Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

15 Days, Limits Of Group Size – It Is All About Perspective

This meme came across my feed today.  It could not be more appropriate.  Honestly, I had been hoping to follow up my 30th Anniversary post with stories of the adventures of my next ten and twenty years.  Instead, my last several posts have all been geared to help everyone understand the big picture, and why it needs to matter to everyone.

This afternoon, President Trump announced an extreme measure meant to help contain the spread of the Corona virus.  The result from this press conference is simply, politics needs to be thrown out the window dealing with this crisis.  If you were anti-Trump, you heard a press conference that appears to have nearly everyone on the same page, hopefully giving confidence that were will progress forward.  If you are pro-Trump, you should stop hearing (at least for the time being) attacks on the efforts, but rather, from the President himself, this is serious, and it is not going away any time soon.  Both sides should now be on the same page, going for the same goal.  Slow the progression, buy the time needed so that the medical system does not get overwhelmed.  More importantly, casualties kept to a minimum.

One of the hardest things for most people to accept, is being told their life needs to be put on hold, at least temporarily.  No secret, I am a cancer survivor, and I think I can speak for anyone who has ever had to deal with a serious health issue, when I say, “hold my beer.”

15 days.  We, as a country, are being asked to limit our interactions to groups less than ten people.  In some places, businesses are either being recommended or required to close to assist with this effort.  Chances are, if you are a healthy individual, the news of being told to restrict your social activity probably resulted in the same result that a teenager would give being told they could not go to the movies or mall with their friends under normal circumstances.  Que the eye roll and thunder as the pupils hit the back of the head, and the screams of exasperation at the perceived “end of days”.

I just heard a great analogy, that pushing to find out how much longer we are going to have to deal with this, is like asking a fireman how soon we will be able to move back into the house, as they are still putting out fire.

Perspective.  Also known as “keepin’ it real.”

My chemotherapy lasted 8 months, 240 days.  No hair.  Sick as shit.  Fatigued to no end.  No one wanting to hang out with someone looking like a freak.

My radiation therapy went 30 days.  My skin burning worse than any sunburn imaginable, resulting in a peeling that you could only imagine being equaled by a Hollywood makeup artist.

Recovery from open heart surgery, six months, 180 days.  With one full week in the hospital, 2 days in the ICU, I lost all my strength.  I needed the full six months to heal properly, before being able to return to work.

Enough with the sick stuff.  Are you reading this and old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001?  Have your forgotten all of the changes that were immediately implemented, leaving us no choice to accept the way things were, many of which still exist today, some methods even stronger?

Do you think only bad things in our lives can make us appreciate perspective?  Nope.  I know it is a bad example, but how many have gone on a two week cruise?  Spring Break?  Family vacations?  The truth is, we have no problem with a “social distancing” when we are able to make that decision ourselves.  Because that is a good thing.  But you know what else is a good thing?  Keeping your health.

President Trump has made it very clear today.  We need to do this, limit our social activity for fifteen days.  It is not like we cannot do it, because we can.  But just as I lost control of my life to fight cancer, and the many late health issues have come up, of the events of September 11, 2001, this situation is no different.  I cannot control the outcome of the spread.  But I can deal with how it affects my personal life, which as a collective, will help everyone.

I have gone through this many times.  So can you.

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