Notes From The Pandemic

These words are not anything more than thoughts evaporating into space.

Fate plays its hand when we take our eye off the ball. On a planet with between seven billion people, a crisis happens every day. It only feels real when it touches us. Today, it is real.

Many thought the horror of WW1-The War to End All Wars would unify the world and bring us to a more harmonious place (it did not). Robert Oppenheimer thought the destructive implications of nuclear weapons would arouse a spirit of shared horror and bring the world together (it did not).

Neither did we come together when we saw the moon from outer space, nor have we become of one mind from witnessing mass animal extinctions, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, tsunamis, global warming, destructive hurricanes, genocides, fires, droughts, deluge, or pandemics.

We are fragile little creatures no different than any other.

We react better than we plan. We grieve better than we prevent grief. We may have rational faculties but we seldom deploy collective rationality before a crisis. We are what we are.

Bus drivers in Mexico like to surround themselves with talismans and plaques with thoughtful sayings. One read, “God is my boss, but I do the driving.”

Before Super Bowl XII, both teams had self-professed “Born Again” quarterbacks. For The Denver Broncos, Craig Morton, and for the Dallas Cowboys, Roger Staubach. In a television interview with both men before the game, a reporter asked who would win. Morton answered, “If God wants it, Denver will.” Staubach replied, “I think God wants us to win.”*

Take the reins of your life. Take care of yourselves and the people you love and the others who need your support.

This too shall pass.

*Cowboys won: 27:10.

Today

-I called an older friend to be sure he was staying in and that he had enough food. He reported back that he had stocked up on wine.
-No sneezes or coughs.
-I heard one person cough at Costco, fifty feet away from me. I abandoned my cart for a few minutes and washed my hands for thirty seconds. Good soap at Costco and air dryers. All the employees wore gloves but there were no pepperoncini. Checkout lines were long and the chicken cases were empty but the beef cases were full. Salsa was cheap. The hot dog and pizza stand was overflowing and the seating area was packed like sardines. I’m done with stores until things settle.
-Dug a fence post hole and am eager to start the garden
-Washed my hands five times today for at least thirty seconds each time.
-Hugged one person over fifty. Living dangerously!
-I believe I touched my face a few times but only after washing my hands.

6 thoughts on “Notes From The Pandemic

  1. Thank you for this, Joey. It is sobering to remember all those things in history that we thought would unite us. “We react better than we plan.” So true. It reminded me of a similar, but different, take on a situation 60+ years ago that C.S. Lewis commented on:
    C. S. Lewis’ thoughts that are relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic…

    “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
    In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
    This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
    From “Present Concerns”

  2. It may seem as if nothing ever changes in history, and it may also appear as if we can plan, but don’t…. we can take those reigns, but the road those horses of destiny take is carved by so many elements, that the reigns meant to point them towards our desired destination are but a thin slice in that sphere of influence that is not our fault and is beyond our understanding.

    Thank you for the eloquence and thought, Joey.

  3. I rarely touch my face, until recently. Now I compulsively do nothing my touch my face. I feel compelled to touch the faces of the people around me. I think it is best if I sequester myself till this blows over.

    • I meant to write: I rarely touch my face, until recently. Now I compulsively do nothing but touch my face. I feel compelled to touch the faces of the people around me. I think it is best if I sequester myself till this blows over.
      When will I get it through my thick head that proofreading works better before I hit the send button?

  4. I rarely touch my face, until recently. Now I compulsively do nothing but touch my face. I feel compelled to touch the faces of the people around me. I think it is best if I sequester myself till this blows over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *