And not the kind in a bottle!
Something nearly universal is happening around us, an odd occurrence emerging from odd times. Americans rarely seem on the same page.
Certainly, it’s not a united response to the virus that is spreading so swiftly among us – there are still too many people ignoring sensible restrictions, and our President’s renewed attention to the lives at risk could be upended by the next market downturn. There will be conspiracy theories on both sides, with those seeing a nefarious plot to tank the economy – and Trump’s reelection chances – joined by those on the hard-hit coasts speculating that Trump’s “hoax” talk was meant to extract a human price from people who don’t adequately “appreciate” him.
But there will be time enough for that in November.
Where we ARE virtually all on the same page is our state of mind. We are confused about the facts and statistics of the virus sweeping the globe, never an easy subject to grasp or explain. As a result, we’re worried about what comes next, which has us tied in knots.
More than we want to admit out loud, we are all worried about ourselves and our families.
We are all getting fed up with our self-confinement.
We are all encountering on the telephone and in our cars, when we do dare to venture out, people who act more rudely, crudely and even offensively. Perhaps they too are upset with their lives and figure it does not matter how they behave with strangers.
Some of us may be sleeping too much. Others maybe not enough. And, we are getting grouchy.
Anxiety is a state of mind which is hard to hide. That anxiety is itself contagious, often in counterproductive ways. Two anxious people perhaps is equal to at least three upset people.
In “real” war the fighters are surrounded by comrades with the same goals, the same tools and the same esprit de corps. Somehow, they go ‘over the top’ fully knowing the risks simply because that is what soldiers do –there really is no other choice.
In a virus war, the enemy is invisible and each soldier –everyone of us –sees him/her self as potentially in competition with everyone else – to acquire toilet paper and hand sanitizer, to stay free of the disease and, most macabre of all, to secure adequate treatment, as we are wounded in battle.
That is perhaps why our universal spirits in today’s world are so universally depressed.
A bit of nightly alcohol does buy moments of distraction, but it is not mitigating the evil threads of discord woven by our microscopic enemy.
So, we have to recognize that the real source of our malaise is FEAR. 100 plus years ago, something terrifyingly similar happened in very much the same way.
This time, though, we had many clear and convincing warnings.
Maybe it was just plain bad luck that our invisible enemy chose to strike when we lacked leadership.
Or, maybe our new enemy is even smarter than we can imagine and thought that this was the moment to strike when we totally lacked national leadership.
We have to rediscover and deploy our famous American WINNING SPIRIT!