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This is Intentionally Vicarious… I’m Todd Youngblood… And I was just sitting here at my desk pondering aimlessly… And I can’t help but wonder just how cautious I and everyone around me needs to be regarding this pandemic.
Is it the most dire crisis in living memory? Or is it all just hype? Should we be battening down all the hatches even more tightly? Or should we be quickly and aggressively opening everything back up? Should we look to President Trump to tell us all what to do? Or should we depend on our Governors to tell us what to do? Or the CDC? Or our state’s Department of Health? What government agency at what level should have the final say-so on telling us what to do?
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For me – me, personally – not necessarily for you or anybody else – the correct choice among these options is crystal clear. None of the above.
I’ll look to all of those sources – and more – for information, data, opinions and guidelines, but I’ll make my own choices. Admittedly now, I’m fortunate enough health-wise and economically, and educated enough, and keep myself informed well enough, and yes, I’m egotistical enough to believe that I’m capable of making my own decisions.
Will I wear a mask at the grocery store? Yes. Not doing so will make a lot of the other people nervous and uncomfortable. I have no desire to be a jerk and purposely make other people nervous and uncomfortable. Will I wear a mask when I go out for a walk or to ride my bike alone or with friends? No. In my opinion, that would be ridiculous.
In excess of 80% of all COVID19 deaths have been among folks older than me. I’ve had the flu once in my life 25 or so years ago. I don’t remember the last time I even had a cold that prevented me from going to work or doing anything else I wanted to do. I get some kind of physical exercise virtually every day. Have been doing so my whole life. The scientific research says that gives me T cells in my blood that duplicate the immune system of a 20-something. COVID death rate for that demographic is 0.1075%. (OK, I’ll acknowledge a bit of rose-colored thinking for that one, but still…)
I’m gregarious. Isolation is making me NUTS!!! Zoom is wonderful, but just doesn’t make up for real human contact. The level in the whiskey bottle seems to be dropping at a faster rate than usual. So therefore…
I’ve just been to the dentist. I got a haircut yesterday. I had lunch at Rocco’s near my mountain cabin just outside Jasper in Pickens County, Georgia. Pickens ranks #1,408 nationally for COVID cases as a % of the population with a total of 39 to date in this sparsely populated area. I’m not quite ready to eat-in at the exceedingly few places open near my in-the-heart-of-Atlanta home. Atlanta’s Fulton County has a very high population density and ranks at #551 with 3,795 cases.
Am I a crazy daredevil, or am I hopelessly risk averse? No offense, but I don’t give a damn what your answer to that question may be. As long as I do no harm to or infringe on the rights of anyone else, I’ll do what I please, and you have nothing to say about it.
Of course pay attention to the experts. Just remember, when you talk to a true, genuine, legitimate expert – and these are preciously few and far between – that person will bend over backwards letting you know that they DO NOT have all the answers. Data? Yes. Information? Yes. Insight? Yes. Valuable advice and guidance? Yes. All the answers? NO, NO, NO!!! Ultimately, it’s me that will decide for me. And if you’re not willing to do the same for yourself, go stand over there with the rest of the sheep and wait for some politician to tell you what to do.