Last updated on April 4, 2020
This post is my first attempt to wrap my head around the strange and dangerous days we all find ourselves immersed in currently. That and my climb back up off the forest floor, with the help of friends, and back up into the trees to see the sun break across the treetops. Far above the darkness below.
So I’m working on a video project right now. Nothing great, more of a time capsule for my future self if he survives the pandemic of 2020 and subsequent economic collapse into a global depression. I’ll admit, this quarantine stuff, 21 days and counting for myself, is really hard to handle. I share a loft with my husband with a single bathroom, two bedrooms, and a shared living space. We have no toilette paper stockpiles or backups on Clorox wipes. Both were depleted at the stores before we had a chance to stock up even a modest amount. We also have no face masks, which, finally, the messaging is changing regarding as actually being helpful to reduce the spread of the virus. Yet we are OK with what we have and sourcing alternatives where we can as they become available. So much panic buying in light of massive behavioral change which is challenging our supply chains, not to mention the virus itself and the risk these workers are taking to serve all of us. Talk about heroics, health workers, grocers, drivers, shippers, sanitation and so many other service workers. My hat is off to you with, a deep bow brothers.
It’s like my grandma said many years ago, “never believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” Now, in the era where a bonafide expert liar now runs the White House, there’s a severe lack of leadership when the Country needs it most. Sadly, it shows in our patchwork response as a Nation to a crisis like none other the world has ever seen. All while we pass disaster bills for the rich with little regard to the most vulnerable of us. It’s enough to make my head spin in despair.
We are all, well not all, the Christian Right seems to be happy to flaunt science and State orders to quarantine while putting so many people at risk. War on Christianity my ass. War on society by the Christian Right? That’s closer to the truth. (And no, I am not blanket stamping all Christians here, I am signaling out organizations like Liberty College in addition to so many megachurch groups who refuse to shut down as they stoke the fires of death that will burn through their own communities and then spread to larger areas across the Nation. Yeah… there’s a word they like to throw around. “Compassion.” Not to mention “pro-life.” These kinds of actions are wholly devoid of those ideals though.
Still, there was a moment, and this is the point of my video project, there was a particularly low moment I had last week. Somewhere around day 15/16 or so of my stay at home track. I was feeling banged up so I reached out to a couple of friends of mine. What I got back was nothing short of a gift. One of friendship and love. That was enough to see me through. Yeah, I would love for it to have been over beers around a campfire somewhere out in the woods laughing. It was over SMS chat and subsequent phone calls. Still, the camaraderie was true. It was enough to pull me back up and get back to feeling grateful for the day without holding on too hard to tomorrow anymore.
I think that’s the thing overall. To find solace and comfort in our friends. To offer that back out to our loved ones and friends in kind. Without question, strings, or hesitation. Always with empathy and love. I feel like, as horrible as this is truly going to get, and I’ve never been here so all I have to go on are the worst-case and best-case scenarios at this point given our lack of response and preparedness to contain and mitigate the situation now. I’m sure I’m going to have more breakdown moments where I just weep for all those around me. Those millions who have lost jobs, evictions to follow since there is no protection for that, starvation, homelessness, death and suffering. Dark days only begins to touch the gravity of what we face right now. It’s going to tear us apart. And yet, love is love. Love endures. We will survive as a changed people. Hopefully a kinder people. I’m grateful to my two friends who helped me last week. Tiger & Tim, that’s you guys. And yet, not just these guys. All the people I work with. The friends of mine who I went backpack hiking with through 2019 – because I’m drawing on those memories hard right now. My running friends. Family. My husband. My best friend in Portland. Basically, all the people I care about. This patchwork of people who have made me a better person. The ones who understand me.
This is the time for all of us to have each other’s backs. To fight fear with love. Appreciate each day and try to make sense of things without such a firm grip. Meaning, let things happen. Make the quarantine sacrifice willingly in order to stay healthy while keeping others healthy as well. If we work together, truly together, we can make it out of this a better people. Closer to one another regardless of the distance between us or the fact that all of our, well not all, worlds became smaller because we have the common good in mind.
These are my hopes and why it’s been so hard for me to sit down to write something about the disaster we are all navigating, no, that’s the wrong word, navigating implies that there is a plan, we are simply riding the tidal wave of death as it builds and crashes all around us. Navigation or not though, we have hope to guide our hearts. Love to share with others (from a distance). Memories of better days with an aspiration and longing for better ones in the future.
To whoever reads this, be well my friend. We may not see eye to eye, and that’s OK. Just do your part. Share the love. Don’t give up.