A new norm?

As our country moves forward from the plan of flattening the curve, we all find ourselves in a new normal.
Perhaps new to us, but not to our ancestors. Just as we endured the Swine Flu as a nation a decade ago without any of the approaches, we have tried this time around, prior, we can reach back through the years to see our country and our ancestors pull through epidemics. The Hong Kong flu of 1968-1970 saw us not slow a step in our approach to life, doctors and families just did their best to care for those who contracted the disease.
Regionally and locally, our forefathers dealt with outbreaks of polio, measles, Spanish flu, and before that, smallpox, pneumonic plague, bubonic plague, yellow fever, cholera and other diseases.
Many of those outbreaks came when there was little medicine could do to aid in the situation. Just keep a person comfortable with hope people’s constitutions, wills and incessant prayers either brought them through an illness or not.
While I thus far I have not endured the latest disease thrust upon the world. In my past, I have endured the attack of a virus which brought about the doctors saying “There is nothing we can do, it’s up to him and God.”
That is a very scary place to be, both as the patient or a loved one. I feel deeply for the thousands of families who have faced those moments in recent months and pray deeply for those who are yet ahead facing this latest battle of survival.
These past few weeks, as we have all seen a time that we have not seen before, it makes me wonder what is yet ahead for all of us. Advances in medicine have possibly given us to high of an expectation that there is always something that can be done. I can remember a day in my own lifetime when we assumed a diagnosis of one type or another was essentially a death sentence.
Today, we take many of those diseases in stride, maintained by drugs, operations, treatments that allow people to live long lives, where just decades ago, it was not even a hope. Cancer is still one that scares us all individually, though even within certain types of cancer, survival rates are tremendously better.
I am sharing all of this to say, a few decades ago, any infection that could overwhelm our system, broken bones, heart failure, diabetes and so many other diseases meant our clock was now running on borrowed time. As a society, though it did not make the individual situations less painful or less important, we took the reality of what was possible in stride.
I am wondering now, are we are no longer capable of that strength within ourselves? Can we take in stride that medicine can’t always fix us? Can we take in stride that government is not there to save us and we must be self-reliant? Will we now feel the need that big brother government will have to tell us what we have to do to survive? If everyone does not do what is said to the letter, are we now going to be the watch guards trying to get someone arrested?
My parents and grandparents lived through many epidemics in their lives with no medicine to treat and little hope of survival. They cared for each other, they prayed, they kept working because the family had to survive no matter what came. Loved ones passed, the family mourned, remembered, and struggled through. That strengthened the importance of the survival of all who went on. I and my siblings lived through many epidemics as well, some saw friends fall to polio, we endured measles, and all types of influenzas. I survived some of those when the outlook was bleak myself as a child.
As a country, we will come through this pandemic. As families, we must learn from this experience and come to realize, we must rely upon our own abilities to remain safe and healthy. We cannot put outrageous expectations on medical professionals or government to save us from some new virus or even an old virus which could run rampant across the earth. Our government also should not come to think that the American people are going to allow the shutdown of civilization as they prescribe with each and every epidemic that comes in the future. What we are enduring, I pray is not what we allow to be a new norm.