Apology worth nothing without contrition
It seems every day the news has a story about a politician, actor, athlete, business mogul or often just one of us plain old citizens who has been recorded on social media spewing racial comments or otherwise engaging in despicable conduct.
Invariably, the guilty party (especially if it is someone who stands to suffer some pecuniary loss) will issue a public apology. These statements are generally similar. In some cases the individual will begrudgingly issue a generic apology stating his or her words were taken out of context or misconstrued but, if anyone was somehow offended, they are sorry. This is like someone saying I didn't do it but I will plead guilty anyway just to get this over with.
These are not apologies or admissions of guilt. These people are offensive, to be sure, but I find the individual who makes the following claims even more irritating.
How often have you heard someone say, “I was having a bad day” or “Despite what I said, I am not a racist.” My favorite comment is, “What I said does not really represent who l am.” Baloney, of course it does! At least to some degree.
I have said things in my life that I came to regret (sometimes instantly, just ask my wife), but at the time I made the comments they were exactly what I meant to say.
There are reasons you say what you say. They may be deep-seated psychological reasons, but they are reasons nonetheless.
If individuals are going to say anything, they should simply say they are sorry, they realize they have a problem and are going to try their best to improve themselves. If genuine, this is an apology I believe most people would accept. If you cannot do that, why bother?
Positive affirmations to Curtis Honeycutt for his educational and entertaining “The Grammar Guy.” My English teachers, Rosemary Young and Iris Gallagher, would have loved it.
I would like to thank the lady who paid for my drive-up order at the McDonald's on East State Boulevard. I got the chance to thank her personally. She had had that happen to her and was paying it forward, as I plan to do. So nice to see good people in these trying times.
Flattening COVID-19 curve requires full cooperation
Over the past few weeks, I've seen people arguing with store clerks about masks. I've watched them say things like, “COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu!” “COVID-19 does not affect young people!”
Even if we assume those statements are true (they're not), we need to understand how COVID-19 is causing increased mortality in other ways.
Let's assume someone who does not have COVID-19 has another health emergency. Now, let's say they have an emergency and need to go to the ICU, but it's full. What now? We have to choose who gets care and who doesn't.
In the U.S., there are 924,107 hospital beds for 320 million people (and even fewer if you count just intensive care beds). We aren't set up to handle such an onslaught of patients.
Through advances in medicine, we can keep someone alive who wouldn't have had a chance even 20 years ago, but there's a limit. We simply do not have the equipment to handle so many patients at once. That's one of the dilemmas with COVID-19. What do you think “flattening the curve” meant?
This isn't only about you. It's about the person with an immune deficiency, people with risk factors, even the guy who has an accident and finds the beds are all full. There are a lot of factors at play.
So, before you start screaming that it's “my right to not wear a mask” or go to that party, remember that it isn't your right to force doctors to choose who lives and dies. We all have a part to play. You don't get to wash your hands of all responsibility because it's inconvenient.