be a full-time practitioner. You simply must stay in touch with your tribe, however, no matter how slowly these new habits take to gain. Telephone, email and Skype and FaceTime and all of that are vitally important. Will this new social intimacy at a distance favor some and not others?

You better believe it.

Expressive personalities will find this practice acceptable and even favored, in many cases. Quieter people will have a tougher time but must bear down and do it anyway. To be alone, separated and distanced these days is to set yourself up to be the ‘staked goat.’ These are troubled times and you must form and hold together a tribe to make it through. Do not be alone. Fight that tendency, because that tendency is easy to follow but has a miserable end.

Call, write, complain, compliment, all of it, and do it with a growing number of people you’ve liked but never really kept in close contact with before.

Yes, do it right now.


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