Op-Ed: ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Narrative Needs to Change
When the COVID situation began weeks and weeks ago, most people were willing to hunker down, accept the shutdowns and limitations because it was believed the storm would be weathered.
But now, with some exceptions (WA, OR, CA and a few other states) most of the country is clawing it's way out of the 'sand trap' and fighting to respin the wheels--not just the economy. but life in general.
It's time for the 'Stay Home Stay Safe' narrative to change. We're not out of the woods yet with COVID. That's a topic for another discussion. But it's obvious that people can only stand so much.
With SO many signs of economic, social and other recoveries under way or beginning, the drum beat narrative of hunkering down needs to cease.
Whether it's the recent Corona 'Make Your own Beach' ad, or Joe Namath shilling for Medicare services; from the new Facebook Messenger 'Rooms' to the insufferable Microsoft Teams Ads (and many more), we are still being pummeled with the negative drumbeats. (If we have to listen to that British Metropolitan Cop one more time...!!) Might want to throw in those State Department of Transportation reader boards that all seem to read "stay home stay safe" or "safe lives" or some variation.
All these ads and many others often make use of the 'Brady Bunch' type of digital display, showing numerous people all on their computer screens like it's a Zoom Meeting. This type of repeated pummeling of our brains does have an effect, according to numerous medical studies, and it can be negative depending upon how it is presented.
As far back as 2008, the American Psychological Association published a bulletin about a case study, it had to do with Constructive and Unconstructive Repetitive Thought (RT). Part of the synopsis of the study was that unconstructive RT can result in depression, anxieties and difficulties in physical health. Hmmm...what do we see all around us lately in our family, friends, co-workers and others?
Sure, businesses jump on the trends and 'needs' of society, partly in order to look like they're 'with it.' But as the country rapidly speeds up the re opening, why are we still getting this 'separation hunker down stay home stay safe' message?
RT is a process, says the bulletin, that all people engage in with themselves. When constantly exposed to a certain thread of thought or opinion everywhere they turn, people begin to subconsciously or consciously think about it, hence, a form of RT.
Even Vanity Fair magazine back in late April warned to not depend upon TV to help you forget about COVID for a while. They said most ads will snap you back to depressive reality very quickly.
One of the better ads that comes to mind is the Pacifico ad that's been running lately, called "Crack of Dawn." It shows people out recreating, and is a refreshing change from the rest of the drivel being dumped on us.
NOBODY is saying COVID is 'over,' or should be ignored. NOBODY in their right mind would try to pretend it never happened. But as the country is in a very different place than six weeks, or in some cases, even two weeks ago, it needs to be reflected. People need a balance of hope, and a future.
The forced separation and segregation of 'Stay Home Stay Safe' needs to be replaced. It's time for balance, reason and hope to take it's place...unless you enjoy living life like a scared marmot in a cave.