One of the more interesting aspects of the current Corona virus crisis is the odd juxtaposition of facts in our medically and socially realigned world. Some things are the same and some are very much NOT the same.
In need of constants
This morning I was down to the ocean and watched the waves and listened to the hypnotic hiss of the morning high tide undertow. There is a sound to the rocks being sucked back off the beach that is both familiar and comfortable. If you walked this beach two centuries ago the sound and the smell of the salt air would have been the same as today. It is familiar. It is timeless. It is comforting. A constant in a world badly in need of constants.
On the way home though things had obviously changed. I couldn’t stop for coffee. I couldn’t go to market or the hardware store to browse. I went directly home and washed my hands with lots of soap. It has become a habit and that at least is a good thing. The last time I was to the supermarket it was a major production. I wore gloves and a mask and I kept a tube of disinfectant in my jacket pocket. I washed down the cart and when I got my groceries I went to the automatic checkout. I tapped the buttons, swiped my card and got the hell out of there. I rushed home and washed up. The rest of the day was mine.
In the garden these days, everything is the same. The lawn mower is right where I left it in the gazebo. It is covered up by a tarpaulin. It will probably start when the grass grows. It all seems so normal. Up in the shed I can straighten out nuts and bolts and wrenches and saws and pretend that everything is alright even if it isn’t. In that narrow sliver of my universe things are superficially good.
One interesting phenomenon this week is that I took a push broom and went out to brush down the pavement on the road in front of my property. There is nothing else to do. Surprisingly, there were two other neighbours further down the road doing exactly the same thing. Why is that? I think it is a search for normality. We want everything to be okay so we seek the familiar and the routine.
Meanwhile there is a spring sun in the day today. It streams in through the big front window and warms the cat sleeping on a table. He opens his eyes and looks at me and then turns his face to full to the sun and drifts back to sleep.
NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org