Dad Stuff, Part 8: The Coronavirus Pandemic as a Dad

I’ll consider myself a successful father if I teach my kids the following.

  • How to think critically
  • Weigh and value all options and opinions
  • React to things in a calm and rationale way
  • Be humble
  • Always be learning
  • Avoid anger
  • Stand up for what’s right – which is different than standing up for your opinion
  • Trust no one (actually, no . . . Trust no Politician and be skeptical of almost any news source)

We’re in an election year. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. A pandemic that impacted the entire world has, somehow, become a “political issue.” Think how bizarre that is? Imagine if the common cold or Cancer could pit neighbor against neighbor?

“Hi, Friend-I-Don’t-Talk-To-Often, how’s your Mom?”

 

“My Mom got Cancer late last year and she died from liver Cancer in January.”

 

“I don’t believe in Cancer. It was probably something else.”

 

“What the f…?”

 

“Do you really think as many people die of Cancer as is reported?”

 

“Dude, you should really stop talking…”

 

“Read between the lines …all that money raised for Cancer research by Cancer charitities to pay all those salaries, and all those Cancer drugs and treatments and doctors who make their living off treating Cancer. You think any of them want to cure Cancer? Wake up and smell the chemo!”

 

“I’m going to throw my drink at you.”

 

“Think about it. We used to cure things like Polio and Measles. Yet somehow we can’t cure Cancer. It’s population control on top of money-making.”

 

“I hate you.”

This is where we are. We’ve collectively known about COVID-19 for (I’ll be generous) 7 months and in those 7 months, we’ve all become bonafide, irrefutable experts. And all our expert opinions are wildly different.

Nowadays, we argue about everything. A meteor could be headed toward Earth and I’m pretty sure we’d argue about who’s fault it was (even though I think we’d all know exactly who to blame . . . lookin’ at you, Lex Luthor).

I’m not an expert. I never studied infectious diseases. Well, not until 5 months ago and I started spending about 2 hours a day reading headlines, scrolling through Twitter, and watching 15-second news clips and quotes. So, I guess I take that back … I am an expert.

Kidding. I’m not an expert. Nobody is and certainly not Politicians and pundits on TV. If you (or anyone) claim to have all the answers, you had better also tell me you came from the future in a time machine.

This is what I’m trying to teach my kids. Watch. Read. Listen. Learn. Repeat. Maybe take notes. Look at data – but not from one source. This applies to the current pandemic, any future medical condition you might have, your mortgage, investing, or anything that really matters to you.

Watch. Read. Listen. Learn. Repeat.

I feel that both political rallies and massive protests spread the virus. I feel masks aren’t perfect, but they must help a little and wish everyone would wear them. I wish someone would honestly tell me what Florida, Georgia, Texas, and California did wrong over the past 30 days to make hospitals fill-up and have a shortage of supplies. Or are the hospitals just fine?

Or is there really nothing we can do because this is, essentially, a “meteor-headed-toward-Earth” and it’s not something we can do much about – like Cancer, volcanoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes?

When I tell people this, they think I’m a masochist. I watch MSNBC, Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh, I read the headlines on Drudge, CNN.com, MLive, DetNews.com and Freep.com. I watch Stephen Colbert every night, Jon Oliver’s Last Week Tonight every week, and I occasionally watch Hannity on Fox. I watch the PBS News Hour every night at 6 o’clock. But more important than all of that, I check the following sites every few days and try to decide what the numbers are telling me (kinda like a Freakonomics thing).

In summary. I won’t argue with you and your point of view. I want to hear it and I want to hear how you came to your conclusions. I hope you want to listen to how I came into my way of thinking. I reserve the right to change my mind 2-weeks from now and so do you, based on new information, more discussion, and data. We should talk, again. Keyword being “talk.”  I hope you’ll wear a mask, wash your hands, and be respectful of rules for a couple of months . . . just to see if we can impact the numbers. If we don’t change the trajectory, we can “talk” again.

Go ahead. Comment about how wishy-washy I am or tell me I’m brilliant and align with how you think. We can do this. And by “this” I mean work together and figure out a way out of this mess.

This is how I think Ward Cleaver, Michael Keaton, and other legendary TV-dads would handle this with their kids.

Love you all. Thanks for reading.

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