…in small steps

by Dave Williams
April 25, 2020

I find myself wanting to write but having nothing to say.

This COVID-19 business has dominated our every thought and action for the past five or six weeks. Most of us are even having COVID-19 dreams. Some of us are really stressed. Others think its nonsense.

I’m trying to remain vigilant, patient; optimistic.

My daughter-in-law shared this gem from a Russian writer on Facebook this morning. It says everything.

Wise words from Grandma

Grandma once gave me a tip:

Picture by Tasha Burgess Tudor, illustrator of children’s books. (1915-2008)

During difficult times, you move forward in small steps.

Do what you have to do, but little by bit.

Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow.

Wash the dishes.

Take off the dust.

Write a letter.

Make some soup.

Do you see?

You are moving forward step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Get some rest.

Compliment yourself.

Take another step.

Then another one.

You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.

And time will come when you can think about the future without crying.

— Elena Mikhalkova, The Room of Ancient Keys

 

Our pandemic of fear

by Dave Williams
March 21, 2020

Coronavirus 19, CDC photo

Nobody could have imagined something like this. Life as we’ve always known it has virtually ground to a halt around the entire civilized world. Here in the U.S. many public gathering places are closed indefinitely. We’re told to socially isolate and self-quarantine.

Wash your hands, stay six feet apart.

Rumors are flying that martial law will soon be imposed and we’ll all be prisoners in our homes.

How could this happen over a disease that most people survive? As of today there have been 287,000 confirmed cases and 11,900 deaths around the world. We’re warned that the numbers will go much higher but if the percentages hold most of us will be just fine. Except, maybe, financially for the immediate future.

Nearly empty flight from Los Angeles to New York. Facebook photo by my friend, Doug McIntyre.

The shutdown of businesses is crushing the stock markets. Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work and here in the U.S. the number of lost jobs is expected to soar into the millions.

It’s like something from a sci-fi movie.

This blog is a diary, really. I write it for my own future memories and for my children and theirs.

Perspective: It’s a grim time here in the First World. And yet, I can’t imagine life in desperately poor countries where this disease is just another relatively minor pain in the ass for people who live with deadly diseases and devastating poverty every single day of their lives.

By comparison our First World has a slight sniffle. We’re fine.

Perspective: I awoke this morning well rested to a beautiful early spring day, my beloved wife beside me. I made coffee as the dogs waited for their breakfast.

Our kids and their families are hunkered down and healthy, as are most Americans.

When all of this is just a memory toilet paper will be the iconic symbol of COVID-19 in America. We have a panic-induced shortage of it but life goes on.

Some people think this is all a lie or at least overblown. Far more people die each year of the flu, it’s true. We just accept that, so why all of this now?

I think the world is getting its act together as a species, globally responsible for the first time in human history. From the local store owner wearing latex gloves to state governors implementing mandatory restrictions of assembly and movement and nations closing their borders we are working together sensibly, cautiously.

Congress is working in bipartisan near-harmony, for God’s sake.

This will all be over sooner rather than later because Americans and citizens of every other nation in the world are reacting to a crisis with serious actions and measured perspective.

While you’re cooped up in self-quarantine with your family this weekend and for what might be days and weeks to come, make it a special time that none of you will ever forget. Give your kids joyous lifetime memories of the time their family came together as families had in generations past.

This, too, shall pass.

My dear mother always said to me, “This can be a good day or a bad day. It’s up to you.”

Stay safe and well. Make it a good day.