10 July 2020

Surprise, July so far has been cool and wet. Cool-ish and wet-ish. We are holding it together at the fort here, plenty of gardening and housekeeping and home office to bring in the dough.

I sort of lost it for a bit after I read about the risks to airline travel regardless of whatever air filter system gadgets and seat spacing. One of the eminent virologists told a reporter that he would only go on an airplane at a push and then wearing a protective suit and those super duper masks and for the life of me, I cannot see myself on a 33 hrs trip geared up that way, never mind the stop overs. Maybe on a couple of cargo ships? And I read the bit about mild cases who after a speedy recovery have developed neurological symptoms (tremors, balance loss, encephalitis, more here) and then the findings of how the virus attacks heart cells (more here).

Before that, I was skipping about asking people to dig deep into their creative thoughts and to come up with positive stuff and no more hankering after our has-been normal life and moaning about what we cannot change. Acceptance, I shouted with a smile. Should have known I was way over the top.

This is something that happens to other people in other times; something you might imagine, might read about – not experience. But it is real, it is happening. The plague is back. It never went away. Welcome to the future. No, welcome to the present, to the reality of an ineradicable highly contagious and sometimes fatal virus. There might be a vaccine for it at some stage, as there is for measles. There might not be, as there is not for HIV. A reliable treatment might be developed, as there is for HIV. Or it might not be, like measles.

In any event, there is a gap between what we know about our situation and what our gut believes, a gap that creates confusion, promotes outrage over inconveniences, complacency after early successes. We “know” what’s happening, but we don’t quite “feel” it. Our collective gut is still telling us normality is just around the corner. The reality has been slow to sink in because it’s beyond our privileged experience.

As you will yourself into the reality you perhaps start to understand how the millions before you didn’t understand either, didn’t read the signs, didn’t grasp calamity unfolding, were unprepared, were lost in history’s turmoil, thought their mass grave impossible even as they dug it. We’re out of practice. Mass disasters don’t happen here, not in our lifetime. The plagues and total wars and famines and deaths in the thousands and millions are confined to television screens. Even our hard times remain relatively soft in the broader, longer scheme of things. Other people’s individual tragedies have gone on regardless. In groups sometimes, in planeloads. Communities when fire or flood or landslide tear through. Bad, terrible, but this, this indiscriminate imposition … on everyone? And slowly the comprehension comes – it has always been everyone.

The single diagnosis and mass verdict, the individual execution and the genocide: Each one, one person, however many. One person facing mortality. We’re born to this. We will get used to it. Adapting is what we do best.


  1. Listening to this music and reading the quote, reminding me of what I've been thinking. We're in an historical moment, something that will be written about in the history books. We're in it. Now. Still unfolding and none of us know for how long. Beautiful music to contemplate the moment. I hope you get some sunshine there.

  2. I was just talking to a friend about this. About how we have access to information about what is happening everywhere on the globe with this pandemic but that it's all just too much to fathom, even to imagine and that all we seem to be able to do is to deal with what is right in front of us in our tiny corners of the world. Of course we can inform our actions with what we have learned but still- even doing that sometimes seems fruitless. But. We do it.

  3. yeah, we're caught by the current moving into an uncertain future, one we cannot see or imagine, listening desperately to hear the waterfall before we get flung over it.

  4. That passage by Micheal Pascoe was excellent. Thank you.

  5. I wouldn't get on a plane except in a dire emergency. I don't see me traveling for some time.

  6. Yeah, no, not gonna travel right now, as much as I miss my children. Much love from across the pond.