Back in June 2019, I became a climber.
Like, helmet wearin’, rock climbin’, hand-rippin’, forearm-pumpin’ climber. That kind.
I wish an adult had told 10-year-old Jérémy’s parents that my insatiable need to climb up and over everything in the house was a strong sign that I needed to be enrolled in a climbing gym/program. Oh well!
Sixteen years later, I got there. 😉 That’s what I’d call a slow climb.
Unfortunately, in Arizona right now we’re experiencing the opposite of a slow climb. Check out this data straight from John Hopkins University:
New York and New Jersey, among a few other US states, have done a good job of curbing this growth. Unfortunately, Arizona (among others) has not.
In fact, notice how you each individual dot has space above and below? That indicates a rapid climb. A rapid increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases daily.
As a general rule, we suck at self-assessing. Right now, we’re way too optimistic—or uneducated—about just how easily COVID-19 is spreading. And the fact that we’re gathering in large numbers to protest is just about the best possible thing we could be doing to help these little guys spread:
They’re ravaging us, because people are one (or multiple) of the following:
- Being far too optimistic about just how bad it is
- Not educated enough about how viruses spread and how to prevent it
- Listening to elected “leaders” tell them everything is fine, instead of paying attention to epidemiologists & health professionals
- Stupidly choosing to ignore the facts, and risk their health + the health of families, friends, and our overall communities
Now, I’m more passionate about Black Lives Matter than ever before. I’m actively working on ways to make what I can control (Crash & GigLoft) 10x more accessible to people who are systemically less empowered. I’m donating, I’m supporting black-owned businesses, and I will continue to do all I can to end the inequities once and for all.
But attending protests? That’s just illogical. That’s risking my health, and subsequently their health. That’s risking more economic turmoil and injustice, more disproportionate burden of illness and death.
Why? So we can “make a point”?
We all need to get really fucking serious right now about what we want the next 12-24 months to look like.
Is it going to be more record days of confirmed cases? More racial and ethnic minorities dying, faster?
Or is it going to be slower spread, gradually flattening into a beautiful S-curve of which we (and our children) will be proud in retrospect?
Are we going to continue listening to elected officials instead of scientifically credible sources? Extremist media sources distracting us from the urgent pandemic at hand?
Or are we going to listen to scientists? Are we going to curb our own short-term reward systems, buck up, and sit our asses at home as much as we can this summer, as much as that sucks?
I really fucking hope it’s the latter. Because what sucks more than a Shitty Summer 2020 is a Shitty Entire 2020, a Shitty 2021, and millions of preventable deaths.
We each, individually, control our small piece in this history-defining era.