Good day, world,
So, there is a pandemic spreading across the world, and in virtually every country (so far as I know) the virus is spreading through local transmission.
The date is March 25th, 2020, a Wednesday, and the weather outside is a little crisp, but warm enough for a light jacket, or a t-shirt and a sweater to be sufficient.
Of course, those who do go outside, they go outside either by themselves, or with those with whom they have chosen to self-quarantine.
And that’s the name of the game, the self-quarantine.
From my layperson understanding of it, the idea is that we need to all exercise social distancing, that we need to outright avoid being near to other humans… for… well, for the foreseeable future. And, in 2020, the future really isn’t all that predictable.
And we must do so as an effort to ‘Flatten the Curve’, that is to say, we need to prevent everyone from getting sick at once. If everyone gets sick at once, and everyone loads up the healthcare system, irrespective of nation, there will be much suffering, much death, and a very bad time for us all.
It’s not the end of the world, but a chapter of the world which presents itself as challenges, difficult choices.
Re: 2020, what a year this is turning out to be. We exited 2019 with the republicans choosing not to kick Trump out of office, re: his impeachment; alarms about climate change ringing (rightly so); a potential war with Iran (one plane-full of civilians accidentally shot out of the sky as a glib, sad, infinitely-regrettable bonus of these difficult and endlessly-trying times); only then to be greeted by a global pandemic, an outbreak of a novel strain of the corona virus, so-named COVID-19.
Though it seems to have originated in Wuhan, China, it is now across the globe, on the minds of just about everyone.
I had a cold in late December, a pretty bad one. Of course, I couldn’t get tested, nor receive an antibody test, and so I don’t know if I’ve had it, I don’t know if I have it, and/or if I am transmitting it to others, presently.
As such, I have not seen my family, nor my friends, at least not in person.
As one who reads the news, closely, frequently, perhaps obsessively, I saw the virus coming, and I was able to prepare before the masses began such actions as to precipitate memes about toilet paper hoarding.
By mid-February, I began to take it all seriously.
Over the weeks to follow, I would take frequent little visits to the grocery store, and I began to amass a little collection of non-perishable foods; rice, beans, canned ham, canned tuna, frozen means and microwave dinners. In addition, I also picked up plenty of toilet paper, cannabis, and anything else that I would like to have, and would need to have, should a pandemic occur.
I told family and friends to prepare (once my preparations were mostly complete), and then I waited. And lo, the very first disaster for which I prepared… it came, and, alarmingly, my worries were vindicated. Note: vindication, it’s actually not always so nice. I digress.
It has been more than a week since I have last gone to the grocery store. I will probably go again, to continue to collect supplies, more canned food, more rice, et al.
That said, there is a quality to the present situation, a quality that feels like a game. What is the game? It’s like this: how many times can you go back for supplies, before going back causes you to become infected?
Yes, I may have enough food, presently, but the ancestral mind within me, the survivalist within me wants me to get more, to keep growing my stores, to keep filling my fridge, my cupboards.
Given the nature of this virus, the way that it spreads so easily, how it can stay on surfaces –maybe even for days– and how it can hang in the air, in droplets, after someone has exhaled, coughed, or otherwise set the particles aloft, such that others can breathe them in… there really is a need to know when it’s time to pull back, when it’s time to, in effect, roll the stone before your cave entrance.
When is that time? Has it come and gone, is it before us still?
The safe answer is that you probably should already be done shopping, and you should be sheltering in place.
The last time that I went to the grocer, it was a local Sobeys. I noticed that they were washing the automated checkout machines with disinfectant, between each customer.
Also, however, less of a comfort, near the produce, I saw an Asian man with a face-mask on, and two nervous-looking police officers standing near to him, talking, trying to resolve some such situation.
I couldn’t tell if that was a sick man, or perhaps fear and racism bubbling up.
In either case, you could see that people were uncomfortable.
Some people are taking it seriously, and some are not.
I certainly am, my parents seem to be, and I hope you and yours are, too.
For those who do not have the opportunity to shelter in place… people who must go to their jobs, I am so very appreciative of them. Yes, it makes my life easier if the lights and internet are flowing, but it also helps us all.
I can only imagine what horrors would be set upon us if this pandemic was received as well as the 1918 influenza.
In the modern age, yes we have information dissemination, yes we have a robust science of medicine, but so too do we have Netflix, Youtube, Zoom (conferencing software that is presently popular).
These, the fruits of our high-contrivance, allow us to stay inside, to help the people remain occupied, calm, and, most importantly, healthy, and out of the damn way, while the health system, and medical professionals can fight the dire battle to save as many people as possible.
Ignorant people (typically not their own fault) either think this isn’t a big deal, or that it’s the end of the world.
It is a big deal, it is, but it isn’t the end of the world.
For some individuals, for families, yes, it may feel, and, in effect, in may be their end of the world. This makes me very sad.
I must admit, having prepared for this, having spent a winter in depressive-isolation, I feel almost too well quipped to deal with this quarantine. I’ve actually had to change very little of my day-to-day activities.
I find myself feeling so good, enjoying my time by myself, that if/when I smoke a little weed… the very first thing that comes to mind is a feeling of shame; shame that I am not ever-conscious of the suffering which is running rampant, a sort of guilt.
These are my meandering thoughts from my self-imposed, preventative quarantine.
I’ll post more, as I do possess some ability to communicate, and I certainly am paying attention. It’s only fair that I should convert my awareness, my penchant for words (not to say this is well written…) into something of a record, into something useful.
I have another website, and I shall be posting to that, too. But, unlike how these posts are, that which I post to my other site is more polished. For the time being, until I can go back and see what I have shared here, I think I’d prefer to keep the two websites separate.
Anyway, I hope everyone is taking this very seriously, and that each can find a bit of peace, a bit of calm in these trying times.