How to “gut” this unexpected new crisis on through.  The response by almost all governmental and private corporate authorities, to the potential of the inevitable spread of this new flu virus, requires a huge mental adjustment on the part of the general public. Getting used to empty stores, where food and supplies have to be carefully hunted down, and then secured where found, is brand new.  It can be done, but it requires time and effort to not only make the change away from the wonderful convenience that multiple locations stuffed with stuff gave us, to experiencing an edgy fear that supplies will run out, and then what? It is one thing to go hungry or lack control over the elements for oneself, but it is quite another to lack those things or to fear the lack of those things, for other family members who likely do not have the ability to take care of themselves. Not going out to restaurants, movies, clubs or socials of any kind may seem like a very minor and limited withdrawal from luxury pastimes but, in fact, it is a withdrawal from those things that the public has become accustomed to as its “feel-good” essentials.  What is one to do at home? Get on the Internet and read and write?

That’s good for a day or two. What then? Watch television, where those who are encouraging this whole thing are driving everyone? To watch what? Sports teams not playing or playing to empty stadiums? How long does it take to binge-watch everything stored on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Fandangonow?  Simmering. The American experience of “simmering” has started and is going on this very day. The country’s population will simmer, for a while, but not for too long before real trouble breaks out. The culture learns very little as a culture. If the culture were to respond to this “simmering” situation it would take the example of teenagers stuck on vacation or at home or wherever, when they are not allowed out or to participate in any activities that formerly had meaning to them, and it would immediately respond.  However, that’s not likely to happen, so the American culture is about to experience a “teenage explosion” of emotion, the likes of which nobody in this country has ever considered or been a part of before. The way to “gut” through this crisis that is not a real crisis yet (from the virus spreading standpoint), is to make-believe. We must all, or as many of us as possible, make-believe that everything is going to be alright and that this “fix” of doing nothing and staying totally alone and divided will soon pass. We all must also prepare for a time, coming soon, when the culture will react and decide not to stay divided.

What will that coming back together portend for the health and safety of us all? If the public responded with rationality and total comprehension to stern warnings of conduct that might lead to death then there would be nobody smoking cigarettes anymore, or taking illicit drugs, or even prescribed opiates over and above amounts prescribed.  Truly practical and rational advice would have everyone stay close to a core group of friends and family, no matter what the new rules supposedly advise and require.

The virus is not likely to kill you, but the fear of it can certainly kill the culture that supports us all. Carve your own path. Sometimes muddling on through is the only way to get through a dangerous or difficult situation. This long period with fake heroes granted adulation and honor, while not doing much of anything to justify such praise and support, is about to end.  The coming time is a time for real heroes to emerge.

Find one.

Follow one.

Be one.

~~James Strauss

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