Data people are fact-based and practical, often appearing cold and calculating — callous, sometimes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of us — I won’t speak for all — care deeply about our world and want to find the optimal solution where “the greatest good for the greatest number” occurs.
Which is why you shouldn’t ask me how I’m doing.
We’re blowing it, America. Whatever the opposite of optimal is, that’s us. And none of us individually is to blame. Rather, our ability to interact with one another is broken. Right now, we face a trifecta of impossible missions: protect our physical health, protect our mental health and protect our financial health.
I’d say that I place importance on the three in that order. If we have no physical health (or we are dead or dying), nothing else matters. If we can’t feel joy or pain, we’re not much better off; this is what defines our humanity. Then there’s the last one — financial health. This ranks last on my list, but needless to say that if we can’t pay our rent or eat we’re in dire straits.
And the people of Hawaii are the best. We were told to stay home, and we did. We kept our distance, and some of us wore masks, just in case. Our local government stepped in to reinforce these good behaviors, even adding a mask wearing requirement, just in case.
Yet, despite doing everything well, we are still beholden to factors outside of our state: our tourists. Even if we were to loosen restrictions (which I would caution against), the cost/benefit would not be worth it. What few tourists that arrived, might bring with them the very disease we are working so hard to control.
So now what? We’ve made it through just one month and the fortress we built is cracking. Yesterday, I took a chance and let down my total household isolation stance. My neighbor, who lives alone, was clearly suffering from fear and loneliness. Our family invited her over for dinner and we’ve decided to make it a weekly event. This is something made possible only by our low coronavirus transmission risk, so thank you everyone for doing your part.
I don’t have solutions for any of us, and I’m doubly burdened by my knack of prediction. All I can say is that I am thinking of everyone and persevering because it is our duty as fellow islanders to do so.
Mahalo everyone. I know you care, so please don’t ask me how I’m doing. I might tell you. We will get through this and our world will be different. Let’s manage the journey together and never lose our aloha.