Here’s what I have found to be true as a cancer patient.
When I am scared, I need to be surrounded by people sending me love. Comforting me. Saying they will help me if I need.
It never helped me to be around people who said things like “F*ck cancer”, or were angry people. Energy and vibrations matter.
This past week in America has been hard for everyone, but especially the elderly, the immunocompromised, and the ones who love them. Hearing over and over that they are the ones who will die, when we have been fighting another beast trying to kill us, is hard. It’s like we’ve been in the arena fighting the lions and are exhausted when suddenly, the gates open and in come the bears.
Here is what is making it harder.
Depending on the news organization or social media feed, we are either all going to get it OR it’s just a cold or it’s just like the flu. The government and people aren’t doing enough, OR it’s all overblown and ridiculous and people are stupid for preparing and shutting down. It’s a political game, and either the politician and party you support is doing enough OR the other side is doing too much.
Perspective matters here.
I found through the cancer journey that it is important to read true studies, become informed from all sides and then figure it out.
I’m wondering how many people who are saying it’s all a hoax and overblown are reading the same studies and articles as me.
Compassion and empathy is what is needed here.
To many, if you are in the 80% who will be fine if you get it, great. I truly am happy for you.
It means you are some of the luckiest people on earth and have won the life lottery because you haven’t been dealing with death and disease, and old age is still far away. You don’t know how lucky you are.
It also means you are going to be either the heroes of this story in the history books, or the villains.
Because if you are the 80%, and you have compassion for the elderly who are frail and scared and not as mobile as they used to be, you can help them. You can do welfare checks of your elderly neighbors. Offer to go shop and leave it on their stoop. Nursing homes are now shut off to families. Have your kids mail them letters. Make a strangers day. This generation gave you the country we have been living in. Comfort them during yet another scary time.
If you are the 80%, and you have compassion for those with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and lung issues, transplant, breathing conditions, you can help them…instead of saying over and over that this is ridiculous and they are the only ones who will die so they should just quarantine themselves and let everyone else go about their lives.
Stop overreacting over the 20%.
It’s smoke and mirrors. Twenty percent seems small. One in five doesn’t. Out of one hundred million people, that would equate to twenty million. Saying it differently changed it.
The 80% can be the heroes.
They have the superpower. They have the ability to “flatten the curve”.
They can’t stop it, but they can slow it down enough so hospitals full of the the true superheroes of this story can help more people live.
Picture a speeding train. Everyone on board is the elderly and immunocompromised and medical staff. The 80% can either shout at it that it’s not really that fast and they aren’t on it so they are fine…until it runs off the cliff.
Or they can run to the train and start trying to hold it back, slow it down, so the medical staff can get everyone inside off.
We have to think, why are all major sporting events shutting down? Disney world and other atttractions? Broadway?
They are the heroes.
Yet here is the conflicting part.
Governor Cuomo and Mayor Deblasio.
Cuomo went on and on about how serious this is. How NYS has the most cases in the country right now. Then he said he is lifting the 180 day rule for schools to be in session in order to get state aid. State aid is so important. Public schools will crumble without it. He owes my district thirty million dollars still. Aid is a big deal. I was like, “Finally! He has a heart!”
Then came the fine print. What he didn’t say is that it is only lifted IF the district used all of their snow and vacation days first AND they closed because the department of health or the state shut them down. He said he is leaving it to the district’s discretion.
He said he won’t close schools in NY because the kids need the two meals a day and parents need the babysitting essentially so they can go to work. Then he said kids will all get it no matter what you do to protect them, but the good news is 80% will recover.
If that man had a mustache, he would be twirling it while he said that as he watched the speeding train go off the cliff.
Then deblasio said he is keeping schools open in NYC. Again, because of two meals and babysitting. He would be the stooge next to the mustache twirling Cuomo.
Which leaves the local districts holding the bag. They are seeing state after state after state shut down schools for the next few weeks. But their governor and mayor are playing money games. In communities like mine where most of the town badmouths the schools and decision makers, if they don’t close they will be bashed for putting lives in danger. If they do close and it wasn’t by directive or DOH or the mustache twirling governor, and it goes longer than two weeks, we don’t get state aid. Which would then cripple us in the future.
It also pits district against district, as state tests are coming up, and regents and AP exams. Is this what it is about? That seems like a ridiculous thought. I mean, colleges are closing for the rest of the year and going online. But from what I understand, any online work or time spent working through school closures doesn’t count to the 180 days for public schools.
Life just got harder for families.
All of us.
I got a call yesterday that I can no longer have anyone accompany me to the hospital. Which means rob, who helps me with the frozen therapy for my hands and my feet and spoon feeds me ice chips so I dont get mouth sores can’t come. I can phone conference him in to my doctor appointment, but it’s not the same. Ask my principal what it’s like to be with me during a phone call about my life. That poor man had to stand in for rob when I got a call at work and he saw the Keri you all don’t see. A crying, in shock, shaking Keri. It’s not pretty.
Life is going to change for a long time for us all.
The 20% needs the 80% to be the heroes.
Do what you can to keep us safe.
Be helpful with your words.
Human touch is healing, and that’s been taken away from us. So use your words to help heal.
I went to the beach with the girls yesterday, and walked either far behind or far ahead.
I reset myself.
We can all reset our world.
We have become so divisive lately.
Perhaps this is a test.
Maybe we reconnect with each other. Families spend time with each other and play games. Go for walks outside. Reconnect with nature. Write letters to strangers in nursing homes.
This is our chance to show what’s in our hearts. If your the 80% and schools close, perhaps volunteer to man mobile food pantries. I think of the black and white movies during World War One when everyone stepped up and did their part.
Will we do the same now?
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
God bless the school leaders who were just thrown to the wolves by their state leader. I pray they make the right decision, and the community supports them.
God bless everyone in the hospitals and first responders as they prepare. They are the true heroes in my book.
God bless us all.
In Jesus’s name, amen.