Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
I went out for a drive today stopping at Starbucks along the way to grab a Latte my favorite drink having one in hand helps me think the girl that serves me does this all day as she scans my card keeping distance away she wears a mask and makes very sure no contact with me or the drink to endure I take the drink and give her my thanks and drive away from the window at a leisurely pace I think about where I want to go the usual route but driving slow just taking pleasure to be in my truck instead of in the house where I’m stuck because this virus is keeping us in to break the lockdown might be a sin and the only way to beat this thing is to stay away from others and adjusting no mingling in crowds or with another as contact might pass this onto a lover or friend or family or even a stranger as this bug does not care who it attacks and can kill all ages and that’s a fact not everyone dies from this disease and the chances of life are good indeed but who wants to take that risk when the safest way to still exist is to stay locked down safely at home and not be like me wanting to roam in fairness though I have to say I do not mingle with others along the way just me and my Latte as we listen to rhyme as an Audiobook story to pass the time driving along in my truck at peace with the world trusting my luck no contact with others just me all alone doing the things that I like into the unknown.
How strange the times that we now live when distancing has become the word to describe how close that we can stand no longer a physical touch of our hand friends and neighbors who once were dear are now mere strangers passing by a wave of the hand to say hello and scurry inside we all must go this pandemic coursing through the land brings with it fear of a different kind where neighbors once consoled with a hug in times gone by and now its a shrug of the shoulders as if to say do not come near me or I won’t stay for fear that you have the dreaded disease stay six feet away from me if you please actually the reverse is true as neighbors rally to the cry helping those that can’t help themselves not just waiting and standing by checking on neighbors to see if they’re fine shopping for groceries and standing in line walking their pets and mowing their yards as living alone can be terribly hard there is no telling when this will end it may get much worse following the trend it may even be here to stay with recurrent cycles that won’t go away until such times as a cure can be found as resilient as we are we will rebound until down the road someone will say its over and you need no longer stay stuck in your homes and six feet apart and hugging and handshakes will return and life will be normal just like before and the stories will be told as in folklore people will boast that they survived and others will say it was connived the whole thing was just a terrible joke made up by those who hold the key for the way that we live our Democracy and it was in fact a weapon of choice for those in power to stifle the voice and some of us who question the cause leaving us to grasp at straws for what was the cause we shall never know just glad to survive and enjoy the show.
Locked in my house like so many more trying hard to not keep score of the number of days stuck inside and wondering just how long to hide lucky for me I have a yard where I can go to pass the time and there is always something to do some chore or another and quite a few weeding and raking, mowing and such feeling the dirt to my touch close to nature is where I reside when the law of this country says I must hide I also have three ponds to maintain attending to them is more than a game as my primary task is to keep them clean to the Koi and the Goldfish that can be seen for that the water must be clear so cleaning the filters I must persevere I have to do that much more than I like as the fish eat the food and at Nature’s discourse what goes in must come out which we know true to dirty the water with their fishy poo when I’ve done all the work or the sun is too hot I pack up my things and inside I trot along with the dogs who have already declared too hot out there Boss, where is my chair and I sit and I write these nonsensical rhymes for others to read who are locked in too to give them some humor to brighten their day in the hope that this virus will soon go away. to say were locked in is not very true as some stores are open but only a few groceries and hardware, post office and such with people standing six feet apart shopping becomes a bit of an art some wear masks and other disdain prefering to be completely insane trusting to luck and their own self belief that the virus will miss them and even if it does they are young and healthy and do not feel much only the old and the sick will succumb to its touch as yet there is no end in sight as the virus progresses with all of its might across the world no country remains all touched by death all just the same and the nurses and doctors work till they fall replaced by others each answering the call and the morgues take the bodies with no place to store and each of them wondering just how many more the experts say an end is in sight as the world battles on with all of its might to go back to normal and learn by mistakes and develop a vaccine to make everyone safe that is until the next virus comes along different and more potent to be our swansong as humans on earth are on borrowed time slowly killing the Planet a real paradigm and Nature retaliates as though to say I will have the last word as you die away.
What can I do to make my day different in any way than the days that came before and the virus evened up the score keeping us so close to home even those that live alone and are used to being by themselves staying indoors and tidying shelves and anything else to pass the time cleaning and sweeping tasks so divine that get put to one side on a different day but now while the virus is in full sway as cleaning house is something to do shall I do it tomorrow I haven’t a clue tomorrow might bring another day but the Corona virus will not go away and we have to live out within our homes without a doubt the safest place that we can be as we wait for the time in history when the virus is declared officially gone and the world around will carry on.
These are difficult and troubling times for all of us with the country in a semi lockdown. I say semi because we still have the ability to go to the grocery store and Home Depot to keep our larders full and to buy the materials to fix whatever may be broken. The ban is really on socializing with others except from the safely prescribed distance of 6 feet. Even then, people with any of the symptoms, fever, sneezing etc should remain indoors and secluded.
I can’t imagine what it must be like if you happen to live in apartment as so many people do, especially if you have kids. Keeping them amused and busy must be a major problem and everyone must be going stir crazy. These times indeed are a true test of the Parent’s patience not even to mention how trying it must be for the kids. For any Parents that are working from home, a real test in concentration.
For me, I am one of the lucky ones as indoor seclusion is a normal part of my daily life. I live alone and have done for these past 28 years so the current situation is just an extension of my normality. I am fortunate in as much that I own my own home and it is situated on a half acre lot meaning that I have a large back yard that takes up a lot of my time. This plus the 4, soon to be 3 ponds and the couple of hundred Goldfish and Koi always take up some part of my day. Just lately, when I am in the mood to exercise, I take the two remaining dogs for a walk around the local neighborhood saying “Hi” to all of the other people doing the same thing. Nobody stops to talk except for the greeting and we usually pass on opposite sides of the street. To be truthful, I only know the people whose houses are situated close to mine and these other people whose paths we cross, are really strangers. I didn’t realize it until I started walking with the dogs, that I can cover as much distance on one of these walks as I do when I hike at the local Parks. There, I usually average between 4-5 miles and on my local walk yesterday, covered almost 4 miles with still some streets that I have not yet walked.
I can’t help wonder how this is all going to end as I suppose most of the world is having the same thoughts. In the USA where I live, we have not yet reached anywhere near the peak of this thing. My own guess is that we will probably be in lockdown through the end of May and even beyond that. What that will do to the economy and to the individuals affected by this with no money other than unemployment coming in and rents and mortgages due along with car payments and other large items such as credit card debt, remains to be seen. It will probably take another couple of years for the economy to settle back down that is assuming that it does. Without a vaccine, it is still not clear if those once affected are immune and in the future and could maybe catch it for a second or even third time creating a never ending cycle of contagion.
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