By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
Of course, THE VIRUS is making everyone aware of our mortality. Well, perhaps not everyone.
Some of us are still on the river that runs by Egypt. And, notice that I am not using the “d”
word. All of this brings to my mind our fascination with the medical profession and hospitals.
Consider all of those popular television series. From the olden days there was Ben Casey,
General Hospital, Marcus Welby, M. D, and Dr. Kildare. From the middle aged days there was
MASH then Grey’s Anatomy, E.R. (where George Cluney got his start), and the comedy Scrubs.
Then came New Amsterdam. I’m leaving many more out. If you are really old, you will
remember the sonorous voice of Dr. Zorba on the beginning of Ben Casey when he utters, “Life,
birth, death, infinity.” I remember that every time I shop at Bed, Bath and Beyond, which ought
to have been named Bed, Bath and Eternity. Maybe there could be a new series about a
chiropractor who is also the church organist. . . or could be called New Spinal Chord.
Dramas about the medical profession and hospitals are a way we artfully tip toe up to our
mortality and the “d word,” give a little kiss, then run like hell. But, the drama of a real
pandemic is nothing to tip-toe about. Probably someone you know will get it. Possibly
someone you know will died. Perhaps a love one. This isn’t supposed to happen, but it does.
In inexplicably horrifying situations like this, we must be careful. I am not referring to hand
washing and social distancing, which are important, but something else is important too. We
must be careful not to project our fear and apprehensions onto other things or persons or
groups of persons than the virus itself. Blaming serves absolutely no purpose. Also, we must
be careful in our theological speculations, unproven scientific theories, and spurious political
proclamations. And, conspiring theories should be avoided altogether. “Loose lips sinks ships”
in wartimes past. Now, in fighting this virus, loose talk breeds distrust, ruptures hope, and
unleashes fear. The person on the street (should be at home?) can be just as guilty of this
emotional destruction as the talking heads and persons in power. If there ever was a time for
restraint and kindness, it certainly is now. Most media blurts and unfounded speculators belong
in our sleeves with our sneezes.
The real news on the television is about the angels in our midst: grocery store workers,
pharmacists, first responders, hospital workers – from orderlies and food preparers to ICU
nurses and doctors. Some of the media are angels, too, when restraint and hope are served.
And as to all the rest, we might consider that they are doing the best they are able with
whatever gifts they may have. If there ever was a time to praise bravery and self-sacrifice it is
now. It is also a good time to cut slack. By the way, I believe some really good doctor shows
are in the creative incubator right now. Do the best you can to stay alive to see them.