Being Active Is Different Now

Our times seem to have turned around. Many of us have gone from wondering how we can possibly fit everything we need to do today in one day to wondering how we will fill the time. My planner looks remarkably desolate every morning these days. But when I review what I have done at the end of the day, it is full of activities.

Okay, they may not be fun activities. But they are activities—things that needed doing. They say, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” That appears to be true for my planner as well. It is full of little things that add up to bigger ones. This was the case even in the Before Times, when we used to be able to visit each other whenever we wanted. Then as now, the question becomes, “Do all these little things add up to something meaningful?”

My planner doesn’t stay empty for long. Image by @Leo via Twenty20

Before: it was easy to let ourselves become interrupt driven, responding to whatever stimulus demanded our attention in the second. Now: it is easy to strive to fill our days with activity, any activity. Regardless of what it means. This restless flailing, this unbound need to “just do something” is part of what is driving the current surge in COVID-19 sweeping across the country like a tsunami, especially in rural areas like Milam County. 

In Rockland County, New York, a young man wanted to party even though he was already showing symptoms. His party caused at least 18 more people to get sick. According to ABC7NY, at least two other parties have been held since then. Some of the young people are facing $2,000-per-day fines for refusing to give contact tracers information to help save lives.

In Roanoke, Virginia, more than 100 new cases arose from a road trip to party at Myrtle Beach. Other outbreaks tied to that house party have cropped up in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

I hope this is a picture from LAST summer. Photo by @little_j24 via Twenty20

Milam County and Texas in general are seeing more new cases and more hospitalizations than ever before. The rise in deaths will probably follow in the next few weeks, even though this part of the surge seems to be spreading mostly in young people. In young people, the disease manifests differently. It can lead to heart attacks and strokes, which are often not listed as COVID-related deaths. But those young people are still dead, and their friends are still at risk. Remember, a stroke in a young person can lead to a long life of disability and suffering. All from one small decision. A friend of mine went from being a rising-star CPA to a welfare mom after a stroke when she was 27.

It’s probably okay to save the masks for the human family members, though. Photo by @place_to_hide via Twenty20

So, I’m asking you to think about the decisions you make today. Are you trying to accomplish something that will help yourself and the community. Or are you just filling time with something because it sounds fun? “Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself,” according to Zeno. The opposite is true, too. Every little decision matters. Please ask yourself why most of the rest of the world is able to move past the COVID-19 outbreak and choose wisely.

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