In the spring of 1994, a miniseries hit the small screen that would forever change my life. It was Stephen King’s “The Stand.” That same year I read the epic novel, all 1,100+ pages, not the abridged version, and I have been captured by Stephen King’s imagination and brilliance ever since.
Since then I have read perhaps 20 of his books. But “The Stand” will forever be my favorite, followed closely by “11/22/63.” Perhaps you aren’t into horror and you think “The Stand” won’t be your “thing.” That’s ok. But let me tell you why I think we can all learn something from one of the greatest novels of our time.
Lessons We Can Learn From Stephen King’s “The Stand”
We have all seen the Floridians, dancing and playing in the sand without a care in the world. We have also just learned about the Cabo spring breakers, 28 of whom have since returned home to their native Texas, infected with Coronavirus. Why is the seriousness of this situation not resonating with these vacationers and partiers? Do they not know that, even if they don’t get sick from the virus themselves, they could unknowingly take it home and spread it to those they love, possibly to devastating effects?
I have been strictly practicing social distancing, having only left the house twice, since I knew this mess was serious on March 13th. I have canceled both a dental and non-essential doctor’s visit and I have only left the house to get groceries and medication. I have opted for curbside pickup where available, including a blood draw for lab work I needed, that was performed while I remained in my car.
I am taking this seriously and I didn’t need to wait for the governor to impose stay at home orders or for Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx to plead with me with grim facts through the TV for me to do so. Why? Partly because of “The Stand.”
No, I am not a conspiracy theorist who thinks that this pandemic resulted from some top secret lab producing biological warfare. What I do believe in, however, is the rate and speed of transmissibility of a virus. In “The Stand” you watch in shock as mistake after mistake happens at the lab until finally the fatal error – an infected person flees the lab. That’s when the true horror begins. This person unknowingly passes the disease to that person, and so on and so on, until eventually everyone is infected and very few survive. It’s math. And it’s really quite simple.
Because of this book I knew that when my school system was closed down because of this outbreak, that it was not something to be taken lightly. History is our greatest teacher and we have enough pandemics in ours to know better. I want to keep myself healthy and I want for all of those that I love to remain healthy, as well. So, for myself and for them, I am quarantining. I feel that my “right” to travel to music festivals and to the library and to go out to eat in restaurants is not more important than anyone’s life.
Those of us that have chosen to comply with social good have asked those of you that have chosen not to for whatever reason nicely to for weeks now. Now I am going to say this super plain because I think a few of you only understand it like this. For all of you complaining about your “rights” being infringed upon, here is what you are saying to the rest of us: you think that your “right” to go party in Florida right now is more important than your friend who is battling cancer’s “right” to live. You think that your 20 person barbecue is more important than whether your kid lives or dies. Don’t be like Lt Gov Dan Patrick who thinks that your grandparents would rather die than let the economy tank. He’s full of crap. The economy will come back. Your dead husband won’t. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be a shitty person.
At this point, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx are saying our BEST CASE SCENARIO is 100,000-240,000 deaths from this pandemic. That is if we ALL comply and practice social distancing. Think about this rationally and stop assuming that you know more than Dr. Fauci or Dr. Birx with your high school diploma or non-medical degree and your years of experience working at Walmart. Stop saying they can’t prove it. Our history has proven it time and time again. And China and Italy are proving it now. All of the data is proving it. Just because you don’t understand data sets and medical terminology and infectious disease transmission and haven’t bothered to even educate yourself on a basic level, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Your inability to accept the situation we are all in does not mean it’s not true. Care about someone besides yourself so that we can all get through this with as few deaths and as little sickness as possible. I am talking to you, Florida, and anyone else who isn’t doing what they need to be doing for the good of all.
Pull it together people.
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