I used to be able to touch the ceiling without lifting my left heal from the floor. Maybe I had shoes with higher heals but my reach is an inch shorter today when stretching. I am older and shorter today than yesterday yet the temptation to high five an overhead beam is irresistable. Walking along I just have to jog a couple strides and jump up, touching it with my fingertips. Like a player dumping a ball and hanging onto the hoop for a fraction of a second, long enough to assure the ball’s success and to vibrate the backstop—boing, boing, boing. I don’t jump as high anymore but take pleasure in seeing my grandson replicate my past perversion.
All this has little to do with my addiction to the effects of the big C. The threat and spread of coronavirus has me glued to the computer, darting between Worldometer’s Coronavirus statistics and news on Fox and Real Clear Politics. Back and forth between the editorials and facts and farts that the media spreads at a mind-numbing pace—too much information. I look for the peak and the down slope of this pandemic. Praying to God that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”
Let’s face it, I can sit this out for a long time—being retired is a blessing of sorts. I have an income—social security and savings. As long as I can get food, have electricity and running water I should be fine. Well, toilet paper is nice but we have a supply of paper towels and I am saving the LA Times and Wall Street Journal every day.
Remember the Sear’s catelog in the outhouse? Well, I will assume that newspaper will work although it might be slicker and less absorbant than the catalogue’s paper over hundred years ago. Did you know the catalog appeared in 1892 with 322 pages by 1894—almost one page for each day. I am not sure what a large family would do in those days-needing at least one catalog per family member.
I digress from what I do while in sequester. I like the word sequester instead of shut-in or social distancing—it seems more, well, you know, sophisticated. I shave every day, brush my teeth and I sit at my computer fully clothed. My eyes grow dim and dry and tired but I can’t get away from the dirge. A dozen, several dozen, a hundred, several hundred, a thousand, several thousand die each day. When will it peak? When will it end?
Will it end?
A recent editorial stated, and I paraphrase, life is but a transition to death. Yes, inevitable is death—the ultimate destination. Now I don’t want to go any sooner than necessary but it is coming sooner now than yesterday. Is one death significant in the larger scope of mankind? A dozen deaths? A thousand deaths? Worldometer clicks away at the increase in population by about 100,000 people a day pushing towards eight billion, with a capital B, people on this rock. If Coronavirus takes 200,000 people in it’s wake—two days worth— what’s the big deal?
What is the value of one death? A tough moral question. An insurance company may pay out a million dollars or several million dollars in an accidental death suit depending upon the age and potential of the dead and the craftiness of the plaintiff’s attorney. Imagine a New York hospital triage where someone must determine who to aid and who to leave on a cold stainless-steel gurney in a crowded corridor.
Yes, being sequestered for me is of little note in the greater scope of humanity. Those millions on the edge of society living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck. They will be the ones who will suffer the most and at some point, within days or weeks, will fall off that edge into eternity. Imagine that you are responsible for determining who gets what, who will go back to work, who gets fed and who will be left on the cold concrete curb on a deserted street.
At some point the Big C curve must flatten and sag and we need to get back to work.
To save humanity.