BrianDamaged.org

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Juxtaposition

2020-12-13

This morning, I opened Facebook and noticed there were several mentions of my friend, Bryan Boellke. After skimming through these, it became apparent that Bryan had passed away on Friday due to COVID-19.

Then I noticed another friend’s post mixed in among the expressions of grief:

I find it rather hilarious people have been coveting, fighting over, and hoarding disinfect wipes. I just realized I’ve had the same container since before all this nonsense. About a year now. Of course I only really use them for the occasional spill or wiping out the kitchen garbage can. For actual cleaning? That’s what cleaning rags and liquid cleaners are for. I don’t wipe down every surface in the house that we touch on a daily basis because I don’t have the patience for that crap, nor am I a germophobe. Either way. I have only used about half the container over a year’s time and I’m still here to tell the tale. Meanwhile people have been yanking them off store shelves like they’re gold. 😆

I mean… 😭

I wanted to leave them a comment and let them know that “this nonsense” had just killed one of my other friends. But… I realized that a public lashing would just cause more needless pain.

I thought about contacting them privately, but… so far, I have refrained from that as well.

I know that, secretly, they are terrified of the pandemic. They need to believe that the entire situation is completely overblown, and everybody is just overreacting. In a few years, we’ll all look back and laugh about how everybody hid in their homes for an entire year for nothing! 😂

Because otherwise… otherwise…

Yet, I’m still torn. By declining to confront this friend, I’m allowing them to continue living their fantasy, which helps them to cope with the pandemic. Meanwhile, they are broadcasting their flippant attitude on Facebook and gloating about their efforts to undermine “these ridiculous precautions” each day. This reinforces the beliefs of other people who desire to cling to similar fantasies, thereby encouraging them to adopt similar attitudes and behaviors.

In short, it is promoting collective negligence, which is contributing to the spread of COVID-19. This, in turn, is killing our friends and family members.

So, which is more important? The emotional wellbeing of people who cling to their fantasy for comfort? Or, the physical wellbeing of people who are trying to avoid a deadly illness?

Rest in peace, Bryan Boellke.