Superheroes; or, The Good News & The Bad News
There’s good news and there’s bad news. No surprise there. This is where numbers fail us big-time. Try these two.
Eighty percent of people who get coronavirus recover. Do the math. This means twenty percent of people who get coronavirus die.
Okay, pay attention. How do you feel having just read those three sentences?
Now, try these.
Twenty percent of people who get coronavirus die. Do the math. This means eighty percent of people who get coronavirus recover.
You don’t have to tell me, not really. I know your heart feels lighter. Same facts, Beloved, simply adjusted syntax.
The Dummkopf-in-Chief is warning us to expect “the toughest week” for coronavirus in the U.S. to date. In the same briefing he suggested his administration might relax social distancing recommendations for Easter. Dr. Deborah Birx reminded us in the same briefing that “the next two weeks are extraordinarily important.”
Which first? Or — which is it? The toughest week or time to relax restrictions so Easter Sunday church can happen?
Well, is it one week? Or is it two? Or is it the six, seven, or eight weeks the scientist and doctor superheroes are citing?
Here’s more news. The majority of Americans are expecting these rough two months to end the war, and that everything will go back to normal immediately thereafter.
No. Nope. Not even close.
A psychology professor from the University of Limerick in Ireland studies the role of heroes in society. Professor Elaine Kinsella says, “During a crisis, heroes come to the forefront because many of our basic human needs are threatened, including our need for certainty, meaning and purpose, self-esteem, and sense of belonging with others. Heroes help to fulfill, at least in part, some of these basic human needs.”
Well, there is no question. There are heroes at work during the Trump Pandemic even as I write.
There are also anti-heroes.
A hospital supply-chain manager in upstate New York started noticing that her protective gear stockpile was getting dangerously low. Suddenly inundated with sales emails for masks, gowns, gloves, she received one from an ice-melt manufacturer in Massachusetts. She called and spoke to the founder.
He said he had shifted his factory and his team to purvey medical masks. Truly, the act of a hero. She asked why he was charging $5 a mask. He was startled to hear that the normal cost of such a mask is fifty cents. He responded that his supplier was charging them $4.75. He’d only added the quarter on to cover his shipping costs. He never intended to profit from the sales anyway. [Full disclosure: his actual price was $4.92 each] Surely, the act and intentions of a hero.
Some politicians, giving much more credence to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines than some other politicians, are wearing masks. In public. They’re acting as Good Examples (hereinafter G.E.s). We’ve already seen the Terrible Warnings. We all know that heroes are G.E.s, right?
Frank Bruni doesn’t like it when his ethnic ancestors squabble. He was referring to the hissing-and-spitting that occurred between Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Raimondo said something that gave me utter pause.
“I was asked last week during my daily news conference, ‘Do you worry about the image that you’re creating with National Guardsmen knocking on doors of renters and stopping cars at the border?’ Absolutely! I care about civil liberties. I care about equal protection. I do not like that image.
“Having said that,” she continued, “the image that I worry a lot more about is hospitals overflowing with people. I’m focused on outcomes, not optics.”
Outcomes, not optics.
Those three words opened a whole new world of hope to me.
Do you know the difference between a hero and a superhero? I didn’t till I looked it up. Dr. Google is so accommodating; she meets me wherever and whenever I want.
Wikidiff.com says a “superhero is any kind of fantasy/science fiction crime-fighting character, often with supernatural powers or equipment, in popular children’s and fantasy literature while a hero is a real or mythical person of great bravery who carries out extraordinary deeds.”
Beloved, if I had to boil down the difference between them into one word, it would be fantasy.
A superhero is a fantasy. Code: never real.
A hero isn’t always real, but a hero can be real.
Oh, I don’t know. There’s always the outcomes, not optics option.
Not fantasy. Very real.
Great bravery. An extraordinary deed.
How about U.S. naval officer Captain Brett Crozier?
Whom the Navy fired for doing the right thing?
Hero? Could be. Superhero? Definitely.
Are Governor Raimondo and Captain Crozier fighting crime?
You bet. The crime’s a subtle one, not usually punishable by law as are so many other crimes.
To name it, they’re fighting selfishness; they’re fighting me-ism; they’re fighting bias in all its distressing disguises.
Interestingly, a lot of us fight these ephemeral criminals, but mostly we do it by what we don’t do rather than by the actions we take. The stakes have to be molto high in order to have to take action to countermand selfishness, maybe better named as self-ism.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is another superhero who comes to mind. Again, no fantasy. The 79 year old infectious diseases expert has consistently stood for us-ism rather than self-ism. He has been battered with outrage, and still he charts a straight and narrow course called The Facts. Ordinarily, the facts aren’t a superhero’s job, the Truth is, but we live in dangerous times.
As Charlie Warzel wrote in this morning’s Times, “The coronavirus emerged in the middle of a golden age for media manipulation.”
Whoa. Ow. Damn. No wonder Anthony Fauci is a superhero. He has to be.
An infectious disease expert named Carl Bergstrom asserted that the dazzling array of misinformation about the virus “deplete[s] the critical resource you need to manage the pandemic, which is trust.”
And here is the crux of it all.
We don’t know who to trust. We don’t … because we can’t.
Except that inside each one of us is an inner bell that resonates all on its own to truth and to nobility and to those who are acting for us, rather than just for themselves.
Columnist Roger Cohen wrote a remarkable piece yesterday titled “There’s No Way Out But Through.” It’s well worth your reading time, if only because his prose is elegant, his syntax sublime. Here are isolated excerpts from it. See if you see what I see:
“Yet I feel more connection than catastrophe.
“Less is more.
“It’s the end of an era.
“The virus … screams, you must change your life.
“The world that emerges from this cannot resemble the old.
“If this plague .. cannot teach solidarity over individualistic excess, nothing will.
“The world is leaderless.
“And the world has come through.
Mr. Cohen cited another superhero. “Because of people like Craig Smith, the surgeon in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital who wrote of Covid-19 patients in a moving dispatch to his medical troops, ‘They survive because we don’t give up.’”
And that, really, is what makes each one of us a potential superhero. Beloved, you cannot, we cannot, give up. Because superheroes never, never, never give up. And that’s a syntax that will never, ever, ever change.
Dr. Susan Corso is a metaphysician and medical intuitive with a private counseling practice for more than 35 years. She has written too many books to list here. Her website is www.susancorso.com
© Dr. Susan Corso 2020 All rights reserved.