Tunnel Vision

I officiated a funeral service a while back for a relatively young man who had died in a motorcycle accident. As I recall, this guy had a need for speed and a rebel streak a mile wide, sort of a James Dean wannabe. He may have had a death wish, too. No one could tell him what to do. His family loved him but were concerned for him. His demise came as no surprise, in a way.

Certain details of the accident are etched on my brain, though the passage of time has dulled some of it. What I do remember being told is that he was traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of the bike, and lost multiple limbs as well. A responder at the scene did their best to comfort him while life ebbed away.

But hey, let it never be said that he didn’t live life on his terms. He went out in dramatic fashion, his loved ones and the rest of the world be damned.

I mention all this because it seems there are too many people embracing a similar attitude when it comes to the coronavirus. Cavalier and dismissive, self-centered, tinged with an irrational defiance born of… what? A suspicion of reasonable people? A distrust of facts? A certain fatalism that just says, “Oh, what the hell?”

Or is it just that old mainstay: “No one is going to tell me how to live my life”? I’ll agree that there are times when that attitude serves us well. The current situation isn’t one of them.

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