day 8

Image, Jason Maddox (It’s been raining in Los Angeles…)
Image, Jason Maddox (It’s been raining in Los Angeles…)

I’m watching the light from the sunrise through my west-facing window. It was dusty rose about a quarter of an hour ago. It’s now dull gold and brightening. Before the air conditioner cut in, I was listening to the loon? on the pond. I suppose they haven’t headed home yet. Last night as I fell asleep, I listened to frogs croak, croak, croaking. And the other day, at my sister’s place, there were butterflies in the trees… The air has been so pleasant, the storybook sky clear and calm. Today was meant to be the first day of a much needed Spring Break, but that’s not how things have worked out.

We have enough toilet paper here. There’s canned food. In a few minutes, I’ll venture out to get fresh food and produce and maybe top up my gas. Because here in South Florida disaster prepping is an annual event, it’s weird to not have to also get water and batteries and tanks of propane for the barbecue and board for the windows… If this stretches into June, I suppose we’ll have to buy those things, too.

My hunkering started last Saturday. I had big plans to go to the beach each morning during this Great Pause. Those plans were dashed by beach and park closures Tuesday. Which is fine; during hurricanes, they close eventually. Beginning March 30, I and huge numbers of my colleagues across the nation will teach from home. Yet, it’s so strange to not have to worry if the internet will cut out. I waver between knowing well how this goes and being jarred by the fact that human illness, too, can be a form of natural disaster with rhythms different to those from a storm.

Except. Except I can’t help but think that this could have all been avoided. Governments and societies geared toward supporting their peoples’ ability to live healthy lives – as opposed to governments and societies focused on growing material wealth – would have in place vastly different infrastructure regarding healthcare, work, education, and a myriad other aspects of life to mitigate if not prevent catastrophes of illness.

We have to want different things.