In the wee hours of the new year, I was awake and washing dishes, when a ceramic bowl hit the edge of the counter and EXPLODED in my hands. Both hands were shredded and bleeding profusely.
For a moment, I thought, “Well, I COULD go get a bandage and do something about it. But the bowl was made in China. So maybe if I just declare this a “China Bowl” incident and blame it on China, and then do nothing else, that maybe the whole situation will “just go away.”
Then I did the right thing and took care of it with bandages and Neosporin.
Of course, the above is a metaphor for how our “president,” our “leader,” has treated this deadly virus from the beginning.
But a Narcissist do-nothing calling it “China virus,” as if that will absolve him of responsibility is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also the many people who have said it’s a hoax and those who STILL believe that.
The list goes on, and I suspect there are too many people who are all too familiar with these issues.
Today, I’m going to write about my latest issue, which may be unique to me and my area. At least, I hope this to be the case, because you don’t want to be where I am right now.
THE THURSDAY TURN-AWAY
I was talking with a friend who lives in the next county over, who said that he went and got a COVID-19 vaccination. He set it up through a health care app that is used in our state.
He detailed how the app will tell you it’s less than a half hour, but it actually takes two hours. In his county, the National Guard is there providing assistance, as they work to reach a goal of vaccinating 250 people per hour. Cars are lined up all around.
I got excited and optimistic about it, which is an issue I’ll detail at the end, and registered myself to get a vaccine in MY county. It had no notes on restrictions, as the app gladly accepted my registration to get the vaccine. It said that I would be waiting 27 minutes. Off I went to the county fair grounds.
WHEN I GOT THERE
There were five or six people at the entrance. One comes over. “You here for the vaccine? Just go through this maze in the parking lot and talk to the people at that shack over there, and they’ll set you up.”
The maze in the gravel, pot-holed parking lot was a zig-zag back-and-forth, driving around cones. The weirdest part of it all was that I was the ONLY car there.
I get to the shack, and there are seven people at this location. One person comes over, and she has a bit of an attitude.
“Hello, and what qualifies you for the vaccine today?”
I wasn’t ready for this question.
“Uhhhh… I live in X county? I’m a human?”
She explained, “We are only vaccinating front-line workers.” Now, I had heard this before. Why would the app allow just anyone to do this, then? Why would it not say anything? For all I knew, the policy had changed and they were going to inoculate all 16,000 of us here in this tiny location.
I could feel Autistic rage boiling under my skin as I struggled to contain myself. “But, nobody’s here.”
To be really clear, I have made the unfortunate mistake of moving into a small town. Small towns are full of stupid people, so there is no shortage of people who believe it to be a hoax, or who simply don’t want it. Every block has a big truck with six Trump flags mounted in the back.
We went back and forth a few times, until I’d had enough. “Best of luck with sitting on your ass and doing nothing.” I angrily drove away.
People are dying. A station is supposedly set up. They’re doing NOTHING but turning people away all day long. Meanwhile, in the county just 10 minutes away, the National Guard is helping them to vaccinate as many people as possible.
In a town that has fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, they should not be very picky about who gets what. I can understand the frontline workers being first in a major city. But here? Especially when the county next door, which is significantly larger in population, is using the National Guard to help inoculate everyone.
I’m going to die of incompetence.
EXCITEMENT AND OPTIMISM
As promised, I’m back to this topic to close out this entry. Whenever I feel excited or optimistic about something, it always backfires and brings more upset and disappointment.
Yes, I know. Life is full of disappointments, be an adult, blah blah blah. I am an adult. The problem is that this still affects me.
I have read the Stoic [with a capital “S”] writings of the likes of Epictetus and Seneca. The Stoic method is to start the day off with very, very low expectations of the world.
Epictetus and other Stoics teach that the only things truly within our control are our thoughts and actions.
Maybe I need to have low expectations of Mankind in general, so that I can avoid frustration and disappointment. Doing this makes it difficult to be optimistic.
I’m such a depressing person that the few around me will tell me, “Be more optimistic. Things will work out.” Now, I’m finding that I need to abandon optimism if I’m going to avoid disappiontment.
Anyone who gives me a lecture about any of this will be showing me that they either didn’t read this, or they did and failed to understand it.
I logically know things.
Practicing them is another. And making them fit with other issues adds a new complexity.
So, my challenge is to avoid optimism while remaining optimistic.