Human behavior can be quite surprising. Last Sunday, tired of doom-scrolling in confinement, I took the family for a ride to downtown Saint Augustine—the ancient city famously known for its breathtakingly spectacular Christmas lights which adorn the narrow streets of its historic district every Christmas season. This is a place we love to visit, especially around this time of the year. Here, the fun is limitless. From souvenir shops to fine restaurants, to local music, everything that makes your Christmas jolly would be found in a typical moment in time. But this year, obviously, is NOT typical by any stretch of imagination. Unless someone is living in the outer space, he should know that our world now faces its biggest challenge in one hundred years—a pandemic of unimaginable proportion, a coronavirus that has already claimed the lives of millions around the world. Here in the US alone, millions have been infected, and about half a million have died. Despite the release of new vaccines to fight the deadly disease, we know the most effective weapon at our disposal remains our motivation, the will to live that empowers us to practice physical distancing, to wear a mask, and to exercise good hygiene.
So, as we approached the main artery leading up to the center of attractions, we could not believe our eyes. The city was in a perfect festive mood—its streets swelled with visitors. Young and old perambulated almost on top of each other, chatting, laughing, dancing—all in the merriment of Christmas. I knew then why the health officials keep talking about a post-Christmas surge of infections.
The coronavirus is an existential threat that we must fight with all our might; and to win this fight, all of us must participate. I understand as Covid-fatigue creeps in, the urge to venture out is greater. But we need to look at the broader picture. The more motivated we are in this fight against the virus, the quicker we can defeat it. Do not endanger your life as well as the lives of your friends and relatives just for a few hours of pleasure. Follow the guidelines. Stay home. Don’t leave the safety of your home unless it is necessary. Every life is precious.
Note: Ardain Isma is a novelist and editing manager at CSMS Magazine . He heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies. He also teaches Introduction to Research Methods at Embry Riddle University. To see his books, click here.
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