Waking up

Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

Some people are early birds. They love getting up early in the morning before everybody else.

But waking up early isn’t necessarily good for everybody. Maybe the early bird gets the worm, but I wonder how the worm feels about that.

Whether I quote the Birds (Turn! Turn! Turn!) or the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is just about universal agreement with this time-honored wisdom:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.

So, what really is the right time to get up? The answer is, “It depends why you are sleeping.”

If you are sick, it’s best to get up when you are well. Get up too soon and a lot of things can go wrong.

By now, it must be obvious I am making an analogy with waking up, getting up, and getting going from our long “sleep”—our long Covid-19 shut down. This week’s cover story in your Jamestown Gazette is here to help us all understand a little bit better what preparations we can take and what cautions we should heed before starting everything up again.

One of our greatest dangers is impatience. Native New Yorker and U.S. Air Force veteran, Steve Maraboli, offers this advice: “What good has impatience ever brought? It has only served as the mother of mistakes and the father of irritation.”

Or to state it more succinctly, “Impatience kills quickly.”

An unfortunate and deeply disturbing fact recently published by scientific researchers with the World Health Organization—based on studying how the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world so fast—is that fewer of ten percent of people caused more than eighty percent of the spread, and therefor probably more than eighty percent of the deaths.

That ten percent of the people were either impatient or intolerant of the precautions they needed to follow. Remember, many people with the disease are highly contagious long before they feel sick. Act like you might be sick and you could save dozens of other people from it.

That is why our elected officials are all asking for our patience. The current situation is a perfect example of a dilemma. Nobody likes those.

A dilemma is a situation in which there is no good answer. The only way out is to choose the less bad answer. That takes patience.

The way to resolve this dilemma is to see that only a live survivor can ever go back to work, only the living can rebuild a family, and only a live neighbor can help rebuild a community.

Saving lives, however, does come at a cost, a high cost. That’s what makes this dilemma so hard.

When we reawaken our community from its long sickness, understand that we do not immediately wake to full and glowing health.

The phased reopening plans are meant to be a convalescence, a slow, deliberate return to health. That’s costly, too, but it may be the cost of saving lives that can’t be replaced.

Our message to our readers this week is that your Jamestown Gazette is returning to newsstands, but at a safe pace. If any of our readers still can’t get out, what could be better than reading in bed. Just go to jamestowngazette.com and join thousands of others already there.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.