Covid-19 In America. A Rant by Aaron Cloutier.

Updated: Jul 13


(Drawing by Claudia Cubo)

See more of her work here https://www.instagram.com/cuboclaudia/



Hello dear reader,


I’ve been spending a lot of time quietly observing the situation regarding Covid-19 and its effects socially speaking. There’s a lot of people confused and scared out there and rightly so but from that, I’ve seen a lot. And I mean a LOT of ignorant claims from random people on social media confidently stating that “COVID is not that bad.” Or “COVID is bullshit. It’s not nearly as bad as “They” say it is.”

Who are “they” by the way? The CDC?

Anyway…

The level of ignorance is infuriating to me but rather than engage with all those people one at a time, I thought I’d put it all into this little rant. I hope you can relate to what I’m saying in this and above all, I hope you keep yourself, your loved ones, and those around you in your community safe.

Anyway anyway, here it goes.


ENTER RANT!




Dear America,

I’ve been observing your thoughts and feelings here and there on social media for some time now. I’m noticing more and more of you talking about how you're scared about COVID-19 and need to be out amongst people because you are “extroverted”.


Just think, what if we all did that? What if we were all on the same page? What if we thought about someone other than ourselves? What if we made a decision to choose empathy over fear and self-interest?

This is dumb.

If this is you, please stop being dumb forever.


Alright, let me talk about the first part first regarding needing a connection with other people.

Though I completely understand where you’re coming from and I know how hard it is because I’m suffering in the same ways, you have to remember that if we all follow an example similar to what New Zealand did, or find ways to adapt it to uniquely suit the problem here in America this really could be temporary.


Just think, what if we all did that? What if we were all on the same page? What if we thought about someone other than ourselves? What if we made a decision to choose empathy over fear and self-interest?

But instead, we stupid Americans tend to perpetuate something that could’ve been solved so much more quickly. It’s not easy. I get that. But really, what choice do we have? Covid-19 is worse now in America than anywhere else. But therein lies the problem right? America as a country is so huge. Much larger than New Zealand yes. Jam-packed with lots more people. So many different types of people with so many different opinions. Sure it can be argued that we are so much larger than New Zealand and maybe they're methods won't necessarily work in the same way here in the states due to the sheer amount of land and people. I'm not saying the way they did things in NZ would work for America in the exact same way per se. What I am saying, however, is that we can do better here. And I believe that it starts with the individual. It starts by having empathy.

So to those of you that are struggling, my heart is with you. I am and have been struggling as well.

Mostly with depression and loneliness due to lack of human contact but I also struggle with what’s known as generalized anxiety disorder and have been since childhood. I bring this up because my anxiety has without a doubt been exacerbated due to losing my teaching job due to COVID so I get it.


100%.

Please understand that I am not in any way trying to diminish what any of us are going through.

Though I might not know what your particular personal struggle is right now at this moment, just know that I am in it with you and I empathize.

But understand that it’s not just about you. It’s about all of us. Even if you think that you’ll recover from getting sick, maybe the person next to you that gets it because of you will not. Ever think about that? If not, it's time to start.

Maybe it’s an elderly woman you shared an elevator with. Or maybe it’s a stranger you’re standing too close to who is immune system is compromised. You yourself may be asymptomatic but could infect someone else who doesn’t have the capability to fight this thing off. What if that happens and they die? Would you be good with that? Are you okay with that responsibility?

I am not. I cannot afford to fuck around with not doing everything I personally could to do my part to prevent future deaths due to this virus. I’m not worried about me. I’m worried about my 60-year-old mother. I’m worried about my immunocompromised friends. I’m worried about children. And if that means I have to do the bare minimum of wearing a mask at the supermarket, keeping six feet away from others at all times….

I mean…seriously!!! How the fuck is that somehow NOT worth it?


I'm really not trying to come off as "holier than thou" so if I am, I apologize and just know that I'm not trying to be Captain America here with this rant. If it is a life and death situation here, and the solution is simple, (not easy but SIMPLE) then what is really stopping us from doing the bare minimum to get through this together?


And let's say, for the sake of argument, that somehow this is all some big conspiracy.


Okay, what are you sacrificing right now that is really so bad? Your face comfort because you wear a mask? Or that you have to be more mindful when going out in public? Maybe planning trips to the grocery store at non-peak hours?

(Whew)


Anyway, here are some things that I’ve been doing to manage my own personal well being and mental health and I thought I’d share.

First. Interrupt the pattern.

A discipline worth taking is that every time you feel the pain of isolation or stir craziness or whatever is first to remember that’s it’s not about you. It’s about all of us. Make it a mantra if you have to but all suffering is 100% related to the self. Suffering is a selfish thing. It just is. That’s not a judgment by the way. I’m the same. When I’m suffering, I’m in a state where I’m only thinking about myself. It is at this point, where I have to train myself to remember that it is not all about me. My suffering in this case is not unique. We are all suffering from this in some way.

So instead, I think about the good. I think about the positive repercussions of my actions like wearing a mask in public. Not only does it protect me and others around me more so that if I didn’t have it, the mask also sends a clear message to assholes who walk into the same place I do that aren’t wearing it.

Admittedly, I got lax and was one of those assholes briefly and though I had a guilty knee-jerk reaction upon seeing someone wearing a mask when I wasn’t, it was a great reminder and I haven’t been without a mask since. This is something we can all do.

To those who say “I can’t breathe when I wear a mask.”

As an asthmatic, let me just say. “Shut the fuck up you raging pussy.”

(Cough) Whew! Sorry. FEEEEEEL MY NERD RAGE! AGGGGGHHHH!!!!


Anyway. Think about the good results of your simple actions. Not only does wearing a mask protect you and others, but it also tells a complete stranger that you’ve never met “I don’t know you. I don’t know anything about you. But I care about you.”

So I guess if you think about it, wearing a mask in public says two things. “I don’t know you but I care about you.” And if the person you see isn’t wearing one “Fuck you for not doing your part to protect us all you selfish fucking asshole.”

(Cough cough) Whew I’m feeling spicy today. Chalk it up to stir craziness haha.

Next, I recommend some kind of exercise. Either taking a walk, lifting weights, yoga, etc. It’s all amazing. I hate it but I do one of if not all of them every day and it makes all the difference in changing your state of mind. I am an individual who is in my own head all the time and that can be bad in times of great stress. What brings me an immediate shift in how I feel without fail has always been exercise.

It also helps that I’m vain. I guess that’s a little built-in failsafe but fuck it y’know? Whatever works.

Next next. Obviously getting social.

I like the idea of social SPACING, not social DISTANCING.

Now I’m really bad at this but I’m working on it. Try scheduling a Google hangout with friends and treat it like an important business meeting or a job interview. Mark your calendar and commit to the date.

Other things I recommend.

CREATE

Write music.


Record Music


Mix Music


Master Music


Play Music


Discover new music

Paint.


Sculpt


Draw


Write poetry


Write lyrics




SCHEDULE


Write it all down! I think that's the most important first step. Map out your day, schedule it all and adhere to the schedule. That alone can help a great deal with battling the feeling of uncertainty. It will give you a sense of control.


Ask me how I know. 🤔🤔


LEARN!

Bury yourself in an online course.


Read a book.


Take a private online music lesson (Hey! I do those!)



Whatever it’s going to be. You need to feed your mind.

I will say that again more musically.

You Neeeeeeed

To Feeeeeeeed

Your Miiiiiiiiiiind

(In my head, it sounds like it’s in the key of A)

If you’re so scared of COVID, why don’t you actually go read up about it?

Learn a new language.

Ect. Ect.

If you’re scared of COVID, why don’t you go read up about it?

Why don’t you take the extra time you clearly have and study from actual scientists and learn from all of the information that the CDC has provided?


People fear what they don’t understand right?

Empower yourself with the FACTS. Don’t put a bandaid on your fear by listening to random people’s opinions on Facebook about how dangerous they think COVID isn’t.

Oh yeah, let me quickly address the second part.

To those of you ignorantly spitting your opinions without any information behind it and calling it medical advice.

Sincerely, fuck you. Just shut the complete fuck up.

But this situation can be temporary if we just follow these simple steps to reduce the spread of this virus. Wearing a mask is not getting microchipped.ountry? Sure! That without a doubt plays a part. But it's not the root of the problem.

This situation is temporary. We will get through this but we all need to move in one direction. If we just follow these simple steps to reduce the spread of this virus. Wearing a mask is not getting microchipped.

And to those who refuse to wear a mask because you somehow feel like it "Infringes on your freedom." I will say this.


If somehow my mother was to get sick and pass away from COVID due to one of you ignorant motherfuckers not following simple baseline steps that absolutely all of us can and should do then I’m coming for you all.



That's all I have to say America. Find your support systems, knuckle down, stop complaining and start thinking about solutions because we are all involved here. Remind yourself in the same way that I do. It’s not all about you.

EXIT RANT.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Here’s the video I was talking about with New Zealand flattening the curve.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=300921684370884


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