The United States is a big country with fifty states. These individual states are the distinct battlegrounds in which the COVID19 War is being waged.
Some areas — the NY-NJ-Conn Tri-State Area — are linked at the hip, but the rest of the country is seeing a series of individual fights that may have different regional outcomes based on the elemental nature of their population density — urban/dense and rural/sparse — and the way the fight is undertaken.
There is good news and bad news:
1. The good news — individual states, cities, counties will rise to the occasion and, through superior execution, conduct an effective campaign and bear a lighter burden.
2. The bad news — the individual states, cities, counties who do well will become domestic immigration targets. People will start moving from high risk areas to these lower risk areas, thereby importing — potentially — the COVID19.
The phenomenon of the Manhattan Beautiful Persons moving out to their Hamptons homes is a real thing and will overwhelm the small hospitals thereat.
In addition to the political subdivision fights, there is the personal fight — you and me. We need to do our individual duty to ensure we are not the target of COVID19 and that we do not spread it.
This is entirely a behavioral challenge. If you stay home, things will be better than if you are mobile. [Please refer to the 1971 song by The Who, “Going Mobile” a favorite Vietnam War tune like “Galveston.” But you knew that, right?]
Here are some tips for all of us:
1. Stop thinking you are 20-something, 30-something and invulnerable. There are plenty of body bags filled and going to be filled with your age group.
Stop dancing with stupid. No Spring Break even if it is in Mexico. Wise up.
2. Wash your damn hands before, after everything. If you must go out, use hand sterilizer before and after every contact point.
3. Don’t think that incidental contact doesn’t matter. If you order something from Amazon, know that that cardboard box could be contaminated. Quarantine the box and wipe it down with Lysol wipes or a weak bleach solution.
4. Do not contact elderly persons — anybody over 60 — as they are hugely vulnerable. Do not kill Grandma.
5. Be careful on how you get groceries. Get in, get out, do not dawdle. Use delivery, but use the Amazon box approach.
6. Inject energy into the world, blow sunshine.
7. Get down on your knees and pray. Pray for your country. Pray for all the people in the world. Pray for God to give you the grace to prevail.
If you don’t know how to pray, don’t worry God has a beginner’s lane and He will be listening. You will get really good at it and it will be a source of comfort.
8. If you get sick, fight. It starts with a positive attitude. Nobody has ever said, “My ardent pessimism carried me through that tough time.”
The vast majority of Americans will survive — like 99%. Be one of those 99%.
Whether you wanted to or not, you got drafted, dear reader. You are in a deadly profession now.
It is like 1970, you just got your draft notice, you passed your physical, got drafted, and your MOS (military occupational specialty) is 11B — Eleven Bravo INFANTRY. You are on the bloody edge of the bayonet and you will be expected to fight.
Guess what? You are going to find out you are way more of a fighter than you ever knew. It was in there all the time. It just took a little friction to reveal it.
You are in the fight. The fight is right at your doorstep and there will be casualties if you don’t rise to the occasion. Avoid that body bag. Do your duty.
Good news — we are being called to do simple stuff and we are good at simple stuff.
Do your duty, America. Get in the fight and fight, remembering the DNA of this country was formed at the point of a bloody bayonet.
We are a nation of fighters and we have proved it continually in world wars, in trips to the moon, in building the Hoover Dam, in raising kids, and we will prove it again. Old wine, new bottles.