Today started out a bit differently for me, as if I can any longer tell what the word ‘differently’ means in referring to a day.
Firstly, I slept in and was late getting to the living room. Ha. Did you get that? I am also wearing shorts today, because I have decided it is time to begin feeling normal again, and I’m not talking about what the news people refer to as the ‘new’ normal. I mean… normal. I’m going to do some outside spring cleaning; I’ll do some more raking, clean out the carport, leaf blow everything I can see to leaf blow on our property and maybe the neighbor’s, (I enjoy leaf blowing.) and then I’ll probably take a nap. Ho Hum. If I don’t get it all done today, there’s always tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. This stay at home order is so hard to take.
My point is that I will, come heck or high water, make this day and the following ones as ‘usual’ as possible. My three-year-old granddaughter and I have started some seedlings growing, we did already get some raking done, and have also gone to the garage across the street to visit ‘Babi’, our antique VW bug. We’ll wake her up and get her polished up for summer very soon. (Babi doesn’t need to know about this coronavirus thing, so Nahla and I have decided to not tell her. No, no, no.)
Not to seem too antisocial, which, admittedly, I probably am, this whole distancing idea bothers me less than it does many other people. I have never enjoyed hugging and handshaking. (I would make a lousy politician. I don’t even smile much; I have no idea why, but that doesn’t matter with my new mask on, and I only kiss the babies in our family.)
I have never been much of a socializer (pretty much the class wallflower at our high school proms) and so not being with a hoard of people isn’t something that upsets me. I do miss my kids, grandkids, and great-granddaughters a lot and hope to be able to see them soon.
Now, while I’m just teasing a bit, don’t tell me that you’re not at least a little like me. Don’t say you have never walked across the street to avoid running into some person or other on the sidewalk, thanking the Lord that they didn’t see you. If you haven’t done so I would bet you have at least thought about it. Just practice that with everybody for a while and you’re all set.
I am one of those strange people who actually LIKES using the self-checkout aisles at Stuffmart and the supermarkets, uses my bank’s ATM whenever possible, and would rather purchase something online and find it on my back steps a few days later than to chat with a salesman in some store. In the ultimate but not new social distancing situation, the last few times we have bought cars my wife has gone to the dealership, (She loves to dicker and I hate it.) and called me to confirm the deal. I don’t really care about the details a lot if it’s a good deal, and if the car isn’t bright red. She is a wonderful woman!
Here in Vermont the infection rate is very low. I’m sure that’s because we have been practicing social distancing for a few hundred years now. Northern New Englanders are just that way, and that standoffishness has probably saved lives from nasty bugs at least since the 1918 invasion of the Spanish flu. That was a nasty one.
Note: Please don’t think that since I’m kind of a loner, that I don’t care about the suffering this terrible bug is causing. I truly do, and I’m trying to do what I can to help in my neighborhood.
Still, I refuse to let this virus defeat me, and I think that you should not either. Think about these few facts. In our country the coronavirus survival rate is an astonishing 98.54 percent. As terrible as this virus is, it has, so far, killed fewer Americans than die most years of the ‘regular’ flu. Also, this thing has, as with other past challenges to our nation, brought out the very best in many of us. Daily news stories of courageous medical, law enforcement, and emergency services professionals make looking at the news worthwhile again, at least for me.
Also, I just love the creative, wonderful acts of American citizens that I have heard about. People are making masks in their homes; school systems are delivering breakfasts and lunches to folks in need, using what would be idled school busses; churches are providing food and other aid to our citizens. All those actions, all those Americans, are just doing so much good!
Our country is the greatest nation in the history of the world and that is because it is filled with the most optimistic, caring, and sharing people in the history of the world. I would never wish a pandemic on our people, but ever since it has come, I have gained renewed faith in America, and in her indomitable spirit.
If you have never read the anonymous, ancient poem Desiderata, please google it, and take it to heart. It finishes with the words: “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful and strive to be happy.” Beginning today, that is what I intend to do.