This Is Not a Dystopian Movie

Spiritual Smart Aleck


As I write the United States has the dubious distinction of leading the world in the number of confirmed Covid 19 infections.

We’re number one!

Those of us who wish to survive this plague and live to see another day are washing our hands, disinfecting surfaces, maintaining social distancing, and staying home.

Some healthcare workers are literally laying down their lives. We know what real heroes look like now.

If we are not healthcare providers, life is slower for many of us. Some of us haven’t left the house for weeks. We’re reading books and taking naps and tackling projects, like sewing medical masks. Our bodies are confined, but our spirits are breaking free: we go outside to garden, we sing, we dance.

Being an introvert who likes to stay at home, isolating has been okay for me. I know that extroverts are suffering, and some people who live alone are feeling hard loneliness. At this point contact with family and friends is of vital importance. At this point we are grateful for the telephone and the internet.

My church streams Morning Prayer on Sundays on Zoom. Still working on how we all use the app, but we’re working on it, separately and together. It is good to be part of this community which has been so close for so long.

Some of you are keeping in touch via Skype and other video connections. Being able to see and hear each other in real time – way cool.

Art, music, reading, gardening, rest, exercise, helping where you can, these things are getting us by. I know I’m missing options that are working for some of you. Crosswords have been big for me.

There are zillions of dance, meditation, and exercise videos on Youtube. Did you know that the Vashon Athletic Club is live streaming classes for free now? Go to their web site and click on the live streaming banner.

Oh – while I’m thinking of it, big kudos to the Vashon-Maury Food Bank. They are doing an amazing job of keeping people fed. Thank you.

And a big thank you to all you nurses and doctors and first responders and pharmacists and grocery store employees and liquor store and dispensary employees (‘bout blew my mind to find out that cannabis stores were considered “essential”) and all you other Vashonites who are keeping things going, taking care of the rest of us in this interesting time.

A lot of people are thinking that relying on digital processes will not go away when the pandemic slows down – working remotely is too easy and more efficient and green in many cases than commuting to work, not to mention that disabled people have been begging to be able to work from home for years, and it’s about time.

The shutting down of “non-essential” businesses is a severe hardship on many working people and businesses – ruinous, in fact. Renters are wondering how they’ll pay their rent in April and May. Homeowners are wondering how they’ll pay their mortgages and the first half of their property taxes.

There is talk of mortgage and rental forgiveness, and financial assistance, and no evictions or mortgage foreclosures.

The Congressional stimulus package which will mostly stimulate the prostate glands of aging white billionaires might help working people a little. How far does $1200 go these days?

The hopeful part is the way so many people are responding to the pandemic. They have come together to help the sick and the families of the sick, to help each other, to cheer each other up, to feed each other, to literally save each other’s lives in every way. This is humanity at its best.

The sad and heartbreaking thing is that health care workers and their patients and people who never make it to health care are getting sick and dying. A whole new unexpected burden of grief weighs on the world, more than we would have in the natural course of this time.

The most enraging thing about this plague for me so far has been that the first and only consideration for a certain group of people was, “How can I make a buck on this?”

There are the hoarders who bought out toilet paper, sanitizer, and sanitary wipes, and will defend their rights and their stashes with their AK-15s, I suppose, but they are small change.

It’s the soulless element of the crew that has most of the money and power that cheeses me off and hurts my feelings. Those laughing, happy criminals already have everything, and the rest of us have so little, and they want that, too.

The entire world is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and most people are being glorious to one another, including wealthy people who have their priorities in order. They’re not all weasels, with apologies to weasels.

As the numbers of the infected and dead keep going up, we know that nothing will ever be the same. We don’t know which dear ones we shall lose. We don’t know if we’ll lose our own lives. We don’t know how long we’ll be home bound, or how many waves the pandemic will have.

We do live in interesting times.