Life is a Gamble

When I go out to my vehicle each Sunday morning and drive to the grocery store, I’m taking a chance. I’m taking a chance some driver may make a mistake and crash into my vehicle. I’m taking a chance someone may decide to rob the store while I’m there. Now with the current situation I’m increasing the chance I may contract Covid-19.


Thankfully there are laws about driving and officers enforcing those laws to make my chances of getting to the store safely much better than it would be without them. There is social distancing, extra cleaning at the store, and hopefully others wearing face masks to help my chances of contracting Covid-19 be much less.


Some of the gamble in doing things in our day to day lives is going to be a little less in our favor for at least a while, maybe as much as a year or two. I am reading reports that some of the experts studying the virus are not seeing good signs that recovery gives a person immunity for any length of time. If actually having beat the illness doesn’t convey some immunity then chances of developing a vaccine are pretty low. I did read that at least one drug currently being studied is showing some positive results in fighting the disease once it is contracted. The early results say it is cutting off about four days from the average recovery time. This still means I want to do what I can to not contract it as well a doing things so I don’t pass it on should I somehow come in contact with it.


Every year about this time I get to where I’m wanting to go somewhere. I want to get out in nature. The mountains near my home are still under snow so it takes a fair drive to get to places where we are out away from people. Before all of the changes we had actually planned on going to places where there were likely to be many people, like Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. All of which are currently closed. We will need to adjust.


I think that will be the theme for many people’s lives for the near future, we will need to adjust. We don’t have a subscription to a streaming service so we rely on video on disks. We even have a functional VHS player and a small collection of tapes that we haven’t replaced with disks yet. Last night I decided to watch a couple of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was thinking it was old enough there would be little chance of it bringing the current situation to mind so it would be a good escape for and hour or two. I just picked a disk then choose an episode. I couldn’t recall by name what it was about.


It turns out it was the story of a colony on a planet that was receiving a large amount of a radiation humans shouldn’t be able to live in. The original colonists had found ways to adapt and their descendants had built a large settlement. The colony had grown to a population of over 15,000 people in the nearly 100 years it had been there. The ship carrying the original colonists had been very far off course so no one from outside of the colony knew they were there.


Another group who considered humans to be vermin, but had to honor agreements with humans, owned the planet and wanted the colony removed. If the Enterprise couldn’t get them to leave this other race would “eradicate” the colony. When Data goes down in a shuttle to make the colonists aware of the problem and prepare them to evacuate, the leader won’t really listen to the danger the colony is in. He is more interested in the things they have built than in the future of the colony. Once he is shown how easily Data was able to destroy the latest accomplishment and the colonists realize they won’t be able to fight the race coming to take the planet, they will just be killed, the leader finally becomes a leader and starts organizing an evacuation.


Even though the next episode I watched was more about the high ideals of the Federation, it couldn’t get my mind off the first episode I watched. I have just kept thinking since then that we are in a similar situation. A non-human life form, a virus, is making our life suddenly very different. It seems that here in the USA we have leadership that is more concerned about things than the lives of people. Unlike the science fiction story, we can’t evacuate. We have to learn to deal with the changes in how we live to survive the way this virus lives.


I think to survive this we need to learn to communicate well with each other. When it comes to the adjustments we need to make there is no room for sarcasm, at least for many more months. We need to place life above things. We need to find ways to make the economy work while protecting those lives. We need to adjust our attitudes as things will be different from here on.


Many sex-positive people should be leading this adjustment, as these skills are what makes the different forms of relationships work. There needs to be good communication with anyone you have sexual contact with. There needs to be concern for lives rather than forgoing certain protections that lessen chances of diseases spreading. Many sex-positive people have had to adjust their attitudes from what they were raised with. Even if someone chooses to be heterosexual monogamous but sex-positive they have probably had to change some attitudes from what society taught them as they matured.


Many sex-negative people say sex is only between a husband and wife for procreation. Yet many of them are cheaters. I think the most important thing for sex-positive people is honesty in their relationships. I think the one most important thing we need to take through this period of adjustment in the whole culture is a demand for honesty.


I watch news reporters try to get experts to say exactly what will happen when, then watch those experts try to explain all they have is what data has been collected to say where we are now. That data is incomplete. Any extrapolation of future events from that data is going to be incomplete and in error, but we have to move forward the best we can with what we have. Instead of asking what will happen, they should ask what should we do now, which is what those briefings are for.


I think the sex-positive community needs to be involved in using the skills that make sex-positive ways of seeing life to move us into the post pandemic culture that will be evolving over the next months, and perhaps years. Who knows, maybe sexual attitudes will change along with the other cultural changes we will be seeing.

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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