What Is the Point of Being Alive?

By August 31, 2020 Commentary

I am encouraged that at least in Minnesota, it seems that even in the past few weeks, road traffic and people out and about has picked up substantially.  I am hoping that it reflects people coming to their senses, recognizing that for most of them the risk is insignificant, and you have to actually live.  I am 70 years old, pretty healthy, probably have a better sense of risk than most people because I look at the data so much.  I have tried to the greatest extent possible to live my life as I did before.  I went to stores, didn’t wear a mask until I had to, my wife and I ate out whenever we could.  We saw our children and grandchildren and friends who were willing to get together.  I went to work.  I did that not because I thought I was invincible but because those things are the joy and the satisfaction in life (okay, maybe not going to stores).  I am not going to let precious days, weeks, months of my life slip away boarded up in my house because I might get an infection (turns out your house might be the worst place to hole up).  If I get infected, I get infected, odds are I will be fine, but I am not going to miss hugging my grandchildren or reading them stories, or hugging friends and being able to enjoy the companies of other people because of fear.

If people feel the need to be so protective of themselves, I could understand it if you have a serious pre-existing illness that substantially increases your risk.  But otherwise, how long are you going to deprive yourself of really living?  I have been impressed and heartened that many very old people, including those in nursing homes, who are at high risk, say that it is more important to them to see family and friends than to be isolated and avoid infection.  That is a healthy attitude.  I am discouraged that so many young people choose to lock themselves, and often their children, away.  If people think a vaccine fundamentally changes the situation, and they are just waiting for that, they are probably wrong, and they are misusing their time on earth.

And I am hoping that if people are fed up with the fear and want to get on with being alive, there is a groundswell to eliminate all these states of emergency and restrictions that have no basis in rationality.

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