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What Is the Point of Being Alive?

By August 27, 2020Commentary

I am encouraged that at least in Minnesota, it seems that even in the past few weeks, road traffic and people out and about has picked up substantially.  I am hoping that it reflects people coming to their senses, recognizing that for most of them the risk is insignificant, and you have to actually live.  I am 70 years old, pretty healthy, probably have a better sense of risk than most people because I look at the data so much.  I have tried to the greatest extent possible to live my life as I did before.  I went to stores, didn’t wear a mask until I had to, my wife and I ate out whenever we could.  We saw our children and grandchildren and friends who were willing to get together.  I went to work.  I did that not because I thought I was invincible but because those things are the joy and the satisfaction in life (okay, maybe not going to stores).  I am not going to let precious days, weeks, months of my life slip away boarded up in my house because I might get an infection (turns out your house might be the worst place to hole up).  If I get infected, I get infected, odds are I will be fine, but I am not going to miss hugging my grandchildren or reading them stories, or hugging friends and being able to enjoy the companies of other people because of fear.

If people feel the need to be so protective of themselves, I could understand it if you have a serious pre-existing illness that substantially increases your risk.  But otherwise, how long are you going to deprive yourself of really living?  I have been impressed and heartened that many very old people, including those in nursing homes, who are at high risk, say that it is more important to them to see family and friends than to be isolated and avoid infection.  That is a healthy attitude.  I am discouraged that so many young people choose to lock themselves, and often their children, away.  If people think a vaccine fundamentally changes the situation, and they are just waiting for that, they are probably wrong, and they are misusing their time on earth.

And I am hoping that if people are fed up with the fear and want to get on with being alive, there is a groundswell to eliminate all these states of emergency and restrictions that have no basis in rationality.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • mmemhopp says:

    I couldn’t agree more…Let’s get on with life! I am so tired of all these scare tactics. Let’s get back to normal….and I don’t mean “the new normal”. It’s time to get rid of masks, sheltering in place, 6 ft social distancing, and let kids get back to real school….not a computer screen. I sure hope that the citizens of MN have come to the realization that Gov Timmy is not a leader. He is incapable of looking at the data, doing a risk analysis and leading. He needs to grow a backbone. I hope he is a one term blip in our state’s history.

  • Jim Edholm says:

    “those things are the joy and the satisfaction in life (okay, maybe not going to stores). ” Are you and I related by birth?? We’re at least related by likes and dislikes. LOL.

  • Ellen says:

    Agree with all of you.

  • SteveD says:

    ‘okay, maybe not going to stores’

    Hey! Except liquor stores and book stores. 🙂

    One interesting point you made, I also have observed. Why is it that supposedly risk-adverse older folks are so often against isolating themselves, while so many of our youths, who supposedly think themselves invulnerable, are locking themselves away?

    OTOH, humorously my son (age 19) barely thinks about the pandemic until I show him statistics about why he shouldn’t worry. “What pandemic? I thought masks were the new fashion trend.”

    More seriously, I also agree that a vaccine will not make a difference. It will arrive after the pandemic is over (which is approximately today) and probably be less than 100% effective – too little, too late.

  • N.S. Palmer says:

    You’re right. Tomorrow is promised to no one, young or old. Reasonable caution accepts that fact. James Bond also agrees with you:

  • Chris W. says:

    Excellent! I started saying this exact thing 2 weeks into shelter in place back in March. It’s even more poignant now.

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