011 pandemonium

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Let's talk.

There's really no easy way to talk about this, but I've got some things to say and I think it's time to pass some opinions forward into the Internet. At the moment there is a newfound virus spreading throughout the globe at the same time as a very stressful presidential primary election. There are scary terms being thrown around such as lock down, martial law, quarantine, social distancing, and sold out grocery stores.

♡ Freeze perishables(fruits and vegetables,) and produce. Cut bread loafs up to freeze as well.
♡ Acquire sources of protein still readily available. Keep an eye out for delivery services and plan them out a week or so in advance to when you project you will find yourself in need of more.
♡ Consider growing some food from home with indoor or outdoor gardening areas. There are many tutorials online to growing food with limited spaces if that is an issue.
♡ Check in on the elders you know and ask them if they need anything.
♡ Take the warnings seriously. Keep up to date with the news and word of mouth information outlets.
♡ Arrange video chat calls, phone calls, or text your loved ones. Keep in touch. Let your friends know you're doing okay.
♡Stay in.

Going forward I think there will be some subtle but still noticeable differences affecting our lifestyle. Random items we have come to see as everyday items may go out of stock for some periods of time or increase in rarity and therefore price.

The mental hurdles I experience lately are great. On one hand I am trying to stay present and quietly making preparations for long term sustenance and survival. On the other hand, I've been concerned and anxious. I haven't been able to stay focused quite as well as I'd like. Last week started with volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign, and being able to go anywhere I needed to. Come Wednesday I left in the morning to buy groceries, a trip that was already necessary as I had started to run out of ingredients necessary for my cooking. That day the shelves were still stocked. I only took what was necessary, but I did purchase food for an extra week. I went home thinking we had all we needed for three weeks. Inside myself I was plagued by the questions of whether that would be enough. I went home and froze all my bread (3 loafs), chicken and fish. Eventually I froze cilantro, garlic and onions. It took a lot of time to Tetris it all into the fridge, but I did it.

I think the issue will last 5—7 months. I think that for a year or so there will be random shortages and needs to be met. I think in some cases we will notice setbacks and much less abundance. We'll all be living a bit tightly during this difficult time. Let's hope prices don't skyrocket with inflation...

The election was very stressful for me, I was emotionally invested in the Democratic primaries for the first time ever in my life. I avoided getting involved with politics and voting from the moment I turned of legal age, partly because I didn't feel any of the candidates spoke for me or the kind of progress I wanted to count on in my future. For the most part I have been apathetic to politics my entire life, but this year that changed. The primaries were going on around the time US cities begun the quarantine and shut down public commerce.

While there is foreseeable looming, there will also be new consequences stemming from these events that we haven't yet realized are coming. I think the coronavirus pandemic will be an event that is talked about in the next decade to come. I, myself feel a lot of empathy for all the people aggressively being forced to mourn one to a few members of their family. No matter where you are from you will hear of a friend, co-worker or you, yourself may have the misfortune of having a story of loss to add to the pile. It is important that we hold safe space for these people and listen to them. Comfort them if it feels appropriate, but just let them process their emotions and all the pain that comes with an invisible plague that tears your stability from you. It is an extremely difficult time for some, and they should not have to carry their burdens alone. The least we can do is help when possible by lending an ear for a phone call or investing some time tending to them in live video chat feeds.

As for the future, related things that I think about that I want to share have to do with time passing. I wonder if any of the changes society faces will be more permanent. I wonder what some of the unforeseen changes will be. Will we now more consciously keep sanitation stations in public places? Will we prepare for future possibilities of infection? Will regulations be placed on markets selling rare produce with high risk of contagion? Can people stop eating bats, please?

Growing up I never had the fear of a world war or a catastrophe more serious than a category 5 hurricane. I didn't live through category 6 hurricanes Irma or Maria, so I can't add that to my list of events survived, but I did survive the behemoth hurricane Hugo (September 10, 1989 – September 25, 1989)  and by then the powerhouse that was hurricane Georges (September 15, 1998 – October 1, 1998.) The experiences that I lived in 1998 prepared me for grim times. Since the hurricane made landfall, I didn't have electric or water service for 7 months after the storm. I lived by candle light, took bucket and sponge baths, and spent my nights reading Harry Potter books with a CD player endlessly looping the Marshall Mathers LP. I remember reading Wishbone, Animorphs and Goosebumps books. I wasn't cool back then.

Another thought I've been entertaining is the concept of freedom. When I could go outside and interact with the world, I would occasionally but it wasn't very important. I wasn't limited. Now that I have only the realms contained within the 4 walls of this house to move around in, I feel a little trapped. The irrational—or is it?—fear of food shortage weighs on me, as does the idea that curfews and lock downs may be a common part of my routine in the future. Why do we pay athletes more than scientists? Why don't we give the working class free healthcare? Why are we funding the lifestyles and filling all these extra, unnecessary pockets those billionaires greedily collect? Why don't the people move to take command of their freedom and rights?

I want to be in nature. I want to feel the cool water of the pure river waters of El Yunque.

Grateful all my friends are safe, and my family members are adhering to the rules of social distancing. I miss my friends, and yearn for time spent with them. My heart is with all of you as we go through this at the same time. Let this be a reminder that our life is a spendable resource, and we need to be precious with it if we want the privilege of walking the Earth.

I'm going to end this blog entry with a link to the  www.propublica.org article that I found insightful and serious:
A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients.

Much to say, much time to spend. Invest it wisely and stay safe, friends. Stay away from others.

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