As we continue to move along the days of being in total shock and awe of how our government is handling the corona crisis. We should take a moment to breathe, relax, and prevent panic from within our confines as much as possible. With many taking to social media to pass the time and help utilize their many talents to help get us through, focusing on preventing a sickness through quarantine should be very simple. But, for many Americans it seems as if it is the hardest thing to do. The focus should be to shift to the idea of being healthy as being coronavirus free and ensuring the longevity of each other. Ladies and gentlemen, the times have now changed and once the peak of the crisis has subsided, the issue will remain and continue to be among us just like every other virus known to man. When the national media discontinues reporting the virus does not mean it will not continue to exist. A perfect example is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The news media has stopped reporting on the war for years, yet we are still fighting and war fighters are still sacrificing their lives.
With the impact that the virus has had on the globe, as a country we will need to change the way we do things. We must change the way we interact with each other daily, forever not just during the pandemic. We need to alter our way of thinking regarding normal activities (i.e. teleworking as an option long-term versus working in the office everyday). Top American officials and citizens must stop thinking that we are immune to things, because we are American. The belief that issues only affect certain people and it does not impact “me” or "us", is irresponsible and frankly ignorant. We are all connected in some fashion. This situation has pinpointed this notion more than anything else we have experienced in our lifetime. It has also highlighted that there are a significant number of holes within our national and state public healthcare systems, which many highly ranked officials have chosen to ignore for many years and has now cost us severely.
The complacency regarding our livelihood that has existed within our lands over the last few decades has now been shaken and is no longer viable. Considering that this pandemic is being compared to a war, let us approach being healthy in a war zone environment. As being healthy in war and a non-war environment are completely two different things. If you ask any war veteran, being healthy in a war zone is classified as being alive and being injury and illness free. Being complacent is a guaranteed signature on an early death certificate. So, what are we supposed to do? How can we survive?
1. Be Prepared, Be Kind, & Be Smart
Listen, there is no such thing as being overly prepared. However, there is a such thing as being selfish and hoarding resources. During war time, each unit has that guy/girl with more than enough items to share with their entire team but chooses not to, because they are more concerned for their individual well-being then their team. Hey, we understand. You want to make sure you survive. But, in a war zone, no one survives alone. Not even Marcus Luttrell could survive by himself. He needed someone to help him and it happened to be someone that even he least expected. You can have all the resources in the world, but without a team you will not survive. In this case, the toilet paper was an issue. Toilet paper is not going to prevent the spread of the virus and it will not feed you when food shortages are present. However, you will have a very shiny bottom that is Charmin clean and Angel soft. Be kind and share resources. Purchase only what you need and leave enough for others. This helps prevent the spread of the virus, ensures longevity, and prevents price gouging. Which in turn increases everyone’s overall health.
2. Pay attention
In life in general, attention to detail is the difference between life and death for many professions. For those who choose to disregard the importance of situational awareness, such as what is going on around them, the rationing of essential supplies, and the well-being of the team will ultimately cost the lives of many people.
When things are rough and you become exhausted, attention spans will wane causing mistakes. Being attentive is being aware of the situation and doing the right thing at the right time, all the time. Even when you do not want to. In every situation, there will be people who ignore attention to detail. In this event, people refraining from adhering to the stay at home orders, social distancing, proper hygiene, and taking the advice of infectious disease experts are being careless with their lives and the lives of others. In the military, in a time of war, these people are reassigned or weeded out in other “professional” ways and are given a not so nice title. The primary objective of the team is to ensure the mission is complete and guaranteeing the safety of self and each other. In this case, it is the same: Combat the virus, protect self, and protect each other. Educate the misguided to get them back on track to ensure the safety of others and yes, their safety as well. By allowing a loose, misguided, ignorant, and egotistical person to go unchecked will cost the lives of many and they will not even realize it or care to acknowledge it.
3. Find humor
During war time being able to find humor during the sadness times is essential. For you know that you will not be returning home to your normal humor filled routine for another 6-9 months, or in some cases 12 months. So, finding a way to laugh is the best way to past the time and gain a new perspective of the environment you are in. Civilians always know who the military people are because of our silly and sometimes sick humor. Well, that is because being on lockdown in a moon-dusted desert with 20-30 smelly people who have not washed in 30 days can be a morale killer. Not only that, but you have been waiting on supplies from your government for 6 months. So, you tend to get used to getting the mission done with duct tape and spades. Just do not “re-nig” or the entire country will know.
For some, during this time, filming on social media is the answer. For others, it is playing games with their family. No matter the method find humor. For the health professionals on the front lines. Find humor or your unit will not make it. Yes, it sucks. Yes, the government has made false promises. This is War! There will be tons of false promises, a lack of supplies, people dying, tears, dirt, sweat, and plenty of cigarettes. But the one thing that will never stop is time. You will survive and you will survive with each other.
This is the new healthy. There is no keto diet, no pescatarian diet, no vegan diets, and definitely no planet fitness. Be creative. Help each other. As this will forever be remembered as the time when the globe was at war with self for a lack of planning and the use of resources, and with an invisible enemy that has a ferocious appetite for destruction and separation. So, for those that needed to learn the hard way. Never underestimate your enemy, no matter how small or inadequate they may seem. For to do so, will result in defeat.
From the Operation MedHelp Team, remember to stay safe, practice social distancing, and good hygiene. Thank you to all the healthcare workers, grocery store employees, transportation workers, and anyone else on the front lines helping the country combat this disease. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed. Take Care!