To quote the great Snoop Dogg’s current Corona Beer commercial.
But Mr. Dogg’s insidiously ironic sense of humor belies something far more dire to his declaration than a simple condemnation of social media behavior. Because as bizarre as the plague era has become, the disease pales in comparison to the terrifying truths it’s revealed about our rapidly worsening human nature.
And the abyss Snoop referenced is actually an accelerating lowest common denominator race to the bottom.
We’ve already discussed how facts and evidence have become current-day casualties, but just when I start thinking that’s as bad as it can possibly get, it gets worse! Now, there’s absolutely no pretense that facts and evidence matter.
To wit, two “readers” recently damned me for my journalistic failures despite them failing to read the columns in question. The first accused me of ignoring the potential lingering COVID effects after I’d devoted a full five paragraphs to that prospect.
The second launched into a diatribe about what an irresponsible cad I was for encouraging people not to wear masks. And if I’d ever said anything remotely close to that, he would’ve been right, but I haven’t. The best part about wearing a mask in public is my adoring throng doesn’t recognize me anymore!
When confronted with their absurd moral turpitude, both readers vanished more quickly than Donald Trump from a Navy hospital. But while those bizarre exchanges were kind of amusing, the pandemic premise that’s beyond the pale is the implicit assumption that I have to pay for a host of other peoples’ poor decisions.
Before you start preparing the pitchforks and torches again, I’m NOT saying anyone should prematurely shuffle off their mortal coil for the sin of being old or enduring a genetic medical predisposition. Those are the folks we should be protecting, but they tend to get lost in all the partisan bickering.
The truth is most of the medical conditions that make the coronavirus so much more lethal are eminently self-inflicted. Obesity is clearly controllable, but despite its bleak downside, that hasn’t stopped 37 percent of Americans from making that choice with another 32.5 percent rapidly gaining on them.
According to the CDC, 80 percent of heart disease and strokes are also avoidable, but that hasn’t stopped 48 percent, or 122 million Americans, from actively courting those dual disasters. Similarly, the American Cancer Society notes 45 percent of cancer cases are preventable, but people continue to insist on making the choices that put them in that perilous position.
So, when you refuse to take care of you, isn’t it more than ironic that you suddenly expect me to take care of you? I’m NOT saying anyone SHOULD die from COVID-19, or that we should let anyone die from it, but why are we surprised and fearful when compromised people do die from the disease?
It’s a simple case of cause and effect.
Just like it was with the similar 1968 pandemic, I’m more than willing to go to a dine-in restaurant, a bar, an ECC concert, a Bears game, or any similar situation because, for healthy people, the scientific evidence is that COVID-19 is far milder than the annual flu. But my choices are quite limited in that regard, because of your bad choices.
And once your bad choices start to affect me, then I get a say in them!
So, let’s start with the 67 percent of you who need to put down the fork and hoist your ample posteriors out of the Barca Lounger to take the occasional walk. Your dog will love you for it! Eliminating fast and processed foods is far easier than you think, and rice cakes aren’t nearly the only alternative to a slow death by cholesterol.
There are better ways of dealing with all that cancer-causing stress than to regularly resort to alcohol, too. Just a five minute a day meditation can work wonders in that cortisol reducing regard.
You don’t have to be Meb Keflezighi, but for God’s sake, get out and get some bleepin’ exercise. I know time can be an issue, but if you’re reasonably determined, you’ll make time. Considering my general perch, I love watching all those Delnor folk getting out for a lunchtime walk. Or you can just walk up and down the stairs 10 times when you get home from work and see where it it takes you.
I know this kind of shift isn’t easy, but the inevitable consequences of not taking care of yourself will be far more difficult to contend with. This pandemic should be a massive evolutionary attempt at thinning the herd wakeup call, not an opportunity to destroy the economy and wreak all manner of other utterly unnecessary havoc.
Please tell me that we Homo Sapiens have higher aspirations than finding our way to the lowest common denominator.