Two weeks ago Hugo’s Posts Podcast talked about watershed moments. He talked about how 9/11 was a watershed. Today I want to talk about the current watershed we are living through and changes I hope come about as a result of this moment.

Today I saw an article where a member of the administration was so hung up on names and labels he said federal stockpiles of supplies needed to combat the symptoms and spread of this viral infection were not for the states to use. Those stockpiles are for “us” to use, not the states. I’m not sure who he includes in “us.”

I think the response through the years to the 9/11 watershed has lead to this worrying so much about labels as we were attacked as a nation by groups who saw things as a them and us situation. I don’t think the best response to this is to become the same. The best response is understand the them and us kind of groups way of thinking and be prepared for it, but not to become just another form of the same problem.

I hope the current watershed being based on a viral infection that doesn’t care about labels will help us see we need to come together in effort to cope with it even if we can’t come together physically to expend that effort. We need to take care of each individual so as to protect the other individuals that make up the world. We are dependent on each other, no matter what label someone puts on us.

One thing about watershed moments is they are stressful. I had expected to be able to deal with being socially distanced since being older, we tend to be somewhat distanced much of the cold part of the year. As the weather warms, as we spend more time in the yard I thought I would deal with things with little stress. Early this morning I learned differently. I was startled awake by a nightmare. I haven’t had dreams about a stressful time in my life about a decade and a half ago for quite some time. The actions by others that caused that stress were direct results of the us vs. them, labeling groups kind of mentality. Now the stress of wondering how my kids and grandkids will deal with the current situation is bringing back reactions I thought I had dealt with.

My biggest hope for this watershed is our culture changes to become more accepting and inclusive. We need to become less labeling and dividing. In America, and perhaps around the world, government needs to be very transparent in how the help it gives is being shared. The feds need to be sharing stockpiles with states as it gears up to replace those stockpiles. We need good information from federal, state, and local county and city levels. My state has issued a stay at home suggestion, not quite the level of a public health order. A couple of counties made it an order.

My county and another tried to make a public health order a couple of weeks ago. In the press release they mentioned there could be misdemeanor charges for violating the order. The Governor announced they couldn’t do that, yet the law clearly said they could. He was upset they hadn’t cleared it with him first. Since his stay home suggestion more counties and public health districts have made it an order in their jurisdictions. I can’t find information on my county now though. One source implies they have made it an order while others say they haven’t. In this age of almost instantaneous ability to get the word out, it shouldn’t be this hard to get information.

I hope the changes this watershed brings about are more open, factual communication from all levels of government. I hope we can hold the feds, the states and local counties and cities to play their part in any emergency. I also hope as a culture we become more inclusive and less determined to be them and us based on some meaningless labels. As we navigate this unusual time, please keep yourself, your family, and other loved ones safe.

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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