I have not seen my mom in over 2 months, and it has been even longer with my sister.
I was Zooming with Mummy and Monica early this afternoon. Mummy brought up again the idea of coming to see me, and stated she and my sister could drive to NYC to avoid flying.
After I had my shoulder surgery, Mummy was super-stressed about not being here to help me out. Super sweet and understandable.
But just as the drive could be tiring for those two and could be dangerous as a result, I did not want to risk them coming and getting sick since both are at risk.
So the discussion eventually turned to: what do you think is safe to do at this time? And well, this question is on MANY of our minds.
And honestly, since it is seemingly impossible to convince everyone they should care about others, it ultimately will come down to every persons risk threshold.
Politicians know they are unlikely to flip a staunch Democrat or Republican to the opponents party. So who do they focus on? Moderates, independents, and the undecided.
And I have decided to follow this model so the best strategy is to focus on those who are still open - I have seen too many people I care about exhausting themselves by trying to change minds that are incapable of change.
As the country starts reopening, each person will need to make their own choice about the level of risk they are willing to take. And what I may consider an acceptable level of risk for me may differ from what I consider an acceptable risk for a friend or family member. But It. Is. Their. Choice. Bar none.
I want to analogize this to driving so you can decide how you would navigate the road moving forward if you had this knowledge ahead of time.
SAFEST DRIVER: a person who puts on their seatbelt, adjusts all their mirrors, adjusts their seats, holds the steering wheel at exactly 10 and 2, looks both ways and over their shoulder before shifting the gear out of Park, and gently rolls down the driveway till they are about to reach the street, slowly applies their breaks, and then gently accelerates back into their original spot at the head of the driveway.
Not sustainable for most, though seeing cute Mummy-like figures doing this may make their children happy.
TRANSLATION: The people who decide to stay at home and make trips outside of their house for only essentials, while wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene are truly putting the people of their country first. Or they just hate the sight of people and/or are an extreme introvert. Either way, cool.
SAFE DRIVER: a person who puts on their seatbelt, adjusts all their mirrors, holds the steering wheel with both hands or the other hand at the ready, and makes sure to look both ways before turning, looks over their shoulder and uses their mirrors before changing lanes or reversing, and is constantly aware of their surroundings and other drivers to prepare to alter their driving in case others lack focus and are careless.
TRANSLATION: Those who go out for more than just essentials and enjoy being social, but wear masks, social distance, and practice good hand hygiene to ensure all parties remain as safe as possible.
LESS SAFE DRIVER: a person who is deficient in a couple features of a Safe Driver, but who are not purposely trying to be a douche-nozzle while driving. This may be due to the fact they are tired, distracted, or a bit careless, but at least respect people enough to follow a simple request, such as putting on their seat belt when asked to do so.
TRANSLATION: Those who wear masks and social distance whenever they forget or are asked to do so - this encompasses a wide range of people who are not douche-nozzles and understand social responsibility, even though they may need a nudge to do so.
UNSAFE DRIVER: A person who is deficient in at least >2 features of a Safe Driver, and who usually partakes in additional unsafe behaviors such as texting occasionally or making out with a significant other while driving. Believe if you are scared of how they drive, stay at home.
TRANSLATION: Those who only put on masks or social distance when they feel like it, or who are annoyed when asked to - either they will put on the mask very begrudeonly or decide to no longer be a patron at such a place, and post a video on social media to show how they have been "wronged". They may recognize they are being assholes but their body, their choice is too important.
DANGEROUS DRIVER: The road is theirs, motherfucker. Get the fuck off of it. Fast and the furious baby, emphasis on the FURIOUS. Rules do not apply because this is America. Fuck seat belts. Who needs mirrors? Their neck, their choice so they will only look around if they damn well feel like it. If you fear the road, stay home you fucking sheep. They do not care if they go down. They do not care if you go down. They do not care if you both go down. You want to try and get in their lane? Be prepared to get run off the road motherfucker - especially into a 5G tower. They drink till their vision is too blurry to even notice other cars on the road, confirming "other cars" is just a hoax. Knee driving or no-hand driving is the name of the game. Anvil on the accelerator is the way they role, they do it up fucking Looney Tunes style. Time to yin and yang and get fucked.
TRANSLATION: Those who do not give a damn about others as they only care about themselves - the "my body, my choice" crowd. They do not wear masks, social distance, or likely practice good hygiene. The time they could spend doing these three things is instead replaced by screaming about their individual liberties, spreading conspiracy theories, and possibly spitting in others faces. Or shooting them.
The US can NEVER be a Taiwan, South Korea, or Hong Kong - too many people could care less about driving others off the road. And I will not even get into contact tracing.
So our only choice is to individually decide what level of risk we are okay with, protect ourselves, and direct our energy towards people open to safe driving practices.
Now it is all a risk-benefit analysis. Which drivers are YOU okay with sharing the road?
I initially tried to give examples, but there are too many permutations to consider.
Personally, if I knew a highway was full of drunk drivers, I would just avoid the highway altogether. Drunk drivers cannot be reasoned with. Just let go and accept it.
We all need to live our life. I GET IT. So decide what type of driver you are and how you will navigate the road going forward.