The headline is not clickbait, which could be misinterpreted to indicate that people close to me have left their bodies in 2020. I have felt grateful and blessed that no one in my inner circles of family and friends has been taken by the virus that is rampaging through the world. Early on, someone I knew, a gentleman in his 80s, succumbed. He was beloved in the music community I’m part of. A dear friend who I have known for at least 25 years had what he referred to as a moderate case of COVID 19. Respiratory issues, extreme fatigue, and body aches were his primary symptoms. He was not hospitalized and all these months later, he is regaining his strength. Several family members of a friend lost their lives early on in the pandemic. A nurse friend I have known since her birth tested positive several months ago and she recovered well and returned to work. I know professionals on the front lines providing medical care, teaching in classrooms, working in supermarkets, and doing food delivery.
I am doing everything I can to stay healthy. I remain at home, being able to work from my dining room table, offering telehealth sessions to my psychotherapy clients, leaving the house only to do paperwork at my office, go to the supermarket, and the occasional doc appointment. I babysit my grandson in the morning and the only people I spend time with are my son, daughter-in-law, and the little one, as well as my daughter-in-law’s parents and sister who also are in the Babysitter’s Club. I wash my hands scrupulously. I wear a mask whenever I leave the house. I have an assortment of colors and patterns that I wash and hang up to dry as soon as I get home. When I am in public, I maintain a distance of at least six feet. All good. I miss socializing but am willing to forgo activities that might jeopardize my health or anyone else’s. My family’s wellbeing supersedes any desire I have to hug others. What you may not know, unless you have read my words before is that ‘in the before times,’ I offered FREE HUGS events world-wide. That should tell you something about how tactile I am. In the past several months, I have learned other ways to stay connected with the world.
Where the loss of people in my circles comes into play is with regard to entrenched beliefs on two fronts:
- That the virus is a hoax, or at least, exaggerated, that wearing a mask and cooperating with lockdowns is infringing on their rights and freedoms and it was designed to hobble America and make the outgoing president look bad. Secondarily, some are convinced that the vaccine that is meant to save lives is really a delivery tool to microchip the population.
- That there were shenanigans in the electoral process and the election was stolen from their candidate.
I operate by both emotion and logic. I feel sadness and anger that people who are well educated, that I have known to be caring, compassionate, and egalitarian support one or both of these two beliefs. It as if we live in two divergent realities. Remember the dress illusion from a few years back? Some people saw it as blue and black and some gold and white. For the record, I see gold and white. No matter how I looked at it, I couldn’t change my perception. The same is so when it comes to the two world views with regard to the virus and the outcome of the election. It is nigh unto impossible that anyone could convince me that we are making much ado about nothing with the microscopic critter infecting people worldwide and leaving some either debilitated or dead.
I follow the science and trust the medical professionals in my life who tell me it is indeed real and that vaccines are one powerful tool, along with the other preventive measure to combat the virus. Some of them have already received their vaccines. I am looking forward to receiving mine in the next month.
It is equally unthinkable that I could accept that the man whose words, actions, policies, rants, tweets, and virulent hatred continues to poison the country as powerfully as the pandemic, has earned another four years in office.
Sadly, some I know have gotten drawn into the vortex of QAnon.
According to Wikipedia, it is “a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “Storm” when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested.”
These highly intelligent, well-educated people have come to believe it and their social media pages have posts that attempt to take readers down that same rabbit hole. Friends (some I know in the face to face world) have sent me videos so that I can fairly assess reality. The thing is, I am quite aware of reality and what these videos offer ain’t it.
For my own peace of mind, I have needed to distance myself from them online. Because of the pandemic, I have not seen them in person and I wonder what I will say when we do meet again.
We are not divided by politics, but by values. My hope is that they will see the folly in their beliefs. Likely, they wish the same for me. I prefer to think I haven’t lost friends, but realize that when someone shows you who they are, believe them.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want a deeper connection with our community, please join us as a Premium Member today.
Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
stock photo ID: 1883252074