There seem to be two ways people deal with Covid information: ignorance is bliss or knowledge is power. I am in the second camp.
This is not a disease like any other. It is not like the flu. It is five times as likely to kill as the flu. It can have debilitating long lasting effects. How long? Nobody knows yet. It’s too new. Plus, symptoms can return again and again within a matter of days or weeks. Or new symptoms can arise.
I read everything I can about Covid. I believe that knowledge is power and when I see loved ones taking unnecessary risks I am going to tell them what I read about Covid. By nature, I am a Covid cop. I call people to account for their risky behavior. It’s hard for me to stop because I care about the well-being of those I love.
When someone says to me, “I was exposed at work but I was wearing a mask and six feet away” I tell them the hard truth: that masks are not failsafe and six feet is nothing because droplets can carry more than 20 feet. I don’t scream it, but I do say it…vigorously.
Some do not want to hear it.
They won’t hear it because they want to carry on with what they normally do, believing they are protected by masks and six feet.
They don’t want to hear that those protections are minimal.
They want to go shopping. Get together with friends. Go to gatherings where they are the only masked person.
When someone tells me they were tested so they can mingle with impunity, I tell them that the test is only a snapshot of that moment in time. They could be positive the very next moment.
These concepts seem to be very difficult for some to grasp. But let’s be honest: they don’t want to grasp them. Or even if they do, it doesn’t dictate their behavior.
When they are exposed, they are beside themselves with anxiety. But that doesn’t change their behavior. They absolutely MUST do risky things and that means they have to ignore the facts.
It has become harder and harder for me to accept this kind of behavior by people I care about. The idea they are so willing to put themselves at risk by their purposeful ignorance is hard for me to understand, too. Who wouldn’t want to know and act on the facts?
Many, apparently. They are willing to gamble with their lives.
And what’s even more difficult for them to take in is the idea that their purposeful ignorance and risky behavior means that the rest of us will have to deal with Covid longer. They are gambling with our lives, too.
I hope with all my heart that the risks my loved ones take do not mean they will get this awful disease. And maybe they won’t. Maybe luck will be on their side and they will emerge from this pandemic unscathed. (Which will only affirm their decision to take risky behavior).
But truly, I am just watchfully waiting because at some point, I am convinced one of them will get sick.
If everyone in our country believed that knowledge is power and acted on that knowledge. the pandemic would be under control by now. If everyone in our country believed that we are our brother’s keeper, they would act differently.
Whether they believe it or not, knowledge really is power.
I might or might not stop being the Covid police among my circle. But whether I do or I don’t doesn’t change the fact that the emperor has no clothes.