I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t designed to sit around all weekend watching Netflix or non-stop COVID-19 news.

I also believe the public is getting a bit tired of having their lives turned upside down, albeit some more than others, by an invisible bug that effects different people in drastically different ways.

The thousands of deaths suffered across the globe due to CLOVID-19 is unthinkable, but the reality of the matter is sooner, rather than later, our country is going to open up.

It has to open up because different realities are about to collide.

The intersection of the long term economic health of our country and increasing societal ills (depression, drug abuse, etc.), coupled with new knowledge about this dreaded virus, mirrored against the probable number of deaths, which will be recorded, whether we all stay locked away in our homes, or if we begin “opening up” with well-thought out restrictions, will soon be reached.

No matter what decision(s) President Trump, governors, and local officials make, they will be praised and criticized.

I hope we can all handle whatever decisions are made, at whatever level, with the knowledge those making the decisions are making them with a lot more information than we have.

Listening non-stop to talking heads on the tube, radio, or Internet, regardless of you political leanings, does not mean you have some kind of absolute knowledge about the coronavirus and what should be done.

President Trump, regardless of what he does, or how he does it, will be criticized by thousands of folks if for no other reason than they just don’t like the man.

Our local officials are getting hammered for the second time in less than three years because of decisions only they can make under circumstances they did not create.

The point is leaders who lead have a tough job and everyone loves to shoot arrows at them from below.

We can all make decisions at the polls in the future, but now is the time to pull together and get through this period in our lives.

It’s a period I hope I never have to go through again. Ironically, I said the same thing after Hurricane Harvey.

I believe (and hope) our entire country starts a planned, stepped reopening no later than around May 1.

It is my belief we have the intelligence, if we use it, to do so.

President Trump was right when he said the hardest decision he will ever make is the one regarding when and how to start reopening the country.

He is our president, and he will make that decision based on input from the brightest minds he has gathered around him.

Regardless, there will be those who criticize him and believe they somehow have the magic answer(s).

Nobody does, including the medical experts.

Maybe, just maybe, we should all put down our guns, knives, and filthy mouths for a little bit, and consider saying a little prayer for our leaders as they face daunting decisions only they can make.

Bright side of the virus

There will be silver linings after this pandemic. Historically, that has always been the case.

What we do to those silver linings remains to be seen, but just like curbing the spread of the virus, it’s up to us, and I suspect how well we do will determine how well we handle the next threat to our country.

One thing I hope is ripped open and investigated top to bottom is the delivery of healthcare in our country. I’m not talking about health insurance. I’m talking about everything regarding the delivery of healthcare.

The abrupt closing of Code3ER April 2 in the middle of Aransas County’s, the United States’, and the entire world’s most current medical disaster – the COVID-19 pandemic – is but a microcosm of the serious shortcomings in the delivery of healthcare in our country, and by extension Rockport-Fulton.

There is absolutely no reason Aransas County should not have some type of adequate medical facility. The entire area north of the Harbor Bridge is way underserved and it is solely due to regulations and politics, driven by a huge healthcare bureaucracy, that layers burdensome restrictions on local healthcare facilities in what should now be seen as a “not so veiled” attempt to protect the financial wellbeing of the powerful healthcare conglomerates.

This pandemic has unearthed, and will continue to expose, the myriad of issues our country faces, and will continue to face once the pandemic passes.

Another major issue we have all heard about is the lack of immediate access to critical products – life saving medicines and supplies - we must have in our control.

I hope and pray we push hard on elected officials at every level to make needed changes, especially those that require unpopular decisions.

Now more than ever, we need our leaders to lead and make decisions which are best for the majority of U.S. citizens and the country as a whole, not decisions based on securing “pockets” of votes for reelection.

One last thing

I could only sit so long this past weekend before getting out of my recliner and doing something productive in our home.

I found myself hanging up clothes from the dryer and noticing we were getting critically low on hangers.

The way my mind works, I figured either we lost a bunch of hangars (very unlikely), or we weren’t clearing out old clothes after buying new clothes.

It was the latter!

Into the closet I went and commenced to pack away neatly, into a box marked “Castaways”, those clothes I hadn’t worn in forever.

I was soon joined by my wife, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain the difference between the amount of clothes a husband has hanging in his closet, versus the amount of clothes a wife has in her closet (or her side, which falsely implies one-half of the closet).

It felt good cleaning out our closet and knowing Castaways will do a great job preparing the items for those who need them.

I encourage everyone to do a little “cleaning up” around their homes during this forced “down time” … and flood Castaways with boxes as soon as they reopen!

Many or our residents are going to be in dire need of some bargain-priced goods when we’re back up and running.

Until next week, have a good week, and help your neighbor.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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