ON A PERSONAL NOTE/ By Maramis
In today’s world, during this unusual pandemic, it’s anybody’s guess if we’ll make it or not, or if we’ll be one of its victims. Since there are things we can do to keep ourselves well, it would be foolish for any of us to just ignore the admonitions and hope for the best while lowering our chances of survival. Why would anyone actually choose to lower their chances of survival?
The admonitions we’re given are very doable; the hardships we may have to endure — such as not being able to work, not being able to earn a paycheck, which leads to our not being able to pay our bills; and not being able to visit our loved ones who live elsewhere — are something else. While we can all shelter ourselves in our homes and simply not do the things we usually do — consider after all, the incarcerated have to do that and more, instantly, always, and for many years at a time, maybe for life, and it’s not in the comfort of their own homes but in a cold and unfriendly, barren prison facility — we can still be with our families, with our usual comfortable beds and our bathrooms and our kitchens, having access to foods that we like, since we picked them out for our self, and yet we still might be inclined to complain, while the inmates have no choices at all except what the warden might grant them. And that would be close to zero.
And now, even the prisoners could be at risk, so that’s a whole other story. This is not an easy situation to deal with, but the fact remains that most of us, prisoners included, will not get sick. Most of us will not get infected, and of those who do, most will likely be sick for a while and get over it. No matter how many do get infected and even no matter how many die, it will still not be most of us. Yet as someone once said, good statistics mean nothing if you’re one of ones who happened to get infected and might die.
Yet crossing the street can be dangerous if one has on a blindfold and earphones that keep one from hearing the traffic. We teach our children to cross at the light, to look both ways, and to not be on their cellphones or otherwise distracted by talking with their friends, etc. Safety for our children is very important, even if the adults around them do not give them the best examples. And now we have a chance to be an example for them again.
I am not saying that times like this are a walk in the park — which is verboten these days anyway — but we can deal with it. We are still a hundred times (or way more) better off than prisoners, or those who were confined to concentration camps, or even any of our troops who are in a foreign land without all the comforts of any home, or suitable food, or proper warmth, coupled with possibly a far more real possibility that they may not make it out alive. Yet they are there.
And their complaints, if any, would be useless to change their lot. Yet we could change our lot by watching movies on TV, reading any number of books, playing games, working on our hobbies or starting new ones, or even writing our own book, now that we have the time. We still have choices, and it’s a good thing to learn how those who never had the option to do all the things you did before — such as going to shows, casinos, restaurants, movies, ball games, or any of the places you might be missing now — might feel all the time. To walk in another’s shoes is a good lesson for us to better understand our neighbor.
When my daughter was hospitalized at the age of 15 with a fever of 106, and the doctors did not know what was wrong with her, they told me to be prepared — that she might die. They told me to contact anyone who would want to say goodbye and have them come as soon as possible.
I did. Then they told me there was one little chance for her to live, but the treatment had one really bad side effect. When I asked what it was, they told me she could die.
Do you see the strange humor in that? Without any treatment, she’d die for sure; with treatment, there’s a little chance she could live, but also a chance that the treatment would kill her. Which option would you choose?
Today she’s alive and well because of the positive — that the treatment might save her life, which it did. Perhaps we should all look at the positive while being told it’s in our best interests for our health. Yes, the downside is mostly financial, but as someone once said, it’s only money as compared to life.
Suze Orman warned us — or actually strongly advised us — to plan for and always have several months worth of money put aside for situations
like this: it’s called an emergency fund. Imagine how much easier the loss or layoff of our jobs would feel if we had money enough to see us
through three to six months.
But money or not, we will survive. And be thankful for all we do have. And I am hoping no one will ever have to face the very real possibility of losing a child.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at firstname.lastname@example.org.