From The Top – Things Taken For Granted

Thinking about a post-COVID world

By David Zurfluh

I’m one who always tends to think out of the box and stare fear in the eye, if not poke it a little.

I made my peace with God a long time ago and through his grace haven’t ended my life through the various stunts of my past. As crazy as they were, I did my best to factor in safety when doing free rock climbing, cliff diving, bungee jumping and others.

What I’m getting at is that it’s time to stare the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the eye and get on with life using all the safety procedures and guidelines available.

My wife, Marilou, and I could only stay cooped up so long, so when things started opening up, we started to venture out, armed with masks, gloves and cleaning agents.

We’ve traveled to various parks, towns, casinos, restaurants and visited family and friends following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

We’ve recently been able to attend Mass in person again. We’ve learned to respect and live with the virus, not fear it.

I recently went to an appointment at a local Department of Veterans Affairs facility for a Botox procedure to help the nerves in my arm and found out I was only the seventh patient the doctor had seen since the facility reopened for appointments in June. 

With the hint of vaccines and therapies coming, my mind naturally wanders and looks forward to life without the worry COVID-19 has burdened us with. I recently asked Paralyzed Veterans of America members, family, friends and people I met, “What did you take for granted pre-COVID-19 that you can’t wait to do post-COVID-19?”

The answers were:

1) Give anybody a hug, especially a stranger

2) Shake someone’s hand

3) Give someone outside your home environment a kiss

4) Go to a buffet

5) Ride in a mass transportation vehicle

I struggle with the first two but act like the germaphobic TV character Monk in private and wash my hands, face, etc.

I recall an interview with Prince Charles on 60 Minutes in 2005, and he spent some time talking to journalist Steve Kroft about technology.

Prince Charles said something in that interview that has stuck with me over the years, and it’s the idea that technology should be working for us, but more often than not, it seems to be controlling us in too many areas of life.

I believe that’s similar to what we have going on with COVID-19. You can let the virus scare and control you, or you can control your life by respecting the virus rather than fearing it.

I will soon be flying again and following CDC guidelines, but I can’t wait until vaccines are distributed and I can hug you and shake your hand!    


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