Guest Columnist: 'Easy' isn't the goal here

Editor, The Beacon:

Maybe we’ve blown the chance to harness COVID-19 through the means that were available via testing and tracing under good leadership, but can’t we just come to understand one simple thing: Not taking the pandemic seriously is the common denominator to failure.

When I feel everyone is taking this as seriously as I am, only then will I and many more feel safe enough to participate in the so-called economy.

There are lots of high-level “role models” not wearing masks nor practicing other things said to stop the spread. This has established the easy way to handle this whole crisis for many.

Although I really have little respect for the current president, for a short time I, too, fell into the subliminal concept of thinking “no big deal” somewhat based on his cavalier behavior and dialogue. It was easy.

When history looks back on this period, I believe it will be obvious that it took the NBA shutting down its basketball season (not the government) for the rest of our society to take action. That was the big shock that forced the treatment. We seemed to do well, but some people got impatient and scared the politicians into what looked easy.

Easy! For the past 40 years, that word has dominated the goals of Americans. How can we make this or that easier? Even climbing Mount Everest is said to be about three times as easy as it was 40 years ago.

However, dealing with a pandemic is not easy. Life probably will never be the same again, and thinking that it will won’t make it happen.

I grew up hearing constantly how everyone got into the war effort for World War II soon after dealing with the Great Depression. They knew hard. They knew change.

Anyone seriously involved in sports has heard something like “Nobody said this was going to be easy” one time or another and, in my opinion, that is the message that should come down from the powers that be.

Every federal, state and local official with a platform and a microphone should be telling people that we’ve drawn a tough foe, but, following the guidelines, we can win.

What arrogance has prompted a segment of our country to defy wearing masks? Imagine smoking a cigarette in a public place these days, and note that about 20 years ago that was common.

Imagine somebody turning on their lights during World War II lights out. Things potentially bad for others are not tolerated in decent society.

Inconvenient, difficult, unattractive, cumbersome are some of the adjectives that need to become part of the current narrative. We are not going to see anything like business-as-usual until we all accept that the times have changed, and anyone who really believes that doing things like opening the barrooms makes sense has already decided that a bunch of lives don’t matter. 

So sorry that your summer plans aren't working out, but I’m sure those hospital workers had other plans, as well.

John Boyle

DeLand