I was raised by a guy who had a really hard life as a farm boy, dealt with a lot of death, and pretty much was never fazed by much during his career as a small town doctor. When he retired, his colleague, who was an incredibly talented physician, good friend, and fitness buff, said that whenever there was a crisis, everyone felt better when my old man showed up, because his indomitable confidence made them all think everything would be OK. Dad gave the eulogy for his younger friend after he died in his 60’s of a very malevolent form of cancer.
Two of my brothers had lymphoma in their mid-40s. One of them almost died on the operating table as they were inserting his port prior to treatment. The other had complications that required chest surgery and two weeks in a specialty hospital. Both were in perfect health before diagnosis, and, in each case, their lymphoma was diagnosed late because doctors seeing hoofprints were late to see the zebras. They are both fine today. My mom is currently fighting lung cancer even though she never smoked, was on no medicine, and was fit and flexible when she was diagnosed at 79.
Dad is still around and he was the voice we listened to when my brothers and mom got sick. We first got sad and angry about the diagnosis, then we listened to the experts, informed ourselves as best we could from reliable information sources, made our best treatment decisions, and moved the fuck on with the ugly work of dealing with cancer.
What we sure as hell didn’t do, by nature and by conscious decision, was panic. My Dad is pretty easy going with his kids, by my God I couldn’t imagine the anger and withering disapproval he would have had if any of us had panicked. Because everyone dies. And someone dies every moment of every day. Only blithering idiots think they can dodge death, or that there’s some justice in who the grim reaper chooses to hack into pieces. Panic wouldn’t save anyone. Panic would make us stupid, and we all needed to use our brains if my brothers and mom were going to live.
It’s with that perspective that I view the current virus panic. We can’t do anything about the cowards in charge (except work to vote them out), but we certainly can avoid being infected by panic. We can also plan for something good to come, and make sure that we hang every stupid, cowardly move they make firmly around their over-entitled, moron necks.
So, put your makeup on and fix your hair up pretty, because you’re alive today and odds are that you’ll be here tomorrow, no matter what any of the pants shitters in DC have to say.