Sunday, March 29, 2020

lively times, these, with u s coronavirus deaths doubling in a couple of days, exploding around everywhere, and meanwhile we, sequestered out in the country, get increasingly online and involved in various communities that are surviving, albeit online, and getting to know each other in different dimensions.

i know zoom ok, but i don't know how to block someone in an instant, if i should need to. that hasn't happened yet on cloud quakers but i asked my family about it. i'm on there, on a family zoom, with my two brothers and one sister, and a daughter and a son, and three grandchildren, and my daughter knew a little bit about it. i haven't followed up but will.

nacchus was the word i was looking for; it's a yiddish word for the pride a grandfather might feel in front of his brothers and sister, when his three grandchildren are so cute, and in the case of one of them, so precocious. it was a fantastic feeling, to have all three of them in one place, and in good shape, and being so young and lively in their parents' arms.

on the other hand a little kid died in chicago, of coronavirus, among the thousand that just died in the last day or two. it's an explosion of deaths as the whole thing gets more serious, and it points out a great disparity that we live with - some of us can sit back here, out in the country, out at the end of the road, and simply stay out here, as the kids are out of school, and we can keep people at bay and only go in to get our groceries, etc. we can afford to cut ourselves off, self-isolate, and we do this, because first of all, we read the news and know it's necessary for survival. but we also don't depend on the day-to-day income of some essential job, one that would require us to come face-to-face with people sneezing and coughing and whatever, as we are trying to live our lives. i am convinced that coronavirus doesn't come on an amazon package, or on food delivered by pickup at wal-mart, and so i'm relatively safe that way. it surely isn't out here with the deer and elk and wild turkeys that the dogs are always barking at. but it is in those enclosed small rooms, like the allsup's, or the post office, where you stand in line and even if you try to keep six feet, you can't really. people breathe, it's out there.

so we are determined to survive, and our kids seem to understand, though they still want a kitty, and they really want to see their friends and go stay the night sometime. it's ok with them that we have to stay kind of holed up out here, and start to take classes online, and do everything over zoom or youtube or whatever, what else is there? to some kids that's all there was to begin with. but now that school's out, it's all more serious, more permanent. they aren't going to town, today or tomorrow.

it's good to see my family, one in england, one in pittsburgh, one in albuquerque. they isolate and keep social distancing the best they can given their circumstances. it's harder in the city than the country, and, i'm the country one - i've moved way out to the mountains, out at the end of the road, and now's a time i'm grateful to be out here, and any town, any village, any small burg, would be too much anyway. how do you keep teenagers away from their friends? we who have trouble saying no, will have more trouble than usual. because we know our kids and know how bored they can get.

but on the other hand, it's a world out here, a national forest, and spring is coming, and though i don't expect them to go out and revel in it, it is at least right there in front of them, saying hey, lots of deer out here, elk, bear, coyote, turkeys, bunrabs, you name it. it's not boring. i work days raking, pulling stumps, moving stones, cleaning out old rotten sticks and bark, and planting a meager garden. i have to move on the garden front, because it's spring, time to plant. i have to get some stuff in the earth pretty quick here, because i have all summer to stand around and watch it, and i want to have more than the meager plot i've got now, that has a little greenthread, three heads of garlic, and a few fruit trees. time to move on the market and get going.

meanwhile, i have to say, the world is caving in out there, as we have more and more hotspots. nobody told mississippi or alabama that this was coming, and they were watching fox news, so it was too late by the time they figured it out. mardi gras had come and gone. it was spread, everyone had it. out here in the scrubby desert of new mexico, it wasn't so fast - what few travelers we've got, all came up from texas, and it hadn't got out to west texas yet anyway, and we were at such a pace, that it just wasn't in any hurry to jump from person to person. so it didn't. and still even today otero county has zero. it's inevitable that we get some, yes, and maybe we'll get too many, as even some is too many, but not yet. some people say, if you want one of those hospital beds, grab it quick. because soon there will be none left.

and sure enough, in los angeles, new orleans, new york, they're running out of things already. i think the numbers will jump precipitously and people will get nervous. a thousand a day is calamitous, scary, apocalyptic, and it makes you wonder. they ship a thousand caskets into wuhan but wuhan maintains it stopped at 300 or so and they have it totally under control. control? 300 more in a day, in new york, and i'm looking only at the deaths, because they've lost track of the cases, total cases, there are so many. we are world leaders. how can you not panic?

out here, the same old deer come through, chewing on the grass. they seem to pull up the entire greenthread plants except in places where it's thoroughly and carefully fenced. greenthread is navajo tea - an herbal tea - you get the wisdom of the navajo, at the same time you pee all night. of course i need to grow some other stuff too. what good is wisdom, when you aren't actually growing stuff?

my grandchildren, so cute, i wanted to hug them over zoom, and squeeze them 'til they shriek. all three will give their parents a run for their money, so to speak. it's coner-virus time, time to stay home, and get to know your family.


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