Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist
Stop The Leak
With the world not being flat,
we can’t always see what is coming …
Take this new round of Covid with its wonderful Omicron variant. Maybe we didn’t see this new virus actually coming, but c’mon, didn’t we sense something just around the corner? Didn’t we intuit our truce with this pandemic was inherently fragile? If once again we have to hunker down for the winter, how do we do this as a culture? What did we learn from previous battles? What seemed to work last time and what didn’t?
Let’s begin by stating the obvious – even before Covid, trust in government has been dead on arrival for decades. We’ve been mired in an age of social and political polarity featuring both political belligerence and social entitlement, and the opportunity schism that keeps them far apart. The belligerence side comes from so many of us either being left out, overwhelmed, overdrawn, the wrong color, the wrong sex, standing up to be heard, or standing in line for our meds … all while the far less populated side of entitled Americana eats at expensive restaurants, drives elitist cars, sends their children to pedigree colleges, and pays $400 to see the Lakers. So what is the answer? Anyone with some good ideas?
I’m told that America wants to be great again. That sounds good. There are so many of us who fear for our children and our children’s children that the best will no longer be ‘yet to come’. How can we get back on the right track? Where do we start? Is there any way we can make better use of our lemons?
If we do want the best to come, may I suggest while we’re making America great again, why not make Science great again as well? That’s my New Year’s resolution, to be part of a clear and passionate voice helping to make Science a respected and vital player in life, something akin to truth but open to and seeking improvement. Truth and improvement – ah yes, we can dream a little can’t we?
Let’s get back to what worked during the first Covid winter – a few possibilities come to mind. Look at what big deals very simple things became. Like taking a walk. Reading a book. Enjoying a new recipe. Having a friend. Who would have thought such simple acts would stake their claim to be the golden rings on the carousel?
Those insights and the possibility of a place in our lives for humility are important because here are the ongoing problems that await us, intent upon continuing to divide us even if we defeat the virus – racism, sexism, school shootings, a huge national debt, and the most formidable of all, climate change … there are no vaccines for any of this.
And this whole thing about life being a glass half empty or half full? It’s no longer a matter of which half we choose. It’s a matter of whether we have the actual wherewithal to keep the glass from leaking … whether we are up to the task of preserving the usefulness of the glass itself, as in the challenge of climate change and whether we are capable of not squandering the future.
How do we do keep the glass from leaking? I hate to use the word ‘duh’ here, but the first step to Stop The Leak is to get vaccinated. Then, after we hopefully wade through this self-made political sewer, we can move on to the plethora of systemic problems we faced before viruses made us their bitch.
Those are my thoughts for the day and a new year … and now that I review them, I’m starting to figure out why I don’t date much.
All the best, Hermione