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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. 

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