What’s Worth the Risk?

Yesterday as I drove to get groceries I noticed the sky was funky, unusual opalescent clouds near the mountain tops in the northwest. It was as if there was a miniature sunset behind the clouds in one small section. I kept glancing over, curiously, then I realized it must be smoke. I grew concerned and hoped it was a controlled burn or something not too serious. When I got home after grocery shopping I googled fire near me, but nothing recent popped up so I was relieved. When I scanned the news later I came across a news article in the national feed, there was a fire in Evergreen and people were evacuated, it was zero percent controlled. I read an update today and they were hoping the cooler weather would help, the area was steep, rocky and difficult, they were using helicopters. I hoped it could be contained, so scary.

I checked again later, and it was the same, not contained, but no further evacuations. As I was journaling on the balcony this evening there was a light rain, I wrote that I hoped the rain would help put the fire out, I felt so bad for the evacuees, some were staying at the hotel Drue works at, and all I could think was how stressful it must be for them during a pandemic, and now their homes were being threatened too. When I came inside I rechecked the news and yay! There had been heavy rain, and the fire was extinguished, everyone could return home!

I wonder if someone took a risk and did some fireworks or had a small fire going and it got out of control? Was it worth it?

When I was researching which state to move to, I also researched the prevalence of natural disasters. From what I recall, nowhere is safe, lol. So I gave up on trying to narrow it down by which area is environmentally safer. As we can see nowhere is safe during a pandemic. Life is full of risk, but you can’t let that hold you back. We can try to be as smart as possible in our choices, but there’s no way we can eliminate all risks. I decided to pick a place that closely matched what we desired and go for it. If we didn’t like it, we could always move again!

Some risks are not worth it though and that’s where intelligence, common sense, and self-regulation keep you and others safe. Like wearing a mask and socially distancing. These are not difficult behaviors to practice. It’s astonishing that it’s been such a problematic issue. Look what’s happened because we can’t comply with simple protective behaviors. I just don’t get it, how frustrating. But here we are. More heartbreak, suffering, and death.

I bought some extra cloth masks that were for sale at the grocery store, we’re gonna be needing them indefinitely. We have three, but I like to have spares in case I haven’t been able to launder the others. People might as well stop resisting because it’s what we have to do, just wear a mask already. This is happening and denying and resisting will not stop the inevitable. The only way we can get this under control is to adhere to what works. Masks work, social distancing works… testing, contact tracing and quarantining works if we could only get help from the government to put reliable systems in place. What a mess we’re in. How did we get here, oh yeah…I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

We’ll see what the new year brings, but as far as I can see 2020 is effed beyond repair. Might as well surrender and focus on making the best of it in whatever ways we can, like choosing to be responsible and try to save ourselves by working together. And maybe everyone needs to take a crash course in microbiology so maybe they can understand what we’re dealing with. If you don’t comprehend then maybe it would be wise to listen to the people that do know what’s at stake.

My heart goes out to all of the healthcare workers who are having to deal with this, some of them friends and former coworkers. When I worked on a physical rehab unit I used to feel that same kind of hopelessness and futility because people choose to take unnecessary risks like riding a motorcycle. After an accident they’re in a halo nearly paralyzed with months of rehabilitation ahead, their families worried and distressed. Yet they say they’ll be back riding as soon as they can. I don’t understand. It’s the same with the virus, people are taking needless risks and they’re causing collateral damage and fallout because they wanted to have fun, or they don’t believe it’s real, or it won’t happen to them, they feel entitled, are above it all, or the president’s not wearing a mask, so why should I? They are only concerned with themselves not caring about their impact on the world.

Some people do not seem to be capable of being fully functional. It’s like they’re truly impaired and maybe need caregivers or something because they are not safe to be out on their own considering the choices they’re making. Seriously.

It’s so disappointing. I wish I were surprised, but I’m getting to the point where nothing surprises me anymore, except when people act responsibly. That’s a welcome surprise and is a soothing balm to my soul. Thankfully there are some sensible people in my general vicinity and online, or else I’d be living on the side of a mountain, a real hermit with a cute pet goat as my only company, lol. Actually that doesn’t sound too bad right about now.

Michelle Miyagi
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