How to be caring but responsible?

I want to go to my neighbors and say that I am here for them.  I even printed up a flyer to give them information and say that they could call me if they need something.  I debated buying a tiller to offer to prep the gardens for them.

But…

  1. I don’t want to scare them half to death from me approaching their door or from the flyer being given to them.  That may cause them to panic.  That is the last thing that is needed.
  2. I don’t want them coming in contact with my wife or my children or me.  I want them staying away.
  3. I want to help them but I don’t want to go in their home or touch anything that they may have touched.  The whole stay 6 feet away from people thing is what I want to do.
  4. I don’t want to highlight myself as a ‘prepper’ who may have food and resources that people who did not prepare can try to prey on once their supplies run out, especially if they are going to do so by force.  But I do not even want them asking me for help.  What kind of human being am I?

I sent the neighbor’s children home who had come over to play with my kids while they were outside, in our yard, having a great time.  Part of me feels bad, but we weren’t very social with them before anyways.  The other part of me thinks about my special needs son and that if he gets this thing (or the flu) then complications, like his recurring pneumonia, could flare up.  What then?

Paranoia or wisdom?

It is kind of like leaving a job and giving your boss all the reasons for why the company is bad and he is horrible and you hope they fire him on your way out of the door.  If it was that bad before, then why not communicate that and work to change it?  And if you don’t think it will change and you held your tongue, then just keep holding it and move into your new job.  Since I did not reach out to my neighbors before, for whatever reasons, then should I not just stay quiet and let them take care of themselves?  Should I refrain from contact to act as though things are normal even though they are not?  What if they are not worried about any of this and all I do is add stress to their lives?

If I follow my logic all the way out then I should isolate my family on a remote plot of land away from civilization or amongst an isolated community who has no contact with the outside world.  But that does not work, does it?

I think it comes down to me still pursuing a utopian life for myself and my family.  I want whatever aspects of that perfect world to continue without having contact with things that do not fit inside my utopia.  Aren’t we all that way a little…or a lot?  People say it is conservatives that are only this way, but the reality is, we all want to be around people who think like us and who share our same values.  When we are challenged in our utopian beliefs then we tend to act defensively.  Name calling. Labeling. Violence. Policies. Laws. Regulations.

Just when I think we will see COVID-19 through peaceably I start seeing signs that say otherwise – the governor of California talking about using martial law if needed, Philadelphia putting a policy in place to not arrest non-violent offenders right now including car thieves, shop-lifters, and people caught vandalizing to name a few.  In their defense, they will seek to re-arrest the culprits within a year for prosecution.  But you might as well have given a green light for those activities because the deterrent of imprisonment is put off with the chance that it may never happen.

My main concern at this point is not the virus.  It is our continued degradation of societal norms that have held us together so far.  Now the food supply is hurting and people are starting to go hungry.  Real hunger changes people.  Being a dad and husband changes my approach as well.  If it were just me, then I would be more than willing to hop in the middle of this thing and help.  But I have a responsibility to my family to provide for them and that is what I am trying to do.

Keith

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