Back when I was a little boy and my parents would argue I remember sitting in my room and covering my ears, sometimes lying facedown in bed with a pillow covering my ears.I didn’t like the sound and fury much back then. Hell, even the vacuum cleaner was too much in those wee days , as if I was a scared kitten.
Something changed in my late teens and early 20s where I became drawn to the chaos. Or maybe drawn to the thought of ending the chaos so the little Marc’s of the world didn’t have to close their eyes and use a pillow to drown out the frightful world.
I remember on 9-11 sitting in Chiro College wanting to go back home and helping. Not sure what good a 2.75 GPA Chiropractic intern would have been at ground zero but the thought of being thousands of miles away while people suffer and I could do nothing struck me.
A few months later I would be at ground zero and as an unlicensed intern I adjusted some of the workers still there. (Don’t tell the board). I suppose that helped, even if only a little.
This desire to help has usually struck whenever there are disasters. I just want to go to earthquakes in Iran and Haiti and help out and do something.
On a smaller scale I’ve helped in Bar fights 😉. A friend will tell you that fateful day when he first started to hate my guts, March 17, 2004, when a near riot broke out in the Alley and while everyone was running “out” one jackass in a giant foam leprechaun hat ran “in”. A few years ago when three dudes sucker punched their buddy in a Shanghai bar and started smashing beer mugs on the floor near his head (It ricocheted up and knocked out several of my friends teeth) I was the one who dove on his head then dragged him out while warning the guys with the broken beer bottles in their hands that they were going through me first if they wanted to get at their buddy.
Bar fights are not natural disasters, or pandemics, but they are chaotic and unpredictable and lord knows what will happen when you are in the melee but just being there and showing up is sometimes enough.
In that vain I am cleared (I think) to head back to China, which is suffering the terror of an ever confusing pandemic. And believe it or not, I just want to be there, more than any place on earth right now.
I mean that.
I’m not an infectious disease specialist, or even an emergency medical doctor, I kind of wish I was at the moment, and I won’t be helping in Wuhan. I’ll just be a Chiropractor sitting in a hotel room in Beijing waiting to be cleared to work with their athletes again.
It’s not digging through the rubble or performing CPR, or even dragging a Taiwanese Military captain from jagged glass in a Shanghai Bar. I’m not sure what good I can do, if any to be honest.
But, maybe it’s enough to just show up and be there in the chaos to let those that are scared know that you give a Fuck about them.
Stay strong, China 🇨🇳, You got this 💪🏼