Sacrificial Spiders

The unavoidable updates on t.v., Facebook feeds, and over-the-shoulder glances at my local grocery store are forcing my hand. I wish upon wish it wasn’t so. This morning, my brother sent me a long text – one I’ve seen prior – detailing a higher level of panic and preparedness across the state. I wish upon wish THIS wasn’t so, either, but I don’t know … I just don’t know. And, of course, none of us know if this plan to quarantine under some “martial law” edict is the right thing to do – if, indeed, it is what’s going to happen.

I wish upon wish NONE of this was so. Every day I wake up not wanting to write about COVID-19. There are many, many other gorgeous propositions occupying my mind needing exposure. Alas, under threat of bulging eyeballs in the sockets of nervous neighbors, I cannot expose anything these days. One sneeze, a single cough … and I’m doomed to the Alcatraz of alarmism. It’s the way of us now.

On my mind are thoughts of my elderly dad with health problems and my wife, immediate family, friends, students, co-workers, customers … all under the umbrella, now, of COVID-19. No ideas of getting together soon for dinner and laughing. No wondering where we can meet up to eat pizza and ask, err … force, dad to pick up the tab. No jamming four adults into a small cafe booth to eat breakfast and, respectfully, pick on each other. No scooting around my cart to put my arm on a customer’s shoulder and say, “It’ll be ok” …

All of these are constantly swooshing around in my mind like the dirty little lines of water left behind before the final pass-over of a dry mop. I’m constantly being put through the ringer of COVID-19. All of us are. Irritating as these little lines are, however, they are reminders that there is a brilliantly waxable floor underneath. Just right now, the freakin’ dry mop is in the closet, locked up, guarded by the meany -man virus.

The watery-dirt of uncertainty is nasty stuff. On any given day … well, let’s say hour, information changes, and this depends upon who and what you’re watching. It is constantly refilling the bucket and swathered across our floors. At this point, we have no control of the kitchen mop, either. Feels like I’m standing on the seat of an emotional chair, spider-scared with a broom, swat-swinging at air, wondering what I’m afraid of, looking at cans of sorta-statistical-soup wondering if I have enough gas in the car to go buy T.P.

I wish upon freakin’ wish is wasn’t so. Right now, I want to be in my car headed somewhere – ANYWHERE – at this point. According to the unwritten law, I can go if information is correct. Limited travel is warranted to places necessary for survival. Food, medicine, the “necessaries” are allowed and avoidance of non-essential outside movement is what we’re all trying to do. Social Distancing, right? Flattening the Curve? Kinda wishy-wish my college 8:00 a.m. philosophy-of-whatever-life class professors would have considered “flattening the curve” back when I decided, mistakenly, to avoid their most interesting of lectures. Hey, I had the social distancing thing down waaay before all this started … except that I didn’t realize there were consequences. ‘My bad. Mmpffh.

And there are possible consequences, today, if we don’t do what is being asked of us. I don’t know, as I said before … none of us do. Information from the medical community is what it is because they, the professionals, can only guess based upon what they know.

As far as politicians, there are, granted, a few who care state-wide within their local district which, I would argue are the most important social connections we can have right now. Folks I can see and talk to directly are doing a great job… Senator Douglas Mastriano, Senator Judy Ward, PA State Representative Jim Gregory, PA State Representative Lou Schmitt to name a few. I’ll grant the odds makers a margin of victory on that betting sheet. A specific gripe could be directed to the national response from Washington. I very rarely opine politically here on my blog – and don’t care to ever again; However, the amount of unprofessionalism and partisan pandering on both sides, nationally, continues still as the average American steps into an unknown future without a sense of security.

What we face now is unavoidable – as was my urge to write about this stupid virus… again. Something like the moon, Google Hangouts with my dear sister, or EE bonds would have been exceedingly delightful in my overly charged wet-mop brain. This bonking (to be kind) virus is crawling its way around – no longer in the shadows of our imaginations. It’s real. I wish it wasn’t so.

Now, I have spiders to fight off. Amazing that I’ve been able to scribble this whole blog on one foot, atop a kitchen chair, with one hand holding a broom. We’re all making sacrifices right now. You’re welcome.

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