People are taking this seriously. WE are doing everything we can to protect ourselves & our neighbors. I know how scary the map looks, with that blood-red splotch right on top of us. But block by block, we're careful as can be. I appreciate all the contact from around the world but please know that we are OK. As long as the ice cream supply can be replenished, that is.
I've been having a good day. I went to the market early, so I had a walk with a purpose, learning Norwegian along the way. Bought onions & potatoes so it looks very much like more soup migh be happening in Chez Nauen. I took an online karate class & meditation; found out that my lovely neighbor Louis is a car guy—he's from Detroit so I'm not surprised, but it was fun to talk about beautiful old cars with someone who likes that conversation; talked with my mother who is stoic about what's going on; had some ideas for projects; revised an old play; & didn't worry. A good day.
And this picture proves it. I cooked! Yes, I cooked. I made yellow lentil soup with carrots, onion & garlic. It was pretty good, but now it's gone & it looks like I may have to do it again. (Insert unhappy face emoji.)
I don't get why people like to cook. All that work buying stuff & still not having the right ingredients, chopping, measuring (well, I don't actually do that), & then it still isn't really tasty, & then it's gone. At least a poem, even a bad poem, MIGHT be wonderful while you're immersed in it. But food is just food.
I know I'm a yokel.
Update: I made soup AGAIN & was really struck by how you can throw together a bunch of inedible stuff, like beans & water, & it turns into FOOD. I might keep this up!
Someone suggested that my mysterious & incessant racking cough throughout January & February may have been symptoms of the virus. I don't think I had a fever, & didn't have chills, but I did have exhaustion & shortness of breath. Who knows? No one ever figured it out but it stands to reason that different people will have variants of the symptoms. A lung X-ray was clear but I've had compromised lungs ever since September 11 (pneumonia twice since then). I eventually chalked it up to allergies but who knows? On the one hand, I hope I had it without worrying that I might die. On the other hand, it's horrible to think that I may have been Patient 0.5 - an early spreader.Well, till I can test for the antibodies, I won't know & of course will continue to be careful.
I know it's a bullet train into New York right now, as Johnny said, but it (surreally) doesn't feel like anything in particular is going on, just perpetual Sunday morning. Our population density means we can't really separate as much as we need to but everyone I see or know of is doing their best.
Found Poem (Carol Halstead)
I walked right up
to someone to say
and then you realize oh
step back Carol
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
~ Marie Curie
So much remains to be done, and some of us won't be here to do it. But the poetry will still get written, the music composed and played, the paintings painted, as well as the discoveries made, the lives begun & saved, and on & on. The world never quite manages to come to an end, no matter what happens & no matter what is predicted.
A friend wrote from Brazil to express surprise at the "jaunty" tone of an earlier post. Then he wrote to say he had misread something & withdrew the word. But it does make me think, as I have been: What tone does one take in the face of terror & uncertainty?
Some people prefer? enjoy? knowing everything, or can't help reading the news all day long. Some people minimize, & each generation seems to be accusing the others of carelessless.
I'm with the ones who take in information but try not to get overwhelmed. Clearly this is a long-haul situation & we have to pace ourselves. I am most definitely doing everything I'm told: washing like a raccoon, keeping my distance. After that, what can I do but try not to melt into fear? What good does it do me or anyone to think about my loved ones I may never see again?
"Jaunty" comes from 17th-century French meaning well-bred or genteel. I think it might in fact be a good word to use right now. It certainly is well-bred not to, oh, hoard toilet paper. For the band to play while the Titanic sinks. I always admired that Roy Cohn (otherwise the opposite of admirable!) famously & impressively kept his cool while waiting for results of a trial with his life/career on the line (I don't remember the details).
I hope the health-care workers maybe get a moment to relax & even laugh in the midst of tragedy. I've tried to be light with people who have it worse. I don't want to be the one who needs help.
This is only part of the conversation. I'm sure some days I'll want only to cower & I may even find myself wallowing in — looking for! — the scariest news. But as many people as can probably should stay as normal as possible.
I skedaddled, didn't meander or dwaddle at all, from the store where I saw this sign, the pet store Whiskers on 9th Street.
What happens when there's no one to grow / process / package / ship / sell the food?
On my walk today, I saw daffodils, forsythia (yellow bells, they're called in South Carolina), tulip tree & this. Spring comes as does greater trouble. The State Department has issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel warning. My brother-in-law is on a cruise (as a lecturer) somewhere near South Africa.
I went to the 99¢ store on Ludlow Street for shampoo, kleenex, & dish soap, & found—back in stock after many months—my favorite notebooks! They even had colors (green, red) they hadn't had before. I'm using the last one at the moment (I go through a lot of notebooks). Katz's was open for takeout & thought about ordering a pastrami sandwich for my brother but he's in California & who knows where he'll be in a few days' time. It was a crisp sunny day. I did some work, checked in on or was checked in upon by lots of people, watched black belt class, went for another walk. I thought about the Black Plague & how it killed half the people in Europe, leading to enormous & permanent political upheaval. C-19 is not going to kill half the people in the world! We are home with plenty to do, books to read, movies to stream, electricity to see & cook with. It's tough for plenty of folks, I am not minimizing the risk to jobs & healthcare workers, for example, but for many of us, it's an inconvenience & we're not likely to have our entire families wiped out. The stretches of time when I can suppress my anxiety are actually very pleasant.