It comes with any unknown element. There are those who subscribe to its veracity as gospel, then others who dismiss it like a fairytale.
And in the midst of the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and based on what I’m seeing play out both in real life and on social media, I feel compelled to say something that frankly shouldn’t need to be voiced: Ridiculing the opinion of others and tearing them down for however they view this coronavirus solves nothing, and in-fighting only makes things worse.
Difference of opinion is human nature. But at the end of the day, we’re all in this fight. What we do and the actions we take can have trickle-down effects we have no clue about. Regardless of how you feel about the virus or all the precautions being taken, we need to work as one in spite of our differences.
Doing so is what makes Fort Bend County, the Greater Houston region and this country great.
Now me? I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of flippantly dismissing it as a government conspiracy and racing to the grocery store to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer like there won’t be a tomorrow if I don’t.
On the one hand, I feel as though essentially shutting down a city feels like overkill on the surface. It’s unprecedented. On the other, casting cares completely aside also feels like the wrong thing to do – because the nature of the virus is virtually unprecedented, and we know so relatively little about the pandemic that is sweeping across our county and the world.
I’m a data nerd at heart and have been for years. If I’m presented a logical information set to back a claim, then I’ll generally give it credence. And by and large, there is so much data to back the claims that this virus is something that bears paying attention to. And in that case, far be it for me to trust my own instincts over those of trained medical professionals who have loads more information available to them than I ever will.
Ultimately, I’m not going crazy. But I am washing my hands more frequently and using a little more hand sanitizer than normal. And in all honesty, many of the recommendations set out are not that difficult to take heed of – so I’m also not in the practice of making fun of others if they insist on following them to the letter.
You’re seeing the difference in these decisions across the state and Fort Bend County. Many school districts are shutting down operations for the foreseeable future – including Fort Bend ISD and Stafford MSD – in light of new guidelines, which include discouraging gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next eight weeks.
But there are some faith institutions continuing to hold services and classes – albeit in a modified manner – while others have completely shut down operations for the time being as you may have already read on Page 2 of this week’s edition.
So even though I’m on the fence about just how necessary some of these precautions are, I completely understand the decisions of county, school and state officials to make the calls they have. There is no truly “optimal” outcome in this type of scenario – only one which is “less bad.” They’re shutting down huge money-making operations for the region, so there is no way they want to do this. But they feel compelled to due to the unknown nature of COVID-19.
It’s a numbers game. People are going to become infected no matter what we do. But limiting our exposure and taking a few extra seconds to wash our hands is far from a tedious task. So I think we can find a middle ground in heeding some calls and maintain compassion and humanity.
The beauty of this county and this country is that we’re all free to form our own opinions based on the available data presented to us. It’s also human nature to question some things, especially when there’s so much we don’t know.
In the end, however you decide to take in and process the information that officials are presenting to the public is on you. But let’s quit berating public officials and other humans for their decisions in an ever-changing situation.
We’re all in this together. Let’s act like it.