Frustration could have been the word of the week last week.
I don't have a lot of tolerance for ignorance...understanding the difference between ignorance and stupidity...ignorance is the worst of the two...one should be able to "cure" the ignorance with a little study...a little listening...a little reading maybe...a conversation or too with healthcare professionals. Not a lot effort, but just a little would help.
This past week there have been a plethora of folks coming out trying to get "the economy" back up and running. Believe me I completely understand the lack of business coming in the front door and I'm a little frustrated (more than a little) with not being able to spend time with the friends and family...BUT...talks with my own personal healthcare team tells me that the science reporting is not too far off (if at all)...but the politicians are all over the board...and a lot of them are just scientifically wrong.
If the stay at home orders are lifted too soon the bounce that everyone knows is coming in the Fall will be bigger and badder than what we've gone through already. We as a nation are not prepared to deal with the monitoring and containment that will be required to open all of the business and travel and concerts and faires yet...not even close...a couple of months away AT LEAST. When Disneyland is staying closed until 2021...doesn't that tell you something?
I not a real fan of wearing a mask...but I do whenever I leave the property. Luckily I rarely find a need to leave. I miss not doing arts and crafts fairs. I sure wish I could have a couple of repairs done on the property...I will have to dig that trench myself. Most of all, I miss the grandkids coming up to visit and us going down to there home to surprise them.
So I get it. I really do.
But the "freedom" that folks talk about having been taken away reveals a sort of selfishness. They're not complaining about your or my situation...they complain about theirs.
We all need to see a bigger picture. We are in this together. I protect you and you protect me. I protect your family and you protect mine.
It now seems that the few days before someone is aware that they are sick is when they are the most contagious...and yet the person feels fine. Not only do we ask too many store clerks to "wait on us," we put them at risk of not only getting the virus but transmitting it without knowing...not wearing a mask those few days when you don't know you are infected increases your chance of infecting someone else. Until we have a testing system working (and the 1% of folks who have been tested is a statistical farce...) we can not afford to open any portion of the nation...no place...unless you want to see border checks to keep the virus out of say, South Dakota...nationwide stay at home and basic clean procedures will be our best defense.
DO NOT buy into the crap you see from politicos who take their marching orders from businesses wanting their employees back to make them money. What sort of assurances are they giving to keep us all healthy?
Until we have a vaccine and the vast majority of citizens are vaccinated...testing in the 250 million tests a year range...perhaps 30 million tests PER WEEK in some industries...STAY AT HOME...wash your hands...when you go out, wear a mask to stop your transmission (I know you think you're not infected...remember those last 2-3 days) and think of this...that cashier you just worked with has helped perhaps 1000 people in the last 3 days...and...if you have inadvertently passed that clerk the virus...they could infect 1000s before they know they have it.
if you think it's bad now...think of a problem that is 3-4 times bigger in the Fall.
Staying a home and giving our science community time to develop that vaccine is the best way we can help the economy in the long run...the down side of not dealing with this now will be a bone crushing 2021.
We live in the forest. Make no mistake about it...the forest. Critters, trees and work.
When we lived in the urban San Francisco Bay Area my go to tool in the yard was a pair of clippers. You know...the kind that can slip into the back pocket...the kind you trim rose bushes with...one handed jobs. I had several pair.
Oh..those were the days...I go through a couple pair of those a season now...they don't hold up well around here. Mostly they can only handle the stuff to clean up close to the house and studio.
Loppers...that's the go to tool now days. 30 inch is a decent size...I have two pair but I suspect one set is somewhere out in the forest under a layer of pine needles. Haven't seen it in a while.
Now that I think about it...the little handheld electric blower I used to have would need a really REALLY long extension cord up here...and the little weed wacker...hahaha...the unit I use now might go through 50 feet of line a day. My number two unit has a blade.
A couple years ago I made the decision to switch my equipment lineup to battery powered units...including my chainsaw. The various gas powered tools were using different mixes of fuel...smelled...loud...and I could see that over time, batteries would be easier on the aging bod (self awareness is a wonderful thing).
The old days of Itsy Bitsy toy tools are long gone...vanished...lost in time (and the forest floor)...replaced with loppers and two weed wackers...two chainsaws...a back pack blower...and gloves...lots and lots of gloves and carried around behind my little garden tractor.
I'm tired just thinking about the week in front of me...can't be sore yet...haven't recovered from last week. If COVID doesn't get me, four acres of forest might. But if I show up missing...you know where to find me...probably with that lost pair of loppers.
I grew up in an era when young men and women commonly joined their friends in Scouting activities. Many of my friends were involved in Boy Scout Troop 89 in Pittsburg, CA ...just down the hill from our home and within walking distance for the majority of the troop.
So where am I going with this? For over 50 years I have modeled my life around 14 words...and during this pandemic that is gripping the Nation and yes, the World...economically and socially and emotionally...I find that these 14 words have helped me and continue to help me.
First, let me tell you that I know that not everyone is "on board" with the Scouting programs, but in the defense for at least a portion of the programming...the BSA motto is: "Be Prepared"...and who shouldn't be. All us should work on that goal, for COVID-19 will probably come back at us in the Fall after this current situation calms down. Science folks and medical folks talk about it as a "bounce." We need to be ready for it in the Fall, and we can be more prepared than this last time.
Look at your home and family situation and take stock of those things (physical or emotional) that made you anxious this past month or so and make some adjustments... take measures to be able to cope better come Fall and beyond. I can only imagine what millions of families with small children and school aged kids must be going through...who could have seen that coming...well now you know...and while we panic over the shortage of N95 quality masks at the moment...we should all "Be Prepared" in the Fall...and that's just one example...a few more cans of fruit would have brightened a few of our days around here...I'm thinking I would have liked a bit of banana pudding (it's a long story, but it brings back a raft of comforting memories) ...our Grandkids could always use more projects to keep them busy...and don't forget that infamous toilet paper. Prepare precedes "Be Prepared."
But on a daily basis...Scouts live by a set of Laws...and if I paraphrase the opening to the common recitation of the Laws..."A Scout is..." and change that to "ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE" it would be a good standard for all of us, everyday sans pandemic, but more so during these times.
Yes I remembered all of them...no I didn't look them up. It's inside of me. I used to hold a lit match and recite the Laws to see how many time I could recite them before I couldn't hold the match any longer...I only got to 2 1/2 times through (or so).
I'll let you figure out how each of the 12 laws can be applied to your situation ...work on one a day...I'm working on "Kind" today.
...and while we are still in the midst of a crisis of unbelievable magnitude...it is not too early to think about preparedness for the Fall.
Last week I wrote: "But...I know that Brenda and I are not alone in this isolation. Many of you are in the same situation. Many have contracted the virus. Some will not survive. We're doing our part to contain this virus and appreciate that other's share our concerns and are participating in the containment."
What I didn't write was the optimism that I feel even in this isolation.
Sounds kind of crazy, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Long tunnel that is might be, there is a light. We will come out of this situation stronger as a society for one thing. Many of the differences we might experience are put aside and we're focused on what is important to all of us. Education will be re-thought...food supply chain will be re-thought...savings will be re-thought...economic justice? Re-thought!...and of course HEALTHCARE.
So while we can be in the doldrums during this period of isolation and uncertainty, if we use this time and situation to re-sculpt and re-invent ourselves, we as individuals, our relationships and our society, we will be stronger.