I hope that the President fully recovers from the covid virus that he has now contracted. There are no sounds of rejoicing on my end. But I have often thought of Oedipus and Icarus as Trump insisted that he wouldn’t wear a mask despite endless recommendations from medical and scientific professionals. Sadly the press reports that many people in the White House, out of deference to his disdain of masks, also failed to wear them.
There are reports lately of “pandemic fatigue,” prompting people to forgo masks and social distancing. I tried to imagine people in England complaining of “bombing fatique” and deciding to end blackout curtains. Somehow despite the occasional use of the word “war” in relation to the virus, many people still don’t recognize the need to follow common sense recommendations to combat the “enemy.”
As a parent I had many opportunities to recognize natural consequences, those that follow as a matter of course from certain behaviors. Forgo dinner and you will get hungry later. Stay up too late watching television and you may be underprepared for a school test. And sometimes, despite grumbling, I said the natural consequence of not buckling a seat belt meant I wasn’t starting the car.
The virus now rampant in the United States is apolitical. We have very few ways to prevent its spread, but we do have them. Wear masks. Socially distance. Wash hands. Stay out of bars. Avoid indoor crowded conditions. None of us is too important or too tired or too annoyed to do any less.