It’s been a long time. Maybe too long, or maybe now is just the right time to share a few thoughts. The last blog I wrote on this platform was more than two years ago when I lost a friend, much too soon, and then I transitioned from, It’s Just About… Life & The Sunday Series, to a new Storytelling for Business/Non-Profits/Organizations platform. Now, what brings me back is not the loss of life, but the challenge of living a new one. Not a story to share, but some thoughts and words to express.
Writers write. Sometimes that’s all we know. Trust me, I’m a writer.
So, write about what?
Maybe write about the fact that while we’re all in this together, we’re also confused about what this is.
Maybe write about the need to understand what’s best to do?
Maybe write about how we all want to see the final outcome of all of this even before we go through the process?
Maybe write about the fact that there are so many more questions than answers.
Maybe write about how all of this, crazy as it may seem, as overwhelming, even at times, exhilarating, (yes, I’ll explain that reason soon), will no doubt change the world forever. Yes, that’s scary, but it’s also necessary. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.
So stay with me here, even as you watch the World Map change color from gray to Coronavirus blue. Even as this virus, (and could they come up with a better COVID-19 graphic than an orb with the red stuff puffing out of it like a ball of yarn turned evil?), spreads like wildfire, we can all pretend to hold hands from at least three feet apart and give fake hugs from six feet apart and see us social-distance from the old world we once knew.
The number one thing we’re being told, and let’s face it, that we all must tell ourselves is, it’s going to be OK. And yes, it always is. We’ve always been. Right now, at this moment, you are a 100% survivor of everything that has come before in your life. You didn’t slip up even .00001%, because yes you’re here and you’re breathing – you made it. And let’s hope you still do.
Yet, we all know there will be those who won’t. Like with any virus or disease, people are going to leave us. It’s heartbreaking, it can be devastating and it can be life-changing. And nowhere in this blog am I making any of that reality seem small. Life is precious, life is what we all want to see continue, though too many of us don’t always choose to LIVE it. If we didn’t think life was worth it, we wouldn’t stay inside, we’d run around touching, holding, hugging, maybe even kissing and licking everything in sight, to increase our odds of COVID-19 infecting us and then like a Zombie eating flesh, we’d take our infected selves and pass it on so others could be infected and feel the same “joy”.
Unfortunately, some people are doing just that, whether they know it or not. They are infected, but unaware. They are going about their daily business with nary a care in the world, yet infecting the world at the same time.
Or are they?
That’s where some of the questions come in. And questions, oh yeah, we’ve got questions.
I took a look around and pulled this little ditty off of a website called Medscape, where it attributes the information it received from the World Health Organization: The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, annual influenza epidemics result in about 3-5 million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths.  In the United States, individual cases of seasonal flu and flu-related deaths in adults are not reportable illnesses; consequently, mortality is estimated by using statistical models. 
So it does raise the question… are we making a big deal out of something so normal? If you didn’t track the influenza numbers before, like in the U.S., then how can you say this is better or worse than a “statistical model?”
I’m not sure. You tell me. All I’m being told is to wash my hands, cough and sneeze into my elbow, don’t touch my face, stay three feet away from all other humans and if I’m sick, to stay home. It all makes sense and it should, because IT IS COMMON SENSE if you’re sick. I wouldn’t expect anyone with influenza to run around coughing and sneezing on others. And yes, I get it, we’re all trying to contain the spread of this “bug” that is traveling so fast around the world it makes your head spin. And yes, it’s making some people sicker than others and the death toll is rising, because it always does when people who are older or autoimmune compromised come in contact with bad stuff.
Like I said, more questions than answers. I’m just trying to understand it too.
Then I searched for some more information on the difference between the spread of COVID-19 and normal influenza and found this webpage:
An interesting fact from that article is this: Using the term “coronavirus” can cause confusion as well. COVID-19 is a coronavirus, but not the only one. COVID-19 specifies a certain strain of a coronavirus (COronaVIrus Disease-2019 = COVID-19). People around the world often get infected with four other common human coronaviruses – 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1. In fact, most people get infected with one of these at some point in their life. They present like the common cold, with mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses.
Wow, that’s a lot of influenza and colds. I suppose my point here is when is enough, enough? Before I go on, let me emphasize the point again – if you are reading this and have lost a loved one, friend or anyone you know because of the current pandemic – my thoughts are with you. Even one death is too many, and it appears we are in unchartered territory with a quickly spreading virus that loves a good host when it sees one, namely us- we humans.
Are there people getting COVID-19 and having a tough time? You bet. Are there people getting COVID-19 and basically being symptom-free? You bet. Is the world infected by a pandemic? You bet. Are the politicians getting hammered because of all of this? You bet. (I mean, come on, they’re politicians, virtual marketing machines, they’re not doctors or specialists, they know about as much about this as you and I do.) Yet, we expect them to solve all of our problems.
The confusion, the information and the consternation around all of this are enough to, well, make you sick. And as usual, we have the media, your TV and of course now your phone and its ability to bring you compelling information and misinformation, all at your fingertips, (make sure your screen is clean, please), and we believe and don’t believe any and all of it.
My point here is we all have to think, but we don’t know what to think, only what we’re told. What we’re told is there’s no need to think – just watch – be afraid and of course, keep washing your hands. My hands are so dry now from washing, I own more skin cream, than hand sanitizer.
I don’t care about conspiracy theories. I don’t care about how or where it all began. That just means you’re focusing your time staring at the wake behind the boat, not on the energy of the person driving it. That person or people, are me and you.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what we can do. What we believe and how we live our lives. At the end of the day, we are all 100% responsible for the quality of our lives and the results of our actions. So don’t break the law, or defy an order, but at some point, make your own decision, based on your gut, on what you believe and how you want to live.
I urge you not to make that choice based out of fear. Because most of us are going to make it through this, we always have, we always will. Let’s once again look at the facts at the moment if you are reading this: You are a 100% survivor of all that has come before in your life. When the sun sets on this pandemic, and make no mistake it will set – it will be time to drink a Corona, instead of run from one. Right now, you can either buy a Corona beer or have one delivered to your home – but because of the Coronavirus, you can’t head to the bar to order one on tap. And if you do have one, well then enjoy it responsibly, which means alone. Right now, there’s a lot you cannot do, because we’re told we can’t, or else.
So what can you do? I spent more than 45 minutes the other night with a very good friend of mine, Rob Commodari, talking about just those things on a Facebook Live event. I’ll put the link here, but know this is not a shameless self-promotion plug, just a link to some information that maybe will distract you from all of this. In fact, I’ll be including a note that I got up to write this blog this morning into the pages of my Thank You Corona V Journal. I’m keeping track of me and the lessons I learn from this right in that journal. If you want more information on the journal – then watch the link: https://www.facebook.com/mark.brodinsky/videos/10220860942540780/
I got the idea to write this blog today before the sun came up. I watched it rise while I’ve shared my thoughts and tonight, I’m going to watch that same sun go down. It always has, it always will. But will you?
A part of me believes this is all part of a correction, not one on Wall Street, but instead a correction from another street, that highway to heaven. God, a higher power, or simply the universe which for years now has watched us pick apart our basic human interaction. Meaning we’ve gone from being in each other’s physical space to one where we live vicariously through the fake lives of other people we see on social media and so instead, virtually, trying to bridge the gap between what it is we so lazily accept, our online existence, (social media), from what it is we really need, which is the human touch. Someone, some being or something – whatever you believe – has decided that if we so much enjoy living our lives this way – then here you go, let’s go X games on this sucker – and live apart, way apart. Now there are some new rules – stay away from each other, even if right in your physical presence. I can speak to you six feet away, so of course, you can barely hear me and I definitely can’t touch you, for fear I might infect you, or you infect me.
So we sit apart and we wait.
We get to do more of what drove us apart in the first place, live online, stare at our phones and watch TV, a lot of TV, most of it comprised of news programs. Do you want to know the real pandemic? Keep watching TV news, now THERE’S something that’s catching. A skewed, most of the time sick view of the world. My advice, be informed but don’t be overwhelmed. I know it’s not easy to do. But if you are trying to keep the virus out of your home, know that there’s already a drug dealer living with you in your living room and in your bedroom – and that’s your television.
But I digress.
We can’t escape the fact these are crazy times. Yet, as I mentioned earlier these are also exhilarating times because change is being forced upon us. We are affected – physically, financially, and definitely emotionally – which means we are smack in the middle of a ton of adversity. What that provides all of us is a chance. It’s a real chance to find what we are made of, a chance to adapt, to pivot, to tweak and a monumental opportunity to grow and think of new ideas and how we can be different. The ideas, the lessons, the inventions, the new world order that comes out of all of this – will mean just that, a new world. You will either be ready to embrace it, and hopefully, you’ve helped to shape it, or you can do what most do when they see something new and different, run back into the corner and cower – trying to hold on to what was before.
There are no good old days, there are just old days and they’re gone. Every day is a new one to make magic, and you get to be the magician. Maybe you can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat, but who cares – you’re already there – because you’re here and life is a miracle, so are you.
So my advice in all of this is to focus on what you can do today. It’s the present moment, it’s the now, it’s counting your blessings, believing in your own intuition and remember that soon enough, we’ll get to do what we love to do best, to touch and to hug and hopefully with renewed appreciation and gratitude for what is important in life. We’ll get to feel again what it’s like to be close to one another and satisfy our basic human craving to feel desired and important.
I heard something recently, a study from many years ago that asked, what attracts the attention of most adults? The answer? Number one was health, number two, a very close second, was other people.
Let’s get past this health issue and get back to what attracts most of us, what we all desire and what we all really need, other people.
Fk COVID-19. Fk misinformation. F**k hysteria.
I’ll see you on the other side… with a big hug.