Why Are People Still Dying From COVID-19? And Why Can’t We Go Back To Work? Perception, Perception, Perception

Perception can steal the show from even the most reasonable fact-based issue. Oftentimes what people think shades reality. How they feel supersedes proven facts. Is this the case with the current Coronavirus pandemic?

Wait. Before you take this the wrong way – or worse, before you get emotionally charged – hear me out. According to science and medicine, COVID-19 is clearly a virulent virus that can be deadly; however, it is also a virus that can be completely impotent. The deciding factor appears to be the individual who comes in contact with the virus. If you’re elderly or have other health issues, the virus can harm you and sometimes it can even kill you … but not always and not automatically. For the other 97% of the people who come face to face with COVID, it can be quite uneventful.

Just for the sake of perspective, are there not other diseases, germs, infections, risky behaviors, and accidents that present the same odds of death? So why has Coronavirus reached the level of celebrity status – albeit in the realm of a supervillain? This would be because it was new and unknown; and that makes sense. Why it still strikes such fear in our hearts despite all the scientific, medical, and statistical facts we have learned about it might be attributed to perception. We were initially presented with a deadly disease sweeping the globe and killing at will. This scenario was scary and desperate and called for immediate action. No question there.

But now … now we know so much more! COVID is not the indiscriminate, guaranteed death sentence we once believed it to be. This is GREAT NEWS!! Humanity can analyze mountains of data, mobilize all the new treatments being discovered, utilize our many powerful resources, and retool our strategy to fit all we have learned about the virus, right? Yes and no. Many are making new decisions based on the most current information. Others are finding it difficult – even to the point of paralysis – to change course. Instead of being flexible with their solutions based on new and emerging information, they are digging in their proverbial heals and refusing to make needed adjustments. Once again, perception. Feeling and believing you are not safe – regardless of the reality of the situation – will supersede facts every time.

The media can play an important role in shifting public perception on this if they would simply report all sides of the virus, instead of hounding us with case numbers and deaths. Unfortunately, based on past reporting habits, that is unlikely to happen any time soon. So, as individuals, we must think for ourselves. We must gather reliable data and ask questions. When we are given answers, we must then filter it through the lense of does that make sense?

Many questions have been raised. Why can I shop at a home improvement store but not at a department store – they are both spacious enough for social distancing? Why can’t I go to my workplace where we all have our own offices to socially distance in? Why can medical people wear masks in close proximity to full out coronavirus patients for hours at a time, but I can’t go to the park or to work with a mask when I’m 6 feet away from the nearest person? Why can essential workers move about freely (with or without masks) and I can’t? Why is it OK for me to gather with up to ten people who can potentially spread the virus; spreading is spreading, right?

Why can’t I decide for myself if I’m willing to risk contracting coronavirus and let everyone else do the same? After all, we each decide on a daily basis if we are willing to risk our lives doing a myriad of other things: visiting a sick relative, driving, taking drugs, having unprotected sex, flying, and having medical procedures. Some may argue that only a select few are at risk of death from COVID-19; everyone else should fear many other things more than this virus. Current facts flesh out those assertions; yet, the perception of death by COVID can cause many non-vulnerable people to hunker down in their safe places and optionally refuse to move on. And that is their right and their choice. If you don’t feel comfortable going out, you have the right not to; but by the same token, those who want to go out should be able to weigh their own risk.

Some argue that because people are selfish, obnoxious, and “stupid” and don’t care if they spread the virus and put others at risk, we need massive testing and for government authorities to mandate we all stay home indefinitely, with the threat of penalty. The other side of that is this: if you are at risk for COVID-19, you should take personal responsibility for your own safety and stay away. Those people out there living their lives, not wearing masks, and exposing themselves are choosing for themselves the same way you are. If you don’t like it or agree with it, you have every right to stay away.

Why are people still dying from COVID-19? We have been stuck in our houses for almost two months, yet over 70,000 people have still died in the United States! Is that because the virus can’t be stopped unless EVERY person –  including essential workers – stays in their homes away from EVERY other person in the world for … forever? Otherwise, as soon as one person goes out exposed, the cycle starts all over again.

It’s understandable, in the beginning when so many people already had the virus incubating inside them when the quarantine started, that there would be death. But that doesn’t make sense for the many people dying in America today. Having been shut down for 5, 6, 7 weeks, should people still be dying from a virus with a 4-14 day incubation period? Must we conclude that the virus is still spreading despite our massive shutdowns?

Knowing what we know now, is it time to begin rebuilding our lives by moving about wisely and deliberately, even as we mourn the losses of our loved ones? May God bless all those in mourning from Coronavirus and so many other causes.

People naturally fall into categories, even as quarantines are lifted. Those called Risk-takers, Trailblazers, or Pioneers will be the first to venture out. The Fast Followers will be next, as they are already in agreement, but just need a little encouragement. Next come the Moderates; after watching the results of the first two groups, they will be ready to join in. The Masses will soon follow. The last group are the Hang-backs; this ultra-wary group may take much longer to go along, if they do at all.

As the country reopens and people begin to move about, go out to eat, shop, visit with friends, and attend small events, those perceptions will most likely persist on some level. Nevertheless, as people begin enjoying life again, others will be encouraged to do the same.

#NotAfraidToThink       #COVIDdoesn’tWin     #ReOpenAmerica     #MournTheLosses

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