March 24, 2020
In the wake of a “stay-at-home order” from our governor, I suppose I should be making a to-do list for the long weeks ahead. It feels more appropriate to make a not-to-do list. Don’t attend a play, don’t meet my circle of friends for coffee, don’t volunteer on a prescribed burn. Having written that sentence, I’m already fed up with my own complaining; I can’t imagine how you must feel reading it.
On the face of it, I have everything I need to get through: food, espresso, a plethora of podcasts. But that doesn’t account for all necessities. While the loss of calendar entries can’t compare to the loss of human life, it will take a toll on anyone who likes to see someone else’s face from time to time. I hope we keep that in mind as we re-shape our interactions. It will be a struggle at first. Still, we have tools at our disposal.
One of these is creativity. I mentioned the free balloons on Main Street. We have a chance to inject a little of the extraordinary into our daily life. The more blogs, virtual concerts, light displays, and hours-long phone calls we can put out there, the more chance we have of (a term recently shared by a friend) “surthriving”.
Humor is another. The other day, seven police officers convened in the grocery store parking lot near my house. I watched as they monitored some unknown threat, conferred in a tight circle, then got back in their cars and drove away. All except one officer, who promptly walked into the store to buy whatever was on his family shopping list. Why not?
I don’t have a suitable word for the time now upon us. “Vacation” doesn’t cut it, for a number of reasons. But I hope it bears some good beyond the simple avoidance of disaster.
May you all find some shelter in place this week.