Take care of yourself and others

Be careful out there.  You do not want to get COVID-19.  You do not want to get run over by a car.  You do not want to be the victim of a homicide.  You do not want to….  Well, of course you do not want to!  What is my point, here?  My point is that nobody wants anything bad to happen to them and they want everything to be smooth sailing for them all the time.  Granted, the things that I listed above are on the extreme end of bad things that could happen, but another point I would like to make is that, depending on how you live your life sometimes, these high-risk, really bad things have a higher chance of involving you.  Sometimes, however, it is just bad luck.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that, if you are ill-behaved, make people mad all the time, double-cross people, and are generally a scheister, then maybe you have greater potential for others to do you harm.  Not everyone who is the victim of a violent crime is involved in or acts in such a manner, however.  There are some really good people who get murdered and hit by cars every day in the world.  NOBODY deserves to be harmed in return for their actions unless it is in self-defense, either.  IF the courts decide that they deserve punishment through the proper legal means and procedure, then that will be their fate, but people do not deserve to be hit by cars and murdered.  And no, NOBODY deserves to get COVID-19.  Absolutely not.  There are precautions that you can take that make you less likely to contract the disease, of course, but if you do not follow the guidelines and the warnings, living fast and loose, then you may very well end up in a hospital dying of COVID-19.  Does that mean that, because you behaved recklessly, you deserve to die of or have COVID-19?  NO.  You have to think about others, too, though.  Think about your behaviors in reference to others.  For example, say that you are a 27-year-old, recently graduated Ph.D. in some field that requires a lot of contact with people, like psychology.  You are a brand new clinical psychologist.  Are you going to risk your clients’ health by having them gather in a small, stuffy waiting room?  Are you going to risk your grandmother’s life, whom you live with, by meeting those clients in person and potentially contracting the disease — a disease that can remain asymptomatic for four days?  Not if you are smart.  If you are smart, you are going to pay the extra money for the healthcare version of Zoom and do telemedicine somehow with your clients so that you do not sicken anyone and you do not get sick yourself!  This would be in contrast to the undergrad student who parties without regard for gathering size, safety procedures, or any care in the world for anyone but themselves who ends up then contracting COVID-19 and giving it to their grandmother, who later dies of it.  Now, did the undergrad deserve the lifetime of remorse that they are going to have to live with from that?  No.  You have to think through your actions and how they affect others, though.  If you cannot be safe for yourself, be safe for someone else, even if you do not know who that someone else might be.  Okay, enough said on that.

I hope everyone is well.  I really do.  I hope that this pandemic fades away quickly and never resurfaces, though I fear that is not going to happen quite as we would like it to.  How are you feeling physically?  How are you feeling mentally?  I know that some of us have not had an opportunity to get out and enjoy fresh air and exercise and do the things we need to do to stay mentally and physically healthy because we have been sick.  I can tell you how I feel.  I feel weak and exhausted.  I feel isolated and alone.  I feel depressed, anxious, and angry.  I feel like the whole world has stopped in time, frozen in this hell of sorts, for lack of a better description, where all are susceptible to some natural force that could wipe out a good portion of the population if we are not smart about dealing with it and its effects.  I feel like there is no hope sometimes, and sometimes I feel very hopeful.  Those feelings largely depend upon whether I am having a good day or a bad day with the Group B Streptococcal pneumonia that I have had for two months.  I have lost almost 25 pounds, or two stone, since I got sick.  That is both good and bad.  The way I lost the weight is not exactly the way I would have preferred to lose it, but I do not want that excess weight back, either.  All of these feelings are valid.  Whatever you are feeling, it is valid.  Your feelings are your feelings, no matter what they are.  Nobody should be telling you how to feel.  If somebody tells you that you should not feel a certain way, then that person is wrong for telling you that because your feelings are simply your feelings.  There is nothing you can do about your feelings, but your BEHAVIOR is what you can control.  Your behavior is key here.  You may have these feelings, but what you DO about them is what you are responsible for.  This behavioral component can make all the difference in whether or not you continue to have negative feelings or not.  For example, if I am feeling isolated and alone, and I do not reach out by text, by calling, or by writing it down — expressing my feelings of loneliness to someone in some way — then I can expect that I will continue to feel that way, and even worse as time goes on.  See what I mean?  Now, maybe I cannot get anyone to respond to my text.  Maybe they will not answer their phone, either.  Writing is something that is going to take longer than I have the time for because I am feeling really bad.  There are organizations online that can help.  There are organizations that you can call and get help from right there on the spot if you need to talk to someone immediately.  Whatever you do, remember that this situation will get better.  This pandemic will end.  People will be able to see one another again, albeit in a different setting than we used to, but my point is that humans need contact.  We will get through this.  Reach out if you are having trouble, and if you feel like harming yourself or others, please call or go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately!  Do not harm yourself.  The world would be losing an invaluable part of humanity if you did…

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