The most effective form of PPE (personal protective equipment) is not a product we buy or a mask, glove, or garment we wear.
What am I talking about?
Consider these are likely correct:
for next year, or two, or three – COVID-19 will be floating around us
nearly everyone will, at some point, contract this virus – perhaps as likely as you might catch a cold or some conventional flu
you will likely not be hospitalized or die from COVID-19
If you agree, consider what kind of world we’ll be living in next year, the year after, and beyond. And, consider how we can stay safe, avoid the virus, ensure we aren’t inadvertently contributing to spread?
Option A – cross your fingers, hold your breath, wear gloves and a mask
Option B – go about your business as usual – don’t change anything in your life and you will be OK
Option C – alter everything you do, run, hide, wear masks and gloves, wait for some government to fund everything, wait for science to kill COVID-19 or perfect a vaccine – then go about business as usual
Option D – use your brain
Option D will cause discomfort, expense, and may alter our lifestyle in ways we might never have imagined, and which we fear
Every day, as far back as I can remember, my day has started with curiosity about the weather; I look out the window, I check the temperature, I turn on a radio or TV, I check the APP on my phone, and I can check on my computer. I expect most of us on this planet find out this way.
People living at the South Pole or on the equator can probably be sure without checking first. My point is that we check on the conditions before we go out in the world. Those conditions include the weather, the political climate, the season, and we team those realities with our brain, and we govern ourselves accordingly.
Now, we have a new ‘weather report’to check; wherever we live, the details on new-cases, spread, hospitalizations, and death are germane to our daily decision making. That will be our reality for 1-3 years, and the quicker we adapt to that reality, the better off we’ll feel. I don’t know if anyone can predict with certainty how the world will work, but we need to be better equipped in terms of knowledge and behavior to survive and thrive.
Sure, I’ve got a box of rubber gloves and a box of masks in my car – new ‘tools of the trade’in my business. The rest of my equipment: curiosity, information, the ability to reason – in other words, using my brain, my most relevant and useful piece of PPE. I don’t have to buy one online or go to a store that isn’t open …
The President of Brazil still doesn’t believe this is a big deal. In Russia, they are tight-lipped about their facts, but you can expect it is worse than they are reporting; the recent incidents of doctors falling out of windows to illustrate a new way of silencing people. China is posting smaller numbers – perhaps understated, but in sync with other leading countries in the COVID fight. It would seem, the differences between countries doing well (i.e., New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany, etc.)and those doing poorly (i.e., United States, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Iran)is proving to be about PPE use.
It’s not the number of masks or tests, or ventilators, or hospitalizations, it’s the use of the brain, and following the advice of scientists and doctors – that’s keeping people safest of all.
So, use your PPE.
To keep your head, when everyone else is losing theirs – that’s the best PPE.
We are all grieving. Some of us are grieving losses – of loved ones or friends – and grieving the inability to attend any kind of final send-off for them. Some are grieving the loss of opportunities we have missed or ignored, events canceled or postponed, things we cannot do, lamenting trips we cannot take to places we cannot visit.
Grieving the loss of our expectations is real. While it may be illogical, self-serving, and sometimes petty – it is still real. We need, in the words of Annie from New Jersey,“Build a bridge and get over it.”
Today is the tomorrow you thought about yesterday – your brain can understand that.
Today is a day when you can use your brain, or give your brain the day off.