Opinion: You Can Do Everything Right...

Remington Write

And still get taken out by that thing you never saw coming

Electric bikes going in the wrong directionPhoto byTammy Remington

On a Zoom get-together recently, my dear buddy Miryam was not just miserable because she had Covid (like that’s not enough, amiright?), but also because she’d been so careful.

Miryam — unlike someone who will remain nameless— didn’t go out. She had her groceries delivered and then wiped them down without having any contact with the delivery person. She did all the right things including masking outdoors, getting fully vaxxed and boosted, and washing her hands like an OCD-in-training.

And she got Covid. Miryam and over 329,000,000 other people in the world. Unlike some 5,000,000 of them, however, Miryam probably won’t die (I hope!).

But like too many of us, Miryam is blaming herself for getting sick. I blame the Puritans. Ok, let’s make this easy. I blame the entire Judeo-Christian-Islamic system of belief that tells us that catastrophe is punishment. It may not be codified in their holy texts — or it might be, I’m not up for the research — but listen to certain religious blowhards every time bad stuff comes down the pike for anyone but them.

AIDS was punishment for homosexuality.

The world's dirty perverts must be really busy because they also got blamed by that paragon of virtue, Jerry Falwell, for the 9/11 suicide attacks.

However, Katrina devastating New Orleans in 2005 was apparently the work of your basic, garden-variety sinners.

And the ever-popular “reason” for sexual assault: did you see what she was wearing?

What a childish response to a world that’s never been safe or secure. No living beings on this planet have ever had it so cushy as a surprisingly large percentage of the supposedly intelligent bipeds busily munching through all the resources. And still when life gets messy, dangerous, complicated, or fatal, there is no lack of authoritative voices — time for a little gender profiling here, mostly men — blaming the victims.

I call bullshit and call it loudly.

Good people, even good Christian people, who do everything right die of cancer. Supportive communities that care for their most vulnerable get wiped out by wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or tornados every year.

And then we had our friend, The Virus, on the rampage. That tricky customer mutated to evade our best attempts to stop it. That’s what viruses do. It doesn’t bear a personal grudge against Miryam. It’s not killing millions of people as part of some divine plan for retribution (although the thought that this might be a very necessary course correction has crossed my mind, but that’s fodder for a possible short story down the road).

Full disclosure: I am not one of those doing everything right.

I do some of the things right. I’m fully vaxxed and boosted. I wore my mask indoors everywhere except in our apartment until long after most people had ditched the masks. I also got out and walked daily - and still do - put some time in on the stationary bike, did my twice-daily PT stretches, got the usual routine medical health tests done (oh, yay, mammogram time again), flossed, and paid attention on the subway platform.

But, yeah, I also jaywalk and eat indoors at restaurants again. Scarier to some, I am on public transportation and in shops nearly every day.

Still I'd say I'm a solid 85%er when it comes to doing stuff right.

And, ready for this, Sunshine? Yes, I will die.

And so will you.

It gets worse. Before we die, we’ll almost certainly suffer through some form of debilitating illness. If not Covid, there’s an entire smorgasbord of deadlies lining up to be The One That Takes Us Out.

We take the precautions we can and buckle up because no one gets out of here alive.

So, if you’re sick with Covid or anything else, just rest and drink plenty of water and read trashy novels or watch crappy television and rest some more. But don’t brutalize yourself wondering what you did wrong. Maybe you did pull your mask down to scratch your nose that one time in the grocery store. So what? Even if you hadn’t there’s no way to guarantee this bugger wasn’t going to get you — and me for that matter — regardless.

As for delivery guys on electric bikes, you’re on your own there.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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