Strong Emotions

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So, yesterday, our state crossed the 100,000 mark in total ‘rona cases. That turns out to be front page news these days. In spite of my reservations, I decided to read the story and just walked away further convinced that the best thing to do is not pay any attention to the news media. The whole story was basically just lazy reporting and a continued attempt to stoke people’s fears.

First of all, what is our attraction to these nice round numbers? It isn’t like this is some kind of meaningful thing like the sound barrier or the 4 minute mile. After waxing poetically about how the cases got to this stage, they did actually speak to an expert and asked about the significance. His answer was that it is really just a number. I mean I did have to widen the column in my tracking spreadsheet so there you go.

Of course, this expert then said it meant we had to keep doing all the good things we were doing. I mean you can’t go away from the company line. The cynical side of me was thinking “you mean all the things we’ve been doing that didn’t keep us from crossing this nice round number.” They did manage to do some actual journalism by mentioning that other states have more and even that some states with fewer people have crossed this magic line.

But that was it. I mean could you have taken a little time to put these numbers in context? What’s the trend in cases (basically flat). Or maybe mentioning the number of tests and percentage of positive results? Or, maybe that that number of deaths is not increasing and that the majority of deaths that have occurred here were in the first spike in April. Maybe even speak to hospitalizations where only 11% of the ICU beds are for COVID patients and we still have 43% of ICU beds available in this state.

If the original goal was to flatten the curve to the point where our health care system would not be overrun, then haven’t we reached that yet? If not, how much more do you need?

The rest of the article was more panic. Even though we’ve crossed this magic line, there are still a whole lot more people out there who could get it and nobody has immunity so we are all doomed. Stay inside and hide until someone tells you it is safe. (Slight exaggeration there)

I’m not asking for someone to say that it is all roses and rainbows out there but don’t we know enough now to stop with all the doom and gloom. Maybe a little balance on how things really are and that case count by itself isn’t really a sufficient statistic to describe how things are going. Really just lazy reporting. The good news is we’ll be spared another article like this until the next “magic” number.

I try to control how these things impact me but, at some point, I have to say something.

I have to confess I’m not doing well dealing with Rocco’s loss. We went for several walks over the long weekend and all I could think about was how weird it was to not have him along with us. In a weird way, it almost felt wrong to be walking in some of his favorite places without him.

I finally removed the least and harness we used to get him into the car on his last ride. I can’t get rid of them yet. I don’t know when we’ll get another dog but it just doesn’t feel right to toss them out. Still have a closet full of dog food and treats that needs to be dealt with. I know ignoring it probably isn’t the best thing but I just can’t face it. Every reminder just still hits me with a major wave of sadness – even typing this has me close to tears.

I know they say time heals but there is just a big emptiness that doesn’t feel like it can ever be made whole again. Kind of like this quote says.

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