When I posted my last blog I said I was not going to write about the coronavirus pandemic but due to popular demand I have relented. Actually only one person asked me to write about the pandemic but it was someone from the select group of folks who have acquired great wisdom and is counted among those "who must be obeyed". So credit or blame for this goes to Gini.
Many of us who are sequestered at home (shut ins as my friend Gary Paul calls us) are experiencing a mixture of anxiety, boredom, and cabin fever so this is a time of coping. Coping can take many forms. In the face of uncertainty here are some I'm using.
Have ice cream for breakfast, why not? Drink the good bottle of wine first, just in case - hey even atheists sometimes say a little prayer. Be comfortable - I tend to wear old ratty T shirts so I decided I would wear my favorite T shirt. Turns out its the same shirt.
The sequestering is making me more creative. Now that I have time for those projects I've been putting off I realize why I was putting them off. The creative part is finding completely new reasons to put them off again.
When I thank people in grocery stores and pharmacies now I REALLY mean it.
Doing lots of cleaning, sorting and organizing - is this what they mean when they tell you to get your affairs in order? Feels slightly ominous.
Unexpectedly I miss the gym. I never was a big fan of going to the gym but have gone 3 days a week (back issues) for many years. Hard to replicate the exercises at home.
Art matters. Favorite paintings from Julio Grande, Lynn Horton and Carol Turner still delight and the many sculptures around our home are bright spots.
There is a tendency to want what we can't have. Never big on eating out, the food is better at home, but now I have a desire to eat at a restaurant. In the meantime in an effort to keep local restaurants in business we are ordering take out from places we seldom bothered to eat at before.
Don't check the news before noon that way you will at least have a shot at a good morning. If anything good happened it wouldn't be on the news anyway.
Getting together via Zoom is a lot like gathering in person, people all talk at once and there are more talkers than listeners but everyone feels better by the end.
Irony - production of Corona beer suspended because of the corona-virus.
It is great to see so many people walking, running, biking. Dogs are getting lots of exercise and kids are actually outside many learning about unstructured play for the first time.
Some people who thought they were pretty important found out they are nonessential.
If they are heroes (e.g. grocery clerks, field hands, truckers, food processors) why don't we pay them like they matter?
Why are some pro-life people ok with people dying so they can get back to "normal"?
The American health care system is the most expensive least effective in the developed world mostly attributable to the greed that we have embraced as capitalism.
Communicable = community. When we live together in society, we depend on each other, therefore we have obligations to each other. We are all "socialists" now.
It makes me profoundly sad to think that not only is our current president incapable of offering words that will bring us together, that will unite us and provide some solace but he does not understand the need to do that. He is devoid of empathy. It is not necessary to agree with a leader's policies to be comforted and inspired by their words. I can imagine Ronald Reagan or Barark Obama speaking to the nation in a way that would help allay the fear and anxiety and let us believe that we will make it through this time of danger.
It is good to reflect that if we are well, have not had friends or neighbors or family fall victim to the health or economic impact of the pandemic that we are very lucky. We, whose worst problem is that we are stuck at home bored and anxious, are the fortunate ones. The New York Times recently printed excerpts from diaries of people under Nazi occupation during WW II. Anne Frank is the most famous of these but thousands of Jews and others went into hiding living often for years in attics, barns, closets, cellars. They often had to remain silent for longs periods to escape detection. Our confinement pales in comparison to the isolation they experienced and they did it without cell phones, internet, TV or Netflix. That does not mean that our situation doesn't pose its challenges or that we should feel guilty about it but ordinary humans like us have come through much worse.
What will we learn from this? If history is any gauge probably not much but that is probably good since we tend to take the wrong lessons from most events. But one thing is clear, leadership matters and when it is lacking people die.
One Small Voice
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