It was to be a nice late evening meal for a few smaller than small critters. A family of about seventy or so, by my imagination. What kind of critters? Who knows. For sure, they were tiny and resting up from a busy day of dirt-dalying among the various clumps and mini crags in the front yard. Mom, dad, Uncle Frater, the ten kids and various cousins … all around for dinner …
Then … WHAM!
Not to be a Dougie-downer, but critter catastrophes happen. These events are common because ants walk on a busy human byways and flies are swatted during lazy summer evenings. Just so happens, on this past Saturday’s eve, an odd, innocent insecta-sidal incident occurred which, unfortunately, caused the envisioned demise of seventy little non-human dinner guests. An aged tree branch fell on all of them. Unexpected. Sudden. I’m sure there was no pain.
Now I’m left to figure out what to do with all this.
Oh, not the family of imagined critters. They’re imaginary. I think I’m simply a guy awake enough to write a little, but just on the edge of goofy-groggy to dial up a “we had a massive log drop on us this past March”. Now what! Unexpected, sudden. Log on it, anyway!!
As for the log in my yard, I propped it up against the tree from whence it came. This feat of festive propping took me two days to accomplish after looking at it a few dozen times. You wooden 😁 think so, but I’m a guy and this is how we roll. Now I have a tree triangle the neighbors will have to enjoy all winter … and possibly impress my Junior High math teacher during a drive-by – provided he is still aware enough to pound an extra long chalkboard eraser or finger-flex a ten pound pocket calculator. At present, the hypotenuse being the log, earth as one leg, and the host tree the other: an example of triangulation configuration at its finest. At least I think so…
We couldn’t prop the Covid against a tree and then go about our lives, could we? When it landed on us, the virus crushed a lot of our ambitions for 2020. There we were … simply eating dinner one evening with friends and family then …. WHAM!!
Life hasn’t returned to normal. I know this. You know this. After over four months of living behind the new air we’ve been breathing, I fear we are having a difficult time remembering what normal used to be. As the grass under this immovable log continues to be denied the sunshine of a new day, we are losing the ability to know what fresh air and new ideas taste like.
The air is becoming old and stale with devisive, bitter arguments about masking and mold is growing around each crevasse of political divide. We are communicating, but in a strange way. There seems to be a quietness afoot. “Suspicious” is probably a better word … perhaps even “cautious”. Nobody knows what to say anymore … moreover, to whom, or when to say it. So, I fear we are becoming a collection of “what-to-do-or-say” people scurrying about under our huge log.
There are those outspoken among us, to be sure. Their voices ring and bounce between the bark. We hear them loudly proclaim their truth as they see themselves portrayed in the sliver of light peeking through the perceived darkness they see in others. It is an overly-opinion filled new normal nudge all of us are engaged in at an accelerated pace due to this Covid log we are under.
We don’t need to be all this and a heaping pile of mulch, though.
As much as this looks dire and can be sour to the sights, let it not bug you. There is a definite, determined upside to all the doom-inisticism I offered above. There is light at the end of my word-spitter, now heard, critter fancy.
…and that light is YOU. You, me, and everyone else.
The Covid log fell on all our dinners this past March. Those eating McDonald’s and friends snacking on caviar did not escape the wrath of wham from distances we’ve yet to determine. With all respect to our loved ones lost, most have survived thus far and we are pushing forward, right? Numbers, percentages, cases, etc ….all of these keep going regardless how we feel, individually, about all of it. We just keeping going forward doing what we believe is correct.
Here’s what we need to do. Together, we need to lift this log off of us. It’ll take a Herculean effort, I know, but we can do it. It means agreeing on a half-way point about masking, perhaps … or, not being so stubborn about our views on this doctor or that politician. We can’t all be right about everything we believe all the time. There needs to be some give and take here.
We need to stop being so judgemental towards others. Our four months social media immunology education isn’t enough to warrant an opinion about why Mary Doe isn’t wearing a mask, or why she is. Cloth, surgical, mosquitos through a chain link fence, droplets, drywall dust, N95, – all the masking arguments I’ve heard are getting pedantic and old. This sounds harsh … and it is directed as much towards me as anyone. I think and reflect upon what I see on Facebook. What is mandated? What isn’t? A law? Not a law? Again, it isn’t all that clear, but we can talk talk it out and try to find a middle ground here.
The gray areas are brutal now. Not just masking, but business requirements to remain open in PA are as clear as muck … oh, and testing for Covid. Geesh. False positives, delays, changing stats, ups/downs, percentages, comparative analysis … on and on.
Comfort groups on social media with fringe followers calling out marginal issues. Again, there needs to be a compromise somewhere. Hardliners taking a stand on masking and gloving where science and common sense have stalemated.
If we rely on the politicians, media, or any social construct to solve this for us, that’s not going to happen. They don’t have a crane large enough to lift this burden off of us and, ironically, they’re sitting on the log anyway, adding to weight we must lift.
So it’s up to us if we want to enjoy a normal, fun dinner in the future without the worry of another unpredictable log falling from the sky. We need to shed this current worrisome woodiness from our lives. When all has settled, we can then watch another family of Uncle Fraters enjoy their summer meal without worry themselves.
How nice it will be to talk among ourselves. Talk about what once was the Covid. All the battle-barking going on right now will be the old normal we will not miss. The log on it we will finally lift off ourselves together – unified as one voice.