Corona Chronicles: Coronavirus/COVID-19

charles-dickens-quote-lbt7i6rI finally understand what Charles Dickens meant when he wrote the intro for A Tale of Two Cities, well, kind of.

It was the best of times. It is the best of times. Isn’t it? I mean, think about it. We live in the Information Age. Technology has afforded many of us access to anything we want to know via the Interwebs. Cell phones connect us in ways we probably never imagined. We don’t have to ask anyone anything anymore. Technology has made it so. We can Google corona virus…and voila! Not only will we receive information, but it may change right before our eyes as we all learn together in real time how to react.

It was the worst of times. Every country around the world has a lot going on. Vladmir Putin is planning to remain president for life to enact revenge on the West. At least ten countries (have been and) are presently at war. Approximately 64,000 Black women are missing in the States. About 15% of the Amazon rainforest burned in 2019. July 2019 Anchorage, Alaska reported their first recorded temperature of 90 degrees. Add corona virus to this list, which the World Health Organization has now classified as a pandemic, and I’d say it seems to be the worst of times.

It was the age of wisdom. Oxford defines wisdom as “the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period.” The Information Age has gifted us with 24-hour access to one another and to new sources. These connections have led many of us to believe we are wise about all of the things we encounter. But this is an illusion. Everyone only thinks they know everything. Really, we don’t know much. For me, not knowing has been most evident as the corona virus spread; however, I don’t know hasn’t been a phrase uttered very much the past few months. But it should be. It’s a perfectly fine thing to proclaim.

safe_imageIt was the age of foolishness. Yep. Through the socials and traditional media, I’ve heard everything from only elderly people can die from corona virus to no black people can die from corona virus. Really? It seems sensible that compounded illnesses and weak immune systems make people more vulnerable to a corona virus death, but I’m pretty sure viruses aren’t age discriminate and don’t racially profile. Even President Trump disseminated misinformation during his State of Emergency address that had to be backtracked. Turns out you can’t just send everyone home from Europe in two-days’ time after all.

It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. <sigh> I’ve never seen so many people hope the government will save us, while simultaneously having little faith that the government will actually do anything. But I understand. Historically, doctors and scientists study diseases, create vaccines, and prevent epidemics and pandemics. Typically, those who are at the top of the field work with the government to do so. But, specifically in the U.S. our government is pretty dysfunctional. Couple that with our president, who has in some ways made these people (and their associated knowledge) the enemy and left specific CDC jobs unfilled, and you get the skepticism many of the country’s citizens have.

There’s more to Dickens’ intro, but I’d like to add two of my own:

It was a time for panic. It was a time for calm. My mother-in-law texted me, saying this: A friend of mine received a message yesterday from a friend that works at the Pentagon that all grocery stores will close in a couple of days. All schools are closed here.

My grandmother has socially isolated because she’s 93, and according to her and the CDC, she should remain home due to her age.

Hundreds of thousands of university students are returning home to finish the semester online.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a Starbucks, staring out of the window, watching what looks to be typical rush-hour traffic. Folks must’ve gone to work today.

I’m waiting to hear what time my daughter’s flight will return from England. Corona and President Trump’s travel restrictions interrupted her Spring Break trip. Florida’s schools just announced that students will have an additional week off so that they and their families, who travelled to high-risk areas can remain home and not infect others and so custodians can conduct a deep cleaning.

115f5913cb41de40e1d0fb24bcd110e0According to social media, people are still stockpiling bread, water, Clorox, and hand sanitizer. Shelves are empty. Folks are praying; others are spreading conspiracy theories, and some are joking about capitalizing on inexpensive trips.

And as I sip my grande Mango Dragonfruit refresher, while watching America scramble to contain a virus we’ve never seen, I have some inkling of what Dickens meant when he wrote those paradoxical words. It is indeed both the best of times and the absolute flippin’ worst.

~kg 3/13/20

56 thoughts on “Corona Chronicles: Coronavirus/COVID-19

  1. Enjoyed your take on Dickens with a few exceptions, that’s just being another person. I now believe the doers of mischief have begun to outdistance those of goodwill; for the moment that is. With my concern for fellow seniors, so highly targeted I share;

    –I’m a senior citizen of 81 years 9 months . My blog name speaks to what I share online; Viruses Dead End Here And Much More. To counter the high volume of panic news, I’ve posted a most encouraging video explaining; “People don’t die of influenza, they die of chronic vitamin C deficiency – view and save lives now https://wp.me/p2VBZ8-35X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GIRL this was ingenious! Take the words of good ole Charles Dickens and masterfully apply them to this current state of madness—subsequently proving that good literature is timeless! Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post. On lockdown now in WA. I come from calm stock, that tends to get calmer in crisis, so no one I know is freaking out. Too much. Just ran to get some eggs from the store though and it was crazy that I got the last carton, probably because they were free-range organic, which is what I wanted anyway. Still no toilet paper, sanitizer or bread, but I’m good. The world is strange right now, but I appreciate having some time to reset, walk, write, do home projects, garden and Netflix myself silly, among other things. Hope you are well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you’re calm and doing well because…man! I’ve seen everything from almost too calm (if that’s a thing) to people having self-quarantined even before anyone told them to, thus they’ve been in the house for about THREE weeks now :-/

      The grocery store is a whole nother conversation lol I had to ask the butcher to literally make some ground meat because there was none. And you’re right about organics and veggies. We’ve been safe there, because I guess no one wants those lol

      I’m doing very well. My life hasn’t really changed too much, which gives me the time to sit back, observe, and write about all the weird goings-ons smh

      Like

      1. smh too…I hadn’t been out for a few days, but I had to make a veggie and seafood run today (still, no one is buying organics or salmon and prawns) and it’s the first I’ve seen of the stickers on the floor marking 6 ft of distance and not being able to use my own bag. Lots of empty shelves which has me thinking Weight Watchers is going to surge when the pandemic subsides. And, would you believe this guy tried to hit on me in line and I had to tell him to step back bro. Now is not the time for a love connection. LOL. Stay well.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Seeing people passing over organic foods makes one of two statements; 1. the price; 2. lack of knowing the health benefits attempting to avoid toxic implementation from the growing to in store retailing. As to price, we pay dearly down the line from all the contamination until the food is on our plates.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. We can either pay now or pay later. Also, I think people think it cost a lot, and some of it, depending on what food we’re discussing, is pricey, but it’s usually worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s like the universe wants us to hone our kindness skills. Humanity needs humans who care. Tables are turning all about the place. If we are to emerge fairly whole; we all need to work at it.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Thank you for sharing!.. while I am not running up and down the streets shouting the” sky is falling”, I am to some degree “erring on the side of caution”.. while I am continuing to live life to the best I can under the circumstances, neither to I wish to become a “Typhoid Mary”… 🙂

    Hope you and yours stay well while on life’s journey and each and every day is filled with love and happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be!.. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I suffer from anxiety, yet I’ve been surprisingly calm in these trying times.
    Here is what isn’t bothering me. No sports, never cared. Restaurants closing, since joining WW and losing 11 lbs no interest, state stores closing don’t drink, no biggie, social distancing, not very sociable. The only true bummer, the gym is closed but I can still walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder why that is. I was thinking it’s because I’ve learned some strategies, and I’m able to put them into practice in real time.

      And yeah. Most of the closings are slow where I am. But I definitely couldn’t care less about sports. Like you, I’ve been outside (riding my bike).

      Wishing you well during these times.

      Like

  7. Its a very interesting thing indeed . I’ve been keeping in contact with friends and family over the country and in Mexico . My fiance’s aunt and uncle can’t return to Europe because of the quarantine, and going to the store is definitely an experience. Thankfully I work from home mostly ( dog groomer ) but still it is a bit eye opening to see countries and world leader affected by this . I think the best course of action is to try to use technology to stay connected , and to definitely try our best to keep ourselves safe and make sure our neighbors are healthy and safe too .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s been the most interesting part to me…observing each country in real time, especially if you know people there. Luckily, your job is already socially isolated (for the most part). Wishing you well and safety!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same to you too . Hopefully everyone stays safe . Also I was happy to see quite a few local and national food and supply drives for those in need . I’m really hoping that things can change for the better in the world .

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Your blog was brilliant! How perfect to quote Dickens to describe today’s crazy state of affairs. Your post was right on the money!

    Because of my age I’m in the high risk category. Because I’m in the middle of chemotherapy to treat cancer, my immune system is compromised. Therefore, according to every news station in the world, I might as well just throw in the towel right now because I’m facing impending doom!

    Well… I say, No way! I didn’t go through major surgery to remove multiple cancerous tumors for Corona to take me down. That’s not happening! I am on my 7th round of chemo, which by the way really sucks. Nausea, loss of hair everywhere etc. is not a picnic. So the Corona virus doesn’t really scare me. It’s just another inconvenience.

    I’ve had to isolate myself from people during chemo and FaceTime with my grandkids because my immune system is so vulnerable. So that’s not changing at all. But, thankfully through technology I can order anything I want and speak to my grandchildren daily via FaceTime. But people are crazy here in Florida. They are either panicked or ignoring Recommendations because our President originally said it was all a hoax.
    I’m Furious at the orange guy in charge for how he ignored the situation and left us scrambling, unprepared and vulnerable, without testing ability.

    Today my sister took me to the infusion center for bloodwork and I go back on Wednesday for more chemo. So even though I’m part of the most susceptible part of the population, if I don’t go to chemo I’m not killing the cancer that’s left in my body. So that’s my dilemma. I’m going to chemo. I figure I’ll kill the cancer and tell Corona to pass on by I got a bigger, badder disease to fight.

    Great blog! Bravo!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lesley! Apologies for the delayed response. I committed to editing two dissertations this week and wanted to thoughtfully respond to your comment.

      I’m glad you have a fighting spirit; however, after following you for some time, I’d expect nothing less! You’re one of THE most fearless people I’ve read.

      I don’t think I knew you were here in the state with me! So, you know firsthand what I’m talking about…last week, we dealt with beach goers :-/ I’ve tried not to judge how people are functioning, but I thought it was pretty clear that we shouldn’t be in crowds. Anywho, don’t even get me started on the lack of leadership, both nationally, state-wide, and locally. It’s pretty much non-existent and unclear.

      Best of luck to you. In my unexpert opinion, I think any place dealing with the medical field is safer than wherever we are. They’re used to cleaning and using disinfectants and such.

      I’ll be hopping over to your bog to check on you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post, Katherin. I keep reminding myself this is temporary. Having a broken ankle last year has truly prepared me for months of hunkering down. I went through that ordeal learning how to be patient, hopeful and rely on myself. I know I can entertain myself and survive this. I worry about my loved ones (my daughter is fighting the virus right now) but I have faith it will all be okay. Fear is such an energy sucker!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot just that quick that you were pretty much homebound for months!

      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. “They” say most people survive, so I’m believing it so for her, too.

      Fear is definitely an energy sucker! I know many people don’t know how to control their anxiety around this, but nothing is resolved through fear.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It’s a totally new feeling we’re all experiencing at the same time. Even though others in the past have experienced it, technology (and advanced medicine) really adds a different dimension. Glad we can process together.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. I’ve been thinking lately of how, albeit imperfect, it’s an interesting forray into the whole world working together to contain something before it becomes truly horrendous…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …and especially given the times where we can kinda see things unfold globally. One of my former students recorded a video a couple weeks ago from S. Korea when they were first mandated to quarantine. I was glued to the screen.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Here in the Middle East, grocery stores are not to be closed, but everything else did – schools, churches, mosques, recreational centers, restaurants and so on. It is the best and the worst, because people (most anyway) have more compassion, but this compassion stems from the tragedy of others. Stay safe, Kathy, and safe travels for your daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Jina! I can imagine, for sure all the schools closing and houses of worship. The issue with the States is that each state can do their own thing, so some states have closed restaurants (not fully; you can order and eat at home), while other states have only closed schools. Some states haven’t closed schools at all!

      Because I’m on many internet sites, I’ve seen compassion and also lack of compassion (calling people names for not doing what someone else thinks is best; hoarding goods, which I think is compassion-less).

      Anywho, thanks for checking in! I’m glad you seem to be doing well where you are. And thanks for the well-wishes. My daughter is home now ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s really hard to wrap your head around, isn’t it?! We certainly have learned lessons in the value of ethical, citizen-centered leadership in the past few years, and just how bad things can get in its absence. 😥

        Liked by 1 person

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