People’s varying reactions to Covid-19 and the quarantine amaze me. Not always in a good way, though I still laugh when I recall Kellyanne Conway’s criticism of the WHO, “This is Covid-19, not Covid-1, folks. You would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that.” She followed up that jaw-dropping misunderstanding with “People should know the facts.” Spokespeople too.
I hope you and your family have stayed well and am happy to report good news on that front for my family, so far. Even though New Jersey is a peanut of a state, we have seen more Covid deaths than our big brothers, Texas and California.. The county where I live has suffered more Covid deaths than 16 entire states.
Starting in April, I took a break from 4-day-a-week website posting. I I felt oddly speechless in the face of the pandemic, the politics, the gun-toting protestors in state capitals, hurricanes battering the South, the West ablaze.
I was heartsick in the aftermath of our massive social upheavals. Now that political correctness isn’t politically correct any more, we find how much ugly stuff it hid. Yes, it occasionally strayed into eye-roll territory, but it reinforced norms about what is acceptable in a modern society made up of many threads and strands. It expressed how we should treat each other. Maybe it kept the lid on, a bit. And since behavior lags attitudes, it may have helped at least a few people break the habit of reflexive hostility and censorious opinion.
Now, of course, Americans feel empowered to give their malicious attitudes and beliefs free rein. I wish I didn’t know this dangerous river of ignorance and prejudice still flows through our country. I would have preferred to continue deluding myself that we are moving beyond the corrosive views of the past. Maybe this time, more people of good will are paying attention.
A Brighter Note
While not blogging, I wasn’t doing nothing. I read a lot (reviews of the best stuff coming soon). I watched some under-the-radar films worth catching (ditto). I also escaped today’s woes by delving into the past, working on a family history. I finished and sent off a short story. I made a batch of birthday cards.
I sought advice from three experts on various aspects of my novel and took it. Then I read the whole thing through quickly, not as I usually do, interrogating every word, sentence, and paragraph. Here I’m reminded of the woman who bragged in an online advice-to-authors forum that “by the time I send my novel to the publisher I have read it through three whole times!” Three? Thirty-three is more like it. And twice out loud.
A last flash. In early March two Siamese kittens scrambled into our lives. Will and Charles. Kittenhood has been an entertaining way to spend the lockdown. We vacillate between “What was that crash?” and “It’s too quiet.” The picture? Sometimes, if you need a kleenex, you just have to get it yourself.
Closed Doors photo: falco for Pixabay