Day Two

At least a gloomy day has its own kind of beauty in the woods.

It’s a gloomy day outside, and I don’t feel like doing anything. Even the dog is apathetic, with just a desultory tail waggle when I let her outside. Maybe the isolation is getting to me. It’s not just two days. My elderly mother, who is doubly vulnerable with asthma, and I have been pretty much self-isolating for two weeks now.

You don’t realize how much you get out of simple interactions, like nodding to the person monitoring the self-checkout lane, until you don’t have them.

Mom and I cut the cable some time ago, so we have been watching The News Hour as it is uploaded in the evenings, and Amanpour and Company in the mornings. This morning (to us) Christiane interviewed David Kessler, who was involved in identifying the five stages of grief and is now proposing a sixth (finding meaning).

Kessler posits that right now we are all grieving. We are grieving the changes to our world. He says grief can be described as a reaction to a change we don’t like. This feels about right to me. There are many changes now that none of us like. And it is fair to say we have lost the world as we knew it for the foreseeable future.

But I can’t let myself get too glum. I only have to compare my situation to that of prior generations to feel pretty lucky. Before vaccines and modern supportive medical equipment, it wasn’t just the 1918 flu sending the grim reaper to stalk the streets. Measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis carried children off in recurring waves. Cholera swept through communities when the water supply was contaminated. Polio claimed lives and mobility. And of course, Balto had to save Nome, Alaska from diphtheria.

And it isn’t just the medical advances that make this a pretty good time to be holed up at home. Can you imagine being on a stay at home order even in the 80s, before the internet? What about before ubiquitous cable? What about before TV? What about before radio? Isolation could be so much more isolated!

In the modern world, we can be isolated together.

Signing off. Stay safe, everyone, and take care of you and yours.

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