Humans gonna human
"We're all human, we fall short sometimes."
So said California governor Gavin Newsom while apologizing after recently being caught violating his own coronavirus restriction rules by attending a birthday party at a restaurant.
We're all human, he said. No kidding, Governor.
As humans we're social beings. We must have human contact. It's not an option.
We want to visit; hug; shake hands; talk; sing; worship; die with our loved ones present; and enjoy weddings, graduations, holidays, coffee with friends, theater, church, and the occasional ball game. We want — we need — to be with sick friends and family, to collectively grieve at funerals, to enjoy our grandchildren.
We're all human.
This is why elites like Newsom, or Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and her husband, or even health czar Dr. Fauci himself, have been caught violating their own draconian policies. They can't help it — they're human.
And just like those who would control us, more humans are now increasingly engaging in mild acts of civil disobedience. I'm hearing of clandestine parties and gatherings going on left and right. Friends are greeting each other with handshakes, hugs, and kisses. Despite their best efforts, college and university functionaries can't stop students from engaging in an important part of their higher education experience: socializing with those who eventually will become their lifelong friends.
And did you see all the travel going on over Thanksgiving, despite warnings from the CDC?
While officials continue to stomp their feet and threaten, and their media handmaidens continue to drone out bleak health statistics, the humans have unraveled the data themselves. They've come to alternate conclusions. There is a pandemic, they realize, and it is statistically a threat to those with 2.6 or more co-morbidities, especially as they move farther above age 55. As in most data, there are exceptions, but humans live their lives weighing risks. In this case, the reality is that old, sick people are in the greatest danger of dying from the coronavirus.
We all need to take steps to protect the most vulnerable, but if obese, diabetic 78-year-old Grandma wants to risk coronavirus by seeing her great-grandchildren, let her. Why make decrees to protect her from dying when you won't allow her to have a life? Because Grandma is human and in her generally poor health, there probably aren't many years left for her anyway; let her enjoy her babies.
I'm not calling for frivolity. There's some work I occasionally do for a medical school, and I prefer it when we do it by Zoom instead of at the clinic. That's because I know that medical facilities are the easiest places to get sick. And I appreciate the heightened protocols in which my dentist engages. Dentists donned masks and gloves nearly 40 years ago in the AIDS crisis, and this year, they've increased protections for themselves and their patients. Also, since my doctor has his office in an oncology center, I'm super-cautious in properly wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing while walking through a facility filled with cancer patients presumably with diluted immune systems.
Married to a retired nurse and nutrition expert, I know that the lifestyles we live based upon prevention have well protected us against illness through the years. In the wake of the coronavirus, we've upped our standards. Yet, early in the pandemic, I realized that it was impossible to engage in the needed daily functions of life while trying to exist in the operating room environment required to truly control a virus.
So, in day-to-day living, as I drive, carrying my passengers into merging onto the freeway or as I climb a ladder, use a chain saw, or make health decisions for myself and others, I do what most of us do: weigh the risks based upon research, experience, and personal observation. I then fashion my behavior accordingly to minimize harm to myself or others.
It has to be that way.
It's what humans do.
And no matter what the officials say, humans gonna human.
A retired marketing professor, and former journalist and radio broadcaster, Mike Landry is a freelance writer in Northwest Arkansas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphic credit: Pixabay.