We’re several months into this pandemic now, and everyone wants answers to the same questions: When is this all going to end? When will life be back to normal?
And frankly, I can’t blame them.
But I think it’s about time we all start accepting the fact that, like it or not, this is just how life is going to be from now on.
Perhaps it didn’t have to go this way. Perhaps with different leadership, America could have confronted COVID-19 with a comprehensive plan—one that might have spared us from our current plight as the laughing stock of the world.
As it stands, we’ve somehow found ourselves living in a strange land where no other civilized country will allow their citizens to travel. But I digress.
Let’s back up for just a moment and call a spade a spade: When one is faced with a strange and threatening situation with no idea how to handle it, what should they do? Well, put simply: Don’t ignore it.
Unfortunately, however, that ship has sailed. Our administration has long since decided that simply waiting for the problem to go away on its own is an acceptable course of action… no matter the staggering number of lives lost as a result.
So… what now?
Well, now our only hope against this pandemic is each other.
A call to civic duty
In the words of John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Typing those words brought a tear to my eyes. Because while I was but a small child during that turbulent moment in history, our 35th president’s famous plea has never been more relevant.
I recently talked about mask-wearing as a civic duty. But that’s only one example of the kind of collective efforts that we, as Americans, are going to have to make in the months ahead.
And not just temporary ones, either. We have to make changes that may last years. I’m talking about true, foundational, permanent public health changes.
Because if you think back to the last viral epidemic to heavily ravage this country—and yes, I am talking about HIV/AIDS—you’ll recall that it was public behavior that ultimately changed that disease’s deadly trajectory.
The parallels should be clear to anyone. Including the fact that we had another administration that ignored the problem, refusing mere mention of the disease for years—a denial that added up to millions of needless deaths worldwide.
But I’ll save that discussion for another day. Today, I want to focus on the lessons we can still put to practical, lifesaving use. Because as I’ve stated here before, we simply cannot count on a vaccine to save the day.
Keep in mind that, all these years later, we still don’t have a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. But we do have drug therapies that keep people alive. (Though even that took decades to achieve.)
I will point out, however, that many of the risk-remediating sexual behaviors that helped to stop HIV have taken root as common practices—still, to this day. (And please keep in mind that HIV doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation—the virus is most commonly transmitted through heterosexual intercourse.)
And perhaps the most meaningful parallel to our current situation is the protection we’ve achieved through the widespread use of condoms.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
In the fight against HIV/AIDS, a simple thing like wearing a condom saved millions of lives. And today, wearing a mask could do the same.
But I’m not here to harp on mask-wearing again. I simply wish to point out that the behaviors scientific experts are asking you to adopt—social distancing, limiting exposures, wearing masks, hand washing, keeping the elderly safe—can turn the tide of this disease.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to keep sitting around, indefinitely waiting for COVID-19 to just go away on its own. Nor do I want to see more American lives lost to this virus, when taking these simple-but-inconvenient measures could help to protect them.
Let me be clear that these behaviors must be sustained—not for one, or two, or three, or even six months. People must be prepared to change the way they do things for a good, long time.
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve heard the term “new normal” kicked around for a while now. Well, folks… buckle up and get used to it. Because this is what life will—and should—look like for the foreseeable future.
The genie has escaped the bottle, and the only way out of this mess is through it. So it’s time to start being patient. And most importantly, to stop being selfish and ignorant—because that’s how people die.
As Cicero once said: “Within the character of the citizen lies the fate of the nation.” So, if you want some semblance of your old life back, make the right and responsible choices now, again in November, and every day in between and after.
P.S. In addition to making true, foundational, permanent changes to public health, there are a handful of ways that you, personally, can help boost your immune system… in the age of coronavirus, and all year round. In fact, my Complete Guide to Year-Round Immunity details a full report to help you do just that. To learn more, or to order yourself a copy today, click here now!