And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.
So all we could do was to
And we did not like it.
Not one little bit.
from The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss
Random House/Houghton Mifflin Company, 1957
We are all faced with the same issue. What do you do when everything is closed and there’s nowhere to go. When the restaurants closed at the end of business on Sunday, it felt like there was more to come. Every group I belong to, formal or informal, hd already sent email letting me know the meeting or activity or event was cancelled or postponed.
Most of you who know me well, can imagine my relief. Although I am active and I like to be involved in community activities doing good work, I push myself because I know it’s good for me to be among people, especially like-minded people. It’s good for everyone, really, because like the saying goes, “many hands make light work.”
I feel like all my obligations have evaporated, and it feels pretty good. And I know it’s temporary.
Some people are people people, though. The lack of having something to do and someone to do it with weighs heavy on their hands and minds. The inability to make a difference in a committee’s good work is frustrating. Not able to volunteer, not able to meet friends for lunch, not able to workout at the gym. It feels like the whole world has ground to a screeching halt.
The whole world has just come to a screeching, grinding halt.
Today was supposed to be Ohio’s Primary. I love to vote on Election Day, so I didn’t vote absentee or choose to vote early. But yesterday, the governor exercised caution and concern for poll workers as well as the general public and postponed our Primary until June 2. Short of an invasion, he really can’t do that, legally. He does not have the authority. Setting dates for Elections is a function of the Legislature. Legal action will be taken against him, but it will probably come to nothing.
I just downloaded an application for my absentee ballot. As soon as my ballot arrives, I will fill it in and return it. So far, the Post Office is still open and the dedicated postal workers are still working.
So what in the world is going on? Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of the virus going around.
Not enough tests, not fast enough test results, not enough hospital beds, not enough ventilators, not enough personal protection equipment (PPE), makes this pandemic especially frightening.
Not knowing what will happen next or how fast or where is especially unsettling. Most people do not thrive on change. I’m one of those. I like things to stay the same.
The new Coronavirus has changed all that. COVID 19.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause many illnesses including the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
COVID 19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019. It had not previously been seen in humans. It is more contagious than the flu or even SARS, or MERS. Infected people do not even know they are sick unless they have symptoms, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and a fever are the most common. So people can be carriers of COVID 19 and not even know it.
That’s why doors are slamming shut.
It’s incredibly sad to think of weddings receptions postponed, 50th anniversary parties, 80th or 100th birthday celebrations, baptisms, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, confirmations, graduations, and of course funerals.
We are social animals. We need each other. We need to be in community. So like Sally and her narrator brother in The Cat in the Hat, we can Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! or we can Skype or Facetime our friends and family, live stream meetings (I think!), message pictures to each other.
My best virtual friend is Libby, the library e-source for books. It’s easy to download her from your library’s website to your phone, tablet or computer. The books are free. You can usually renew them. The library is full of wonderful digital sources, too. Try www.libraryvisit.org then click on the blue “Our Collection” tab.
I took a walk today. So few cars were out that I could listen to the birds. I heard robins, cardinals, sparrows, crows, and some that I didn’t recognize. The Audubon Society’s website is great for listening to bird songs and identify them. https://www.audubon.org/birds Or try “bird songs” on Google and listen to some of them on YouTube. Or get the free TED app for an interesting listen.
My backyard garden is calling me. The weather is sporadically warm and sunny. I plan to take advantage of the time away from my obligations and clean up out there, at least a little.
I don’t mean to make light of this pandemic. It is real. More and more people will become sick. There is a limit to what we can do to prevent that. You’ve heard it all.
Keep a safe physical distance, cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands. Shop, but leave some cleaning products and paper products for your fellow shoppers. Grocery stores will stay open. They will re-stock.
Not related to the virus, a corona is the plasma around the sun that we can see during an eclipse. It extends millions of miles into space. We need the total darkness of an eclipse to see the brightness of the corona.
I choose to acknowledge, prepare, and respect the darkness, and appreciate the brightness I can see as a result.
The two best places to get current info about COVID 19:
-—stay curious! (and keep your safe distance)