-What is happening to society? As an empath, I am feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted. I can hardly stand to go on any form of social media, because of the heightened polarization that is physically draining to me.
I am not surprised, yet I am shocked by the level of attack. It is like we are reverting to primary school, where we think it is okay to bully and call people names. My emotions get wrapped up in the hurtful things people are saying and all I can think is “we are better than this.
Here is what I am noticing. FYI, while I am using Coronavirus as an example, but I believe this can be applied to all hotbutton topics.
1. NOT TAKING OWNERSHIP OF THEIR ACTIONS
First and foremost, people are not taking ownership of there actions. One individual on Facebook was defending one of his comments and responded to a comment like he was the victim, “I guess I don’t matter, I am a cold-hearted republican.” Like it’s okay to say what he first said because he is a republican?!? I wanted to step in and say “own your own actions, don’t hide behind this idea that Republicans are cold-hearted. You said it and you got called out for it. I know many republicans that don’t need to name call, be insensitive, or sink to that level. What you are doing, in the name of being republican, is not fair to other republicans.”
I also see a lot of liberals also shouting from the rooftop about Trump’s cruelty and lack of professionalism, but in almost the same breath they slandering him or other conservatives. I just want to jump in and say, “Hey, it goes both ways. Just because you agree with what that person is saying you don’t see that he/she is being hypocritical and doing the same thing as Trump.”
2. THERE IS NO “AND” IN THE CONVERSATION
Second, I am watching an “either-or” conversation. There is no “and.”
Masks are neither good nor evil, yet we have made them that way. You are either for public safety or for the economy. Locally, if you are for public safety, you can’t possibly be for small businesses. If you are for the economy, people do not matter. As a small business owner that is insanity. I am for both.
And why does it have to be so contentious? Why can’t we look at the situation and recognize the extremely difficult predicament government, leaders, schools, healthcare professionals, etc. are in. It is a lose-lose proposition.
None of us would want to make the difficult decisions that people in government have had to make. One costs lives but keeps businesses flourishing; the other saves lives but at the cost of businesses. Now they are trying the “and,” (business open, but wear a mask) and people are so angry about it.
But the reality is, globally had the world not taken the precautions they have, we would have seen more deaths and the residual negative impact on the economy.
3. USING THE NUMBERS TO BENEFIT YOUR CASE
Third, people are only listening and hearing how the numbers benefit their case. Here is what we don’t seem to be talking about. The positive effects that some of these difficult decisions have had. The fact that we shut down…how many lives did it save? We may never know. People were upset because only .04% of the population has died. Like how dare we do this for .04%. Yes, .04% is less than originally predicted. But yo, hello, this is where the numbers are after we implemented some of those hard decisions that were made by both republicans and democrats. We will never know the exact number of lives saved by these decisions. Had we kept everything running as “normal,” people would be upset with the government to not doing anything and the number of people dying.
Can we not see people are losing there lives but also recognize people are losing their businesses. At the point that people were shouting about the numbers only being .04%, I had to wonder what other circumstances we as a society would tolerate losing approximately 50,000 people per month (first 3-months totaled around 150,000). Even if we were in a war, we wouldn’t tolerate losing 50,000 citizens a month.
4. MY CAUSE IS MORE IMPORTANT
Forth and finally, people seem to want to make correlations that don’t exist. I see people saying the real issue is something completely off-topic; like sex trafficking. Like somehow, it’s a competition. If they can show higher numbers, they are better. The reality is they both are horrible. Recognizing that Coronavirus is bad doesn’t mean someone is saying that sex trafficking isn’t bad or doesn’t matter. They are both real issues. One does not need to be better than another, or more worthy. They are both worthy. And both need attention. Yes, right now the hot-button topic is the pandemic. I recognize trafficking didn’t stop with the pandemic, but it doesn’t need to be an “I’m better than you” and if you are giving your attention to Covid-19 you are making the wrong choice.
CAN WE LOOK AT WHAT IS TO COME
Regarding the pandemic, I wish we would start talking more about the mental health ramifications of this pandemic, due to stress, death, and isolation. Those healthcare workers in the epicenters, how will we support them, when we have an uptick in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) due to the trauma they have experienced? Who will care for them, once this is over? Who will care for us (with all our other illnesses) if they are mentally not strong enough? These are humans that have been placed in an insane amount of pressure and stress in a very short time period. There will be residual impacts we will need to take care of.
For those that have been directly impact by loved ones passing due to the coronavirus or during coronavirus, not being able to say goodbye. The impact that has on them will be long-lasting. Yet, so many continue hearing the rhetoric that it’s just the flu. Or just get it and get it over with, like they, of course, would the the “strong” one that wouldn’t die from it…otherwise, why are you playing roulette with it.
And I also recognize the mental ramifications of isolation. People need other human contact to survive and stay healthy. How do we help those that are still isolated so they don’t experience other health issues/ramifications due to isolation? How do we meet those social-emotional needs, without increasing the spread of the virus?
WHAT CAN WE DO?
I wish we could all pause when we are triggered. Stop and recognize what is going on and then ask “what must be true for that person or idea?” Then look at “what must be true for me and my thoughts.” It takes recognizing that each of you is both right and wrong. That is being human. Until we stop to try to see where the other person/people are coming from we will be in this perpetual “us vs them” mentality.
We are all humans, we have differences, and that should be celebrated not chastised. We need to respect each other not humiliate.
Are you feeling similar exhaustion, want to talk? Let’s chat
P.S. Did you enjoy this blog? Read more from Jessica’s Journal or watch Jessica’s Saturday Sessions.