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I.C. MURRELL — Anger amid COVID-19 pandemic deserves vigilance, not fuel

If by now I was supposed to be overcome with fear over a virus, I totally failed. Then again, we’re still navigating uncharted waters with the coronavirus pandemic.

Measles, chickenpox, flu, fever … yeah, I’ve fought them all, as a kid, no less.

Growing up close to poverty and violence — man, those schoolyard fights were brutal — fear gets pretty old. But vigilance over sickness and evil is much more productive.

In this up-and-down life one can live, the lack of vigilance can be quite perplexing. It’s as if we’ve not learned a thing from the events of December 7, 1941; November 22, 1963; April 4, 1968; or September 11, 2001 — exact days when we were confronted with specific tragedy and we used awareness of evil to replace ignorance.

It’s as if Magic Johnson’s announcement of his HIV confirmation in 1991 never started a nationwide understanding about the virus that causes AIDS, which to this day is a pandemic. (And it should be noted AIDS was discovered 10 years before Johnson’s positive test.) It’s as if this community never came together to discuss ways to improve infrastructure for the next bad hurricane to come, not that we want to speak such disaster into existence.

Without thorough education on coronavirus — hence the pause of normalcy — some acts of so-called preparation have become follies in lack of consideration. Hoards of paper towels and tissue have inconvenienced the most simple of shoppers and left grocers racing to restock for a greater mass of people to purchase.

Trees are endangered enough, with their pollen a more visible and proven threat to sinus peace than a novel virus to digestive systems. I’m just saying.

As we continue to understand the severity of coronavirus and realize it may never leave our public consciousness, the anger over interrupted normalcy tends to settle in and take over everyday life. This is not to say any emergency order is an act gone overboard, but the mounting frustration and disappointment from unforeseen chaos over something so new to us is more viral than the illness itself.

If you feel anger, be cognizant. It’s a problem. It’s contagious. (Have you not been on social media lately?)

And, no, it doesn’t help that we can’t go to a bar or a gym to blow off a little steam.

Overreaction to COVID-19 — not the social distancing but the lack of consideration for other’s needs — has ticked me off enough. But I’ll be sure to never to put on an angry face in this column.

The greatest tools we have to combat both disease and anger are communication and vigilance. The more we listen to each other, the more we understand. The more we ignore, someone will suffer needlessly.

Things are quickly pausing in our community. Maybe it’s time to find the peace from within — and be educated.

I.C. Murrell is the editor of The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at 409-721-2435 or at ic.murrell@panews.com.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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