The Howl

Invitation to a Conversation about Our Quarantine Options

Apr 13, 2020

I feel overwhelmed with emotion and information in this first wave of dystopia.

And yet I feel compelled to invite you into a conversation.

And I want you to know who I am in case it shines light on my invitation.

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OUR WEAKNESS IS ALSO OUR SUPERPOWER?

Emotionally, I’m developmentally different. While I’ve spent years learning, there is still a small dark spot on my reptilian brain. So I don’t process emotion as quickly as an emotional intuitive, for instance.

This weakness evolved into a superpower - I’m a mental intuitive. Sometimes I see patterns and structure in large amounts of data before others do.

I’m medically vulnerable right now.

I’m financially vulnerable right now.

And I’m not too afraid of either of these for myself right now.

I’ve also been a trial attorney with my own office for over 20 years, a lobbyist and organizer for 10 years, a small business owner for 30 years and a trained expert in human relations for 15 years.

Those are the parts of me that feel most present as I write.

I was going to go quietly into hiding until I realized no-one is driving this bus.

So about this unique situation.

WE FACE TWO IMMEDIATE CHALLENGES. ONE IS THE VIRUS. THE OTHER IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUT IN ORDERS.

It would serve us to look at both of these challenges and weigh our options, considering all angles, for the purpose of reducing the suffering of our fellow humans as much as possible.

I’d like to speak about options without accusations and divisions, just be able to look at all sides.

And if you believe our political and economic systems are designed to resolve this for our collective benefit …

Isn’t it pretty to think so.

THIS IS MY UNDERSTANDING SO FAR

Evidence I see so far about the Virus: It’s deadly to less than 5% of the population, 80% will show no symptoms, and it does not discriminate. We do not yet know it’s lifespan or reinfection rate.

Developing the vaccine will take 18 months to two years, unless we find the humans who created it.

People are getting sick and dying, it is spreading, and the “flatten the curve” theory has already failed as hospitals enact mandatory “do not resuscitate” orders for virus patients.

Evidence I see so far about the shut in orders: They have no logical or health-based end.

By medical reasoning we will need to stay shut in for 18 months to two years while we wait for the vaccine.

If we decide not to await the vaccine, then we will need to start deciding who gets infected first and who doesn’t, which is a conversation that might take a minute.

We aren’t deciding whether or not to do the shut in orders, we’re deciding how long they last.

UNLIKE THE VIRUS, THE SHUT IN ORDERS DO SEEM TO DISCRIMINATE.

The less privileged among us get to pay for these.

Those of us who can not pay for necessities for months of no work.

Those of us who die of loneliness, which is the number one shortener of life in the US before the virus.

And those of us who do the tireless work of the hospitals, picking up the garbage, delivering products, and all the emergency services that are staffed by hard working humans who don’t have the privilege of staying home.

My good friend is an elder who is dying alone right now due to the shut in orders.

A relative of mine is a little boy who issued a suicide note and ran away yesterday due to the shut in orders.

I know many people who won’t be able to pay rent.

Congress passed an historically huge spending package to pay mostly huge corporations out of our tax dollars, further increasing the wealth gap, and they’re already discussing the next one.

THE NUMBER OF FATALITIES FROM THE SHUT IN ORDERS IS NOT BEING TRACKED.

And we’re in the first few days.

The loss of pieces of our humanity like connecting in person and the long list of freedoms we just handed to the government don’t even appear to be hitting the surface of our awareness yet.

I’D LIKE US TO BE AWARE OF THE PRIVILEGE THAT ALLOWS SOME PEOPLE TO SAY CASUALLY THAT WE SHOULD STAY SHUT IN “AS LONG AS NEEDED.”

Please remember that if you have a fully paid salary, are making more money than before, are shut in with your loved ones, or are otherwise cared for and a long home stay is not going to kill you, it’s easier to not care when the shut in orders will end.

I DON’T WANT TO DISCUSS POLITICS IN THIS CONVERSATION.

Although useful ideas do often need to be put into law.

We are in too big of a situation to start a problem solving conversation by naming parties or candidates.

Let’s deal with the political side of this later, after we discuss the ideas.

I REQUEST A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE MORE COMPLETE COSTS OF EACH CHALLENGE OVER TIME: THE VIRUS, AND THE SHUT IN ORDERS. AND WHO IS GOING TO PAY THE PRICE FOR EACH.

I’m suggesting a global conversation, not one I facilitate or control.

I don’t have any answers.

I’m saying I’d like to discuss our options.

With the intention of finding the solution that ends with the least suffering.

With dignity for everyone who is speaking as we collectively seek answers for our collective condition.

LET’S ASSUME THAT NOBODY WANTS PEOPLE TO DIE.

Let’s stick together as we discuss solutions.

We need our best selves for this.

I’m not arguing.

I know nothing.

I’m seeking.

Let’s seek together.

We’re on the same team.

Shaming or blaming is a waste of our precious time.

IF YOU FEEL LIKE CONTRIBUTING, HOW DO YOU SEE OUR OPTIONS?

HOW AND WHEN DO WE UNQUARANTINE OURSELVES, AND ON WHAT BASIS?

Talk with your friends, family and communities.

Share this.

Let’s not depend on “leadership” that doesn’t exist to solve this for us.