OK, readers, so we are going through some pretty crazy times right now. Certainly the craziest of my lifetime. I thought 9/11 was rough. The 2008 crisis. War. There have been some hard times, to be sure.
Nothing compares to this right now.
So yesterday was a real metaphor for all that’s going down at the moment. Why?
Like hundreds of millions, billions of others, we are more or less locked down in our homey little prison. Everyone around here is giving others a wide berth. A neighbor dropped in to pay me for eggs, I handled the money like it was a potential biohazard. The man, who I have known for decades, had real fear in his eyes.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen that.
Yesterday we had abnormally heavy rain. Within a few hours almost 3 inches, or 7.6 cm, had fallen. When I woke up at 0400 it was pouring. I walked Dixie as the rain sheeted down and for a change she didn’t mess around. She went outside and squatted, and darted right back toward the house.
I knew it would flood. These hills are loaded with small creeks and streams, with heavy rainfall they fill immediately and vomit their load of water and debris into the larger creeks. Those creeks fill to capacity and then overflow their banks. Eventually the mess ends up in the mighty Ohio River, and all the cities downstream flood.
Well, my daughter had volunteered to work at a food bank in the neighboring town. It was set up for the elderly and disabled. Was I happy about her working such an event in the midst of this lousy plague?
No. But she’s going to be an adult soon, and assuming risk is an adult decision.
She wants to help out, and I respect that. So into the car we went, I pulled out of the driveway. We live on a ridgeline, so I didn’t know how serious the flooding was.
It was bad. I tried three different routes to get to the village, all were blocked by debris and raging water. A stream that under normal circumstances would be about a meter wide and maybe 30 cm deep was swollen to about five times the normal size, and the velocity had increased tenfold, at least.
There was no way I could make it through that. Logs and branches and been deposited on the roads by the flood waters, it wasn’t possible to get through, and I tried.
We were trapped. By the floods, by the plague.
As long as I have driven, and that’s been thirty years, I have never had it that by no means could I reach the little village in the valley. Yesterday? Not a chance.
So the indigent and the elderly were stuck without a lunch, and to compound the disaster, their houses were flooded too. I saw it on the news, it was the lead story. I’ll bet the newspeople had a hard decision; lead with the floods or the coronavirus?
They went with the floods.
Also I received an email from Air Canada, I was due to fly to Oz with them.
Haha, the border was closed. No flight for you.
Well, I figured out a week ago that the trip was scuttled, this was just the icing on the cake.
Of course I emailed my travel agency for a refund. If these circumstances don’t justify a refund, I don’t know what the hell does. I do feel for the agency. They are probably going to go bankrupt because of this damned plague and lockdown.
Hundreds of millions, billions, are going through the wringer right now.
And then I come across this blurb, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on the 20th of March.
Huh? Why in the hell would you seek to keep those numbers secret? Every idiot knows that the unemployment figures are going to jump sky high, immediately. There is no hiding the tsunami of horrible economic data, so why even try? You don’t have to be a genius to understand that a sudden 35% drop in the stock market equals literally trillions of dollars gone, erased as if they never were.
The facts and the plain truth are what is needed in this situation.
So what is my plan?
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
- Stay busy. There’s a bunch of writing due.
- Keep informed, and pass it on where appropriate.
- Do what I can to stay positive.
- Control what I can, let go what I can’t.
And hey, this may be a siege, but no-one is heaving dead cows over the walls. That’s what our ancestors endured, with sack, rapine and pillage at the end.
If my many-times-over grandparents could endure the horrible year 1348 and the Hundred Year’s War, then I think we can do this, too.
After all, we have Netflix.
At least for now.