Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash

It’s clear that people are tired of living this pandemic lifestyle. They’re over the masks, the distancing, the staying at home. And I get it. I’m sick of it, too. But I’m committed to continuing to live this pandemic lifestyle because the situation hasn’t improved. In fact, where I am, it’s gotten worse.

Remember how freaked out and careful we were in April? That’s what we should be doing now.

Just because a lot of time has passed does not mean things are better.

Sure, time does fix some things. But usually, it’s because of all the things that happen within the time that passes. For example, an injury might get better with time, but for most of them, you have to rest, and take NSAIDs, and do PT and stuff. Or grieving. Many people talk about learning to live with the grief, which is something they work on and practice over time. Or how about being drunk? Yes, time is the only thing that turn a drunk person into a sober one, but they have to change their behavior (i.e., stop drinking) in order for that to work. Something has to happen besides and beyond the passing of time.

My husband and I have been trying to come up with an appropriate analogy for this time/action (or inaction) disconnect we’re witnessing. It’s imperfect, but the one I keep coming back to is marathon training.

Let’s say, back in March, you registered for an early October marathon. That gives you six months to train. Let’s also say that instead of training, you just…don’t. Maybe you go for some short runs. Maybe you think about it a lot. Maybe you even plan out your race-day outfit. But the time passing alone does not make you ready to run the race.

A lot of people are and have been working really hard to use this time productively to get us out the other side. But the supports, in the form of clear and consistent messaging, funding, comprehensive testing, and centralized contact tracing efforts just haven’t been there. And time doesn’t put those things in place.

So yeah, we’re tired of waiting for Race Day to just get here already. But we’ll be sorely disappointed (emphasis on sore) if we think we can run it without putting in the work to make it to the finish line.

What do you think? What other analogies work for this situation?

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