Saturday, May 16, 2020

No, We Are Not In This Together

I have grown to hate the phrase we are in this together. All one needs to do is read Facebook or Twitter for ten seconds and you will find out this is not true.

Once again the mentality has broken down to one of two sides. Open up or lock it down until we have a cure. Unfortunately locking down until we have a cure was never the goal and states keep pushing back the open date. That alone has frustrated so many. If you even try to discuss opening up you are accused of only wanting to make a dollar and don't care about those dying. I've read posts by people say you can recover from not having a job but you cannot recover from death. My personal favorite is, maybe if you knew someone who had Covid-19 you wouldn't be so quick to reopen. Both are insults. To suggest that someone does not understand the pain of loosing someone? That they haven't entered that into their equation about reopening is just absurd and when you tell someone you can recover from a job loss is totally dismissing their pain. That somehow because they are not dealing with death that their pain is not real. Well, shame on you!

One person's pain is not lessened just because you can point to someone who has it worse. Yes we do that many times to remind ourselves about the many blessings we do have but when it's done from a outside source it's a total dismissal of the hurt that person is feeling. We make a heart shape with our hands, we cut out paper hearts and hang them in our front windows and then we dismiss the suffering of our fellow man because it's not death?. In this together? We are as long as you think like me I guess.

There has been over 88,000 deaths in the United States at the time I wrote this. That is terrible. Each one of those people left a family devastated. I get it. We all know that. There is also been 33 million people file for unemployment. Behind each of those numbers is a family suffering. But they don't matter because....death. In the United Kingdom on average 2 deaths a week happen from domestic abuse. The three weeks following lock down? Sixteen. For each of those families they are experiencing suffering but they don't matter because...death. Financial ruin, doesn't matter. Depression? Substance abuse on the rise. Who's not death. 

A recent Kaiser Family Poll nearly found that half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress had a 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year. A online therapy company called Talkspace reported a 65 percent jump in clients since mid-February. But we dismiss anyone who wants to get back to normalcy.

Normalcy is what keeps some people hanging on. The purpose of going to work all day can mean more than a paycheck. It gives many purpose. It may keep another from returning to the bottle he finally gave up two years ago. The convict who was released last year and finally found someone who would hire him but now finds himself out of a job. I could go on. 

But if all that doesn't grab your attention maybe this will. If mental abuse, and spousal abuse is on the rise then so is child abuse. According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline, at the end of March there was a 22% increase in monthly calls from people younger than 18. That was at the beginning of the lock down! During that time 67% identified their perpetrator as a family member and 79% said they were currently living with that perpetrator. Now, with schools closed I wonder how many of these abuses are going undetected because teachers and administrators are unable to see these children and report these crimes. Instead, these children are at home, not even able to go to the local playground and are stuck with their abusers. 

So next time you sit behind your computer being the mask police and criticize someone who wants a return to normalcy of being cold and uncaring, I think you better look into the mirror. Quit dismissing others pain because it is real and it is being felt by millions. Use your energy to care for those people. If nothing else, stop with your constant bitching about everyone else. Your constant critical posts are not going to make you approachable for when someone does need help. You have already told them their pain doesn't matter because you know....death. 

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
•  Call 911 or your local emergency number.
•  Stay with the person until help arrives.
•  Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
•  Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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