A Cold in the Time of Contagion

Now that we’ve shut down nearly every human activity and are sitting idly on the porch in an effort to stall or as they so delightfully say: flatten the curve, let us wonder, mentally, where this all takes us. We have time…

Lots of it.

The big question, outside of how extensive and lethal the virus will be, is whether there will be anything to return to once the bans are lifted and we’re allowed to do something other than go to the bank, grocery store, Rx, work, gas station, or retail-with-limitations, assuming they’re not next on the chopping block.

So, for the foreseeable future, I see us driving aimlessly in a new shirt eating Ding Dongs glumly going to work, assuming you still have a job, which almost all of us have for the express purpose of making the money necessary to enjoy all the things that have now been shut down.

Few of us work for the sheer joy of it, and ironically, those who do probably had to stop because what they do involves being with people.

Which leads to…

Beyond having nothing to do, is having nothing to do with anybody, because everybody is one person away from killing another, no matter how inadvertently, and as such we must self-distance and self-quarantine until some vague point in the future.

Then there is the matter of feeling bad, sick, unwell. What to do? The primary effect of the novel coronavirus is to illustrate, in stark relief, the inadequacies in our healthcare delivery system: it is not built to handle lots of sick, potentially sick, scared, and freaked out citizens. It is known that Covid-19 shares symptoms with colds. flus, and allergies, and mindful of this, the many thousands of helpful news and health outlets are posting comparison charts to add to our befuddlement. This allows for self-diagnosis which helps, but also allows for self-delusion, overreaction, and far too many people heading to the hospital who don’t need to. It’s all self-fulfilling.

I have a runny nose and my head hurts. It’s probably a cold, but… what if it’s not?

As an added bonus, we find ourselves stuck between scolds and gadflies common in any catastrophe visited upon us by astute and vigilant “leaders”. What could be more fun than being told you’re a killer for wanting to leave the house on the one hand, and then abused on the other for believing all that “idiotic” nonsense about the “pandemic” and not giving the metaphorical finger to all the fear-mongers.

Maybe it’s just the flu. I don’t need to worry about that.

It’s apparent that the coronavirus is everywhere, that people are getting sick, and some are dying. I know people who have had it, and they’ve gotten better. I don’t know anyone who’s died of it. That may change. Beyond that, we wait. Huddled. Confused. Scared.

On the plus side, we haven’t lost our sense of humor, even if it’s all dark. It’s still good to laugh.

Outside; yes, it’s still there, it’s nearly Spring, and nature is going about its business as if all is well. Flowers are popping up everywhere and the sun is out. The yard beckons.

So, what is more painful? Watching the same doleful worrying faces lament the end of the world, and scolds pointing their demanding fingers, or trimming back ferns and reseeding the lawn?

The question answers itself.

See you out in the yard.

©2020 David WIlliam Pearce

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