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On Friday afternoon, I learned that the neighbor of a friend of mine was run over by her own car. If another neighbor had not seen what happened and responded, the woman probably would have died.
How did this happen? The woman drove to a home to meet a man and to oversee his doing some work there. The worker did not show up. For some reason, the woman stepped out of her car with the engine running. The car started to roll down the driveway, and her instinct was to reach in and turn the steering wheel because she couldn’t reach the ignition button. The car turned and she was caught underneath it, damaging her chest and lungs. A Medivac was called and she was transported to a nearby hospital.
Why do I tell this story? Because all of us, no matter how resilient we are, are stressed to some degree by this election and Covid-19. As a result, we are distracted and unfocused. We are not paying attention to our daily lives as we should, running on automatic and trying to get by.
Do I know that the woman who was run over by her own car was distracted the way I describe it? I don’t know that. What I do know is that I am preoccupied, wondering about the outcomes of the election and the implications of those results. I am also annoyed and frustrated at having to wear a mask when I go into stores. Tomorrow my husband and I will be traveling to the Tampa Zoo, in spite of the ominous precautions for seniors. The Zoo has let guests know they need to wear masks.
The election results will be complete eventually. Somehow Covid-19 will settle into the routine of our lives; we’ll get our vaccines and think about its presence as a sad period when so many died needlessly or succumbed due to their own vulnerabilities.
Those of us who are distracted must try to pay attention to our lives and not just muddle through. Driving in our cars, crossing the street, dicing our vegetables, boiling potatoes—can become dangerous situations. We must wake up and focus.
Our lives may depend on it.Published in