“The wisest man is he who admits 'I don't know.'”
That paraphrased quote from Socrates, plus the general rule of "save the funny" until the end of the sentence or paragraph, and my first few glimpses at foreign films, are my only memories from my admittedly sporadic college career.
But I've kept Socrates' line in my back pocket ever since, always within reach, to draw like a pistol when others called out my ignorance, or to mentally protect myself when I found I was the one beating myself up for not knowing something.
Lately -- as we face greater collective unknowns than we could've ever imagined pre-COVID-19 (or pre-Trump) -- I'm finding very little comfort in that old Greek's words.
Admitting "we don't know" may seem wise, but these days, it doesn't make us any smarter -- or any safer.
We're all wondering, "When will this end? Will life get back to 'normal'? Or is life forever changed?"
We just don't know.
Sadly, accurate predictions or "models" are impossible because there's been no true federal response to our national disaster. Only bluster, blame-laying and bullshit. (What else is new, right?)
So let's focus on some questions we can answer.
Can we accurately predict when (or if) COVID-19 will be controlled if we don't have widespread testing?
No. We can't.
Is it possible to even attempt contact tracing without thorough testing and follow up?
No. It's not.
Will this ever truly "go away" if the Republican Party continues to literally encourage its membership to keep spreading it?
No. It won't.
Should your kids be forced to go back to school if you still have doubts?
No. Absolutely not.
Can we trust promises of a vaccine from a president who lies repeatedly on a daily basis to save his chances of re-election?
Will our loved ones still be alive if/when we get ever do "get to the other side"?
We can only hope and pray (and, in the case of me with my family, nag! nag! nag!).
Another piece of my personal philosophy has been, "Assume nothing." Since the early days of my acting career, I kept my sanity in this roller-coaster business by repeating the motto "Only react when there's something to react to."
That particular leitmotif sure is getting a work out these days, as my unemployment-insurance extension nears its end, our savings quickly dwindle, and day jobs prove as illusive as a leading role in a four-camera network sitcom with a live audience.
Will Laurence and I be living in our car six months from now?
I don't know. But so far, I haven't given up hope.
And speaking of hope, here's one thing I do know. I'm voting Democrat in November.
Are you waiting for the "funny" at the end of this story? I'm not that good of a writer.