Seeking Wisdom

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The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name ~ Confucius

Last weekend we attended a local art fair, held in the public square. The day was hot and bright, so we thought it best to arrive when it opened and return home before the temperature climbed too high. Even though the fair was held outdoors, I wore my mask, one of a very few people to do so in the quickly-growing crowd of people. Everywhere I looked, there were groups of unmasked people of every age speaking in close conversations, exchanging money, sharing meals, crowding in booths, and playing instruments on stage.

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For me, it felt a bit like a Twilight Zone episode. Weren’t any of these people concerned about the delta variant of Covid-19? Yes, we were outdoors, and our local current risk level is “low” (43.8% of the population is fully vaccinated), but across the country, cases are up 70%, with a 36% increase in hospitalizations, as reported last Friday. The delta variant appears to be about 225% more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 strains, and young adults and children are at greater risk. Why not anticipate the tide turning instead of drowning?

The delta variant’s rapid spread means that, at some point, likely soon, the unvaccinated 56.2% of our population will be at greater risk, and those of us fully vaccinated could certainly experience unpleasant days of infection that probably won’t put us in the hospital, but will undoubtedly make us wish we hadn’t been exposed. (Read John Pavlovitz’s account of his ¾-vaccinated family’s experience with Covid-19.)

How could we know that Saturday’s crowd didn’t harbor a few delta-infected people? Why were so many people willing to call the pandemic done and done, take no preventive measures, and expose themselves and so many more to the virus? And all of this is preventable by choosing reasonable caution and practicing simple public health measures. We could all have worn masks, used hand gel, worn gloves, kept a safe distance, and still enjoyed the day and glorious art offerings.

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All over the world, it seems people are just deciding, against all scientific data and mathematical logic, that Covid-19 has disappeared forever. But calling a given day “Freedom Day” doesn’t make it so when viral variants are still thriving and seeking hosts. It would seem greater diligence than ever is needed as we travel to safer and healthier days. Wouldn’t that be the wiser choice?

I’m so sad that people, for largely ignorant reasons, are not availing themselves of the vaccine, not just because they’re now the sole population dying from the virus, but because they’re making stronger variants possible. We’re so close to defeating this virus and yet we keep pushing home plate further away.

Illogic and too-easily-consumed misinformation are prolonging and intensifying our collective suffering and may defeat the miracle of the vaccines already developed. Humans abhor sacrifice and discomfort. Historically, it’s always been so, but the vaccine is here, free, and accessible. Confucius says calling things by their proper name is the beginning of wisdom. There are people all over the world who would welcome the vaccine, while more than half of those in our community (and more than 40% nationally) reject its saving medicine and saving grace. Let us call such people selfish and irrational; let us call such times tragic and perilous; let us hope for a day we may call ourselves wiser and healed.

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17 thoughts on “Seeking Wisdom

  1. Thanks for posting that. I had similar thoughts when I went to the grocery store and only one other person had a mask on, including the people who work there.
    My son due to a past illness has the problem that his immunization does not work, so he can get the virus even though he had both shots, he is not young and the virus would probably kill him…What is he to do with the fools around him~!

    Thanks for Seeking Wisdom, I hope more people find it soon~!

    1. Oh, Sam, I’m so sorry for your son. I also deal with an array of auto-immune diseases and do not want to tangle with Covid-19 in any way, shape, or form, although I think I’d survive an encounter. I do wish those who have chosen to go unvaccinated would more fully consider the welfare of others. Be well and safe, Sam, and great peace and safety for your son.

  2. Well, Kitty, you sure hit that nail on the head!! I see the same thing – because the mask mandate was lifted, people think the pandemic is over. Which I – and you and countless others – find extremely frightening. Don’t they read the news? Just believing what they want to believe. I don’t get it, and like you, I will wear a mask wherever there are lots of people. I feel safe out in the field with the horses. LOL.
    I loved John Pavlovitz’s writing. Thanks for the link. Tooled around his site a bit. He speaks about what we all see – Christians who call themselves so but are biased against anyone with race, gender, or nationality differences. It’s hypocritical, and for me, very distressing. I like his approach to it.
    Anyho – you keep that mask on, lady, and be safe and I’ll do the same!

  3. Glad you enjoyed John P.’s writing, Jeanne! I highly recommend it. Good for the soul.

    Yes, you take care as well, dear friend. We’ll wear our masks together/apart. Solidarity forever! Blessings on your week.
    Xoxo

  4. Words of wisdom, Kitty! I’m still donning my mask whenever I’m out and about, especially when I go food shopping. I just don’t get this attitude of not masking up, I really resent it, and it causes me great anxiety, Wonder if people will wise up when the numbers rise, even higher.
    Stay safe everyone! 😉

  5. Thank you, Astrid, and oh, my dear one, I’m so sorry for your anxiety. It’s not healthy for any of us to sustain these fears and resentments, despite the fact they’re natural, logical responses to the stressors we’re facing. I do hope, as you say, that people will increasingly get the vaccine.

    I also think a good mask with filters and continued safe practices are great buffers between us and Covid-19. Loved ones, good books, our gardens, our spiritual practices, regular exercise…whatever art we make and the good we do: all of it helps us stay balanced. (And for me: strawberries and chocolate. 🙂 ) Blessings and love to you, and great gentle peace, Astrid.

  6. I nodded throughout this post. I just can’t believe people refusing vaccines, even worse are the covid deniers, how anyone can believe the whole world is united in a conspiracy theory I don’t know. A friend was recently ranted at for wearing a mask….sighs. It’s scary here right now with all restrictions lifted and soaring cases, I can see another lockdown coming within months. Stay safe. Love and huge hugs to all.xxx

    1. Oh, dear one, I’ve been wondering how you’re doing, between the heat and delta variant rising while restrictions disappear! Gaaaa. If it’s any consolation, we’re at 90 F/32 C most of this week…and in deep drought again. The delta is rising in the US, of course, but not yet too drastically here. A friend sent me some data on the lambda variant…not good news.

      So, I breathe, adjust to this stage of my life and the planet’s, and remain full of gratitude for my friends and lovebugs, my gardens, my chance to love my way through another day and to practice peace…and man, am I getting a LOT of practice in these days, Pandemics, droughts, fires, floods, food shortages, and every kind of storm there is…I wish that, for at least the last century or two, more humans would have fought harder for the Earth’s rights and health.

      Be well and safe, Lovebug. Thank you for loving the earth and all her creatures so fully and extravagantly.

  7. Here in South Africa (at the peak of a third wave), we’re far behind on vaccinations, though the age group 35 – 49 opened up recently, and this group seems to be the most eager so far to get it done. But we see the UK, Europe, and elsewhere seemingly declaring the pandemic to be over – not officially, of course, but through the relaxing of restrictions, the crowds back at sports events, etc.

    I would guess that a lot of that attitude is driven by sheer exhaustion with this pandemic, even though it’s probably still relatively early when compared to other pandemics in history. It’s a sign of our impatient, instant gratification-driven age, though, isn’t it?

    I think the general idea, since very early on, was that the vaccines would save us. So even though infection rates will be high, the severity and deaths would drop, and we can all go back to normal – albeit with caution, until this virus is eradicated completely (if that ever happens).

    And now that the vaccine is here, the natural assumption is that we fall back into normality.

    I suppose one silver lining of being behind the first world is that we’ll see how largely vaccinated nations will now do with the dropping of restrictions, despite rising infections. The case studies are being played out now, so we’ll have a better idea of what to do once we get further down the line with our vaccination numbers.

  8. Thank you, Yacoob. Yes, great exhaustion. Overwhelming changes have occurred in our patterns and expectations, and necessary adaptations to the virus, our politics, and the climate changes now upon us have been relentless.

    I wish people could draw more fully and profoundly upon their spiritual beliefs, basic etiquette, healthy choices for coping and behave more maturely, but I think anxiety and fear are winning, along with the selfishness and angry behaviors they feed.

    I certainly notice kindness and wisdom more specifically, and there are many people evidencing both.

    I’m so happy that the vaccine is becoming available for you and hope our good and bad examples will provide you with clearer paths, although I’m not sure humanity works that way.

    Be well and safe, my friend.

  9. Hi Kitty,
    Thank you for another thought-provoking blog about the times in which we live. I am grateful for your ping in my inbox with new insights and hope.

    I have written to you before about a blog project I worked on during the pandemic. It was inspired by your “people stayed home” poem which impacted me to great lengths.

    I have a request and I don’t know any other way than to share it here.

    I am a pro photographer and once in a while I take photos for my own personal expression. I have one that I took of my daughter in my garden (in a clawfoot tub set amongst the potato and tomato plants). I wondered if you would be interested in sharing a few words of prose to go with it? Of course, as I always do when I quote you, I will give you IG and FB credit.
    I’m sure you are busy and I understand if this isn’t something you are interested in. I will send you the photo I am thinking of but not sure how unless through email.

    Thank you again for inspiring me in so many ways!
    Liesl Clark
    http://www.lieslclarkphotography.com/life

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