Re-Evaluate The Connection

It’s day 1,634 of quarantine, and people are getting tired. You have folks like the wannabe Walking Dead in Michigan, protesting the governor’s attempts to keep them safe. You have folks that are trying to do their job, and can’t because said Walking Dead *were blocking the hospital*. This gentleman was not exactly eloquent, but I ABSOLUTELY appreciate his passion:

You have folks who have lost friends and loved ones to COVID-19, and truly understand the toll it takes, knowing those people died very sick and all alone. You have folks like my family – *extremely* lucky to live in a state that was reasonably proactive, and who – to the best of our knowledge – do not know anyone who has been ill or died from this virus.

But through it all, we have people trying to work from home. People who typically work in an office setting, where they can hold regular meetings, and where the internet connections are generally SUPER reliable. Folks who assumed that their home connections were “just fine”. And, reader – they may have been, Before COVID-19. But now? We’re seeing just how NOT fine they really are.

I’d love someone to do a thorough polling or study of how many people who are trying to hold Zoom meetings have struggled with it dropping or slowing down to the point of ridiculousness. How many people who are working on something and suddenly notice their internet has…disappeared. AGAIN. Mine did just as I started working on this. Essentially – how many Americans are finding, suddenly, that their “just fine” internet service is not really just fine, and certainly can’t hold a candle to places like South Korea. And I know for a *fact* it can’t hold a candle, because we had an exchange student from there who simply could not understand how AMERICA had slow-ass internet. I guess they didn’t talk about that at orientation…

Look, this is definitely a first-world problem. But here’s the thing – WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A FIRST-WORLD COUNTRY. And good, reliable internet connection is – these days – a necessity. Numerous studies have been done on why this is so important, particularly in rural communities. Here is an article that discusses some of that:

https://theconversation.com/reaching-rural-america-with-broadband-internet-service-82488

My hope is that people all over this country are complaining – to their local government, to their state government, and ESPECIALLY to their internet providers, about just how terrible they’ve discovered their service really is. I hope people in rural communities are doing the same, because with so many libraries closed, they are really struggling right now. Looking for jobs, ONLINE SCHOOLING (which we’re *all* struggling with to one degree or another) is virtually impossible. Accessing services for health right now, when so many clinics and offices are doing virtual calls for basic care means they’re left out. So many things that so many of us are taking for granted right now, that have moved to virtual out of necessity, are struggles still for far too many people. Which naturally means that, when the country begins to try to get back on its feet, they’re going to struggle even further with delays and difficulties.

So, people – YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO COMPLAIN. Long and loud, if you please. And if you’re so inclined, please reach out to groups like the one listed below to find out more about how you can help!

https://www.ruralstrategies.org/broadband

Author: stillmorewords

Small-town girl, living in a big city. Former Coastie, married with 2 kids. Inveterate reader of all genres, though non-fiction and YA currently rule. Indie bookstore employee, small business owner, tea drinker.

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