Fandango’s Provocative Question #102:
The Fearsome Face of Fear

Considering how frightful the past four years have been and in particular, the soon-to-pass-year 2020, you’d think we’d have given up being afraid by now. Instead, many of us have grown more fearful, as if the terrors we have bypassed can’t match the looming despair of the year and years to come. I think the constant vigilance and being locked in our homes for close to a year already have made even the most outgoing among us wary and weary of what awaits us on the other side of the calendar. There has been no “easy time” since last spring. We have been warned — repeatedly and nonstop — about the upcoming dangers “out there.” Disease and death await us if we drop our guards for even a moment. A hug, a handshake, a relaxed few moments of conversation all feel as threatening as a battle against an enemy made of shadows.

For some of us — me, for example — this is a whole new world. I’ve rarely been afraid of anything. But this time, I feel like every day for the past nine months, every news report has started with an alarm, a warning of the perils that await me “on the other side.” What other side? The other side of my doorway. The “outside.” It has been beaten into my brain that the simple act of leaving my home and interacting with other people is likely to mean death. My future was stolen.

I don’t know what the actions of our government mean anymore. Are these protections against a killing virus or are they a warning about a virus combined with a subtle hint that from this point on, we’ll be controlled by potential terrors and endless warnings on every news report? Although I have no intention of going “out there” mask-free and crazy — as if that sort of behavior will convince the virus to skedaddle so we can get on with life, the very unsubtle and pounding warnings on the news have taken my usual fearlessness and turned me into putty. Which is embarrassing and just plain wrong. That’s not a way to live.

The relentless and incoherence of the warnings by our national and more accurately, local governments have been fierce. Somewhere in the mish-mash of warning we’ve also been told we can go outside and “get some fresh air” while simultaneously being warned that fresh air may (or may not) contain lethal droplets of poison. Maybe not poison for everyone but poison to me and those like me.

I am afraid of being afraid. Fear itself IS the fear. At this point, with at least two vaccines developed and supposedly being offered to us, I have yet to see anyone actually get the vaccine. In a state renowned for its high level of concern for medical care, Massachusetts has been slow as molasses in getting the vaccine distributed. Moreover, instead of gauging whether or not someone’s health is fragile, they have set it up so it vaccination is based entirely on age alone. Garry will get inoculated months before it becomes available to me or Owen, even though Owen works out there, in the big dangerous world and I have a massive heart issues As of this date, even this state’s medical workers have not gotten vaccinated. Biden said yesterday that at the rate we are distributing vaccinations, it could be YEARS before most of us get vaccinated. THAT is something of which to be afraid. I cannot fathom years of being locked in this house. I love my home, but it has become as much a prison as a home. A comfortable prison from which I see no escape.

I want to my world back. I want to be free to come and go without fear and trembling. I don’t think I have that many more years to live and it would be nice to be able to live those years

It would be easy enough to write this post in a neutral, dry kind of dissertation, but I don’t feel like being neutral or fair. I want what I want. I want the vaccine — in ME. I want to be free to regain a piece of my world. I want my LIFE back. MY life back.

I found it interesting on the news tonight that head of Boston’s fire department is getting downright angry. WHERE ARE THE VACCINES? Why didn’t the state arrange vaccine distributions as soon as it was known vaccines were on the way? We knew a couple of months ago and in the meantime, they did nothing. honestly, NOTHING. This is not reassuring.

Categories: #FPQ, Bureacracy, Coronavirus - Covid 19, Epidemic - Pandemic - Plague, Government, Oppressionn, Photography, Provocative Questions

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10 replies

  1. People in Florida where I live are waiting on four hour lines to get the vaccine, because this is being mishandled by the Trump administration and our Republican Governor.


    • The distribution of the vaccines seems to be a local (statewide and sometimes, county-wide) arrangement. I don’t know about YOUR county, but mine is renowned for failure to organize ANYTHING. In a state (Massachusetts) that is notoriously disorganized, we are the worst of the worst. Right now, it looks like MAYBE by next summer they MIGHT get around to vaccinating us — and vaccinations are being distributed entirely by age without regard for any other medical issues. It’s really appalling. And the thing is, they’ve had a couple of months to figure out how to deal with the vaccines because they’ve known for a while that they were on the way. And instead, no one seems to have done ANYTHING.

      At least you can wait in a long line. Here, you can’t get a vaccination at ALL. Anywhere. No lines, no waiting. NO vaccinations. None.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the world will be changed, but can still be wonderful, we will have to find ways to adapt to it and find the joy again

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think for “wonderful,” our local government — because all of this is up to the states, NOT the feds — they need to do some planning. Massachusetts has never been good at that. This is where they first pave the road and then dig it up to put in the sewers — which means you never have a smooth road. The parts of the government (in this state) don’t seem able to communicate. This is one of those times where they could make life a lot better for all of us if they sat down at the big round table and TALKED TO EACH OTHER. Wonderful will start with vaccinations, I suspect. Until then, it’s just going to stay the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know, Marilyn, that you want your world back. We’d all love to be living the lives we lived as late as last January. But I’m afraid that world no longer exists. That “normal” we used to live in will never be normal again. Sure, we all hope that sometime in 2021, and the earlier in the year, the better, most of us will have been vaccinated and the worst of the pandemic can be viewed from the rearview mirror. But I think the world has changed and we need to accept that the world we knew last year at this time is not the world we will be able to go back to.


    • I’m not expecting a return to whatever it was we thought was normal, but I would like to be able to safely breathe the air. That’s kind of my bottom line. There’s a lot of work to be done and whether or not we are able to do it, I have no idea. But I think being able to at least go to a movie or a concert or a ball game is not too much to ask. The rest of the big stuff is beyond our individual abilities, but they really COULD get the vaccinations sensibly organized.

      Please note that I never suggested we return to those good (?) old days. I just think they could organize vaccinating people in a way that makes sense. My doctor STILL has no idea when we’ll even get vaccines to distribute because no one seems to know and that includes the management of the ONLY full-size hospital in the entire county.

      By the way, I’m the one who long since wrote that we are never going to get “our old world back” and though you may have forgotten, you agreed. I already know that. I suspect most sensible people realize that “the old days” are gone and what’s coming? I have no idea. Still, being able to breathe the air and hug a friend seems a small enough matter and should be manageable — EVEN in Massachusetts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “… being able to breathe the air and hug a friend seems a small enough matter and should be manageable.” Hear, hear!


        • I have good friends who live less than 100 miles away — which considering where we live, it always takes a while to go anywhere — we should be able to do at least a day visit. Nada. Nothing.

          Meanwhile, the incredibly slow rollout of vaccinations is baffling. In all of New York state, for example, there have been only 88,000 vaccinations (according to PBS news this morning), most of which seem to have been done with cameras rolling to impress the public with how great a job they are doing. There have been a lot fewer vaccination in Massachusetts where we have many of the finest medical facilities in the world. They’ve had PLENTY of time to organize. I just don’t GET it. You can blame Trump for some of it, but I can’t help but wonder what our governor and state congress has been doing.

          Liked by 1 person

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