Here we are in the midst of political, economic, health, and climate crises, yet some people are making a big deal about small problems, while big problems get short shrift.
For example, look at the impressively long thread of posts on NextDoor about the horrors of having someone stick their doggie-poop bag in a neighbor’s garbage can. The topic generated a storm of online commentary and a litany of now-customary social media insults and insinuations. Hey people, it’s garbage! There are so many ways we can use social media to connect with others, not disparage them.
And on the topic of inappropriate, over-the-top outrage, how about people spending chunks of time venting at other people who post rumors about dates, times, and locations of Covid-19 vaccine opportunities? Sonoma County has bent itself into a pretzel trying to cope with America’s chaotic vaccination plan. Sonoma County is the official source of local information (Socoemergency.org), and the details are changing rapidly. Don’t rely on rumors or you’ll be misinformed and disappointed, and venting won’t help!
No question, life’s a trial right now. Between the huge challenges for many in earning a living, widespread anxiety about getting sick, distance learning, and social isolation, 2021 is no piece of cake. We’ve all had to adapt to living differently, and it’s stressful. Treating others with patience and kindness can actually help make things easier.
While we see little things blowing up online, some of the big problems that need to be addressed don’t seem to get proper attention. For example, why does the government assume that everyone wanting a Covid-19 vaccination is computer savvy or has a smartphone? Or that people in need of food, who would like to receive text notification of a pop-up food bank, have a phone handy, with consistent service and a decent signal?
Relying solely on digital communication presents challenges. Has anyone in government tried to complete their forms before inflicting them on the public? So we hope that local agencies such as Vintage House and La Luz are offering in-person, masked assistance to their community to facilitate signing up.
In another case of something big that’s been more or less ignored, sending Visa gift cards instead of government checks to provide stimulus money was foolish, and now we’re hearing stories of people who threw them out, thinking the cards were a credit-card scam. Clearly the real issue is the absurd inadequacy of the $600 for anyone really struggling. Still, some did not know the card was for real. Who knows how many cards will never get cashed by needy citizens? We can only hope that if they got tossed, it wasn’t into the neighbor’s garbage.
Sun Editorial Board