The COVID-19 Chapter, “At Home”: DAY 4
Welcome to Day 4. I thought I might wake up today to find that I dreamt this whole thing up … alas, not so. I probably couldn’t even have made it up if I tried.
So today brings news of further shut downs, interest rates at 0% announced by the Fed, increasing new COVID-19 cases (181,377), and of course, fatalities (7,119) around the globe. The White House now recommends groups of no more than 10 persons should congregate. The State of Maryland has pronounced a mandate that all bars and restaurants are to shutter their doors. There is talk of the possibility that schools might not be back in session until fall, or even until 2021. It’s like a sci-fi movie, playing out before our unbelieving eyes.
While the world is coming to an abrupt halt, and as restrictions on almost everything become stronger – while the ropes around societal movement draw all the more taut, I am witnessing a beautiful fluidity – of spirit, of creativity, of care, of communication and ingenuity. From online drawing classes, to live stream story hours, from interactive concerts to photos of friends’ outdoor hikes – we are sharing the best of ourselves. Many are the great ideas and suggestions to keep us busy, better, and nurtured. Springing from our humanity – I see this incredibly beautiful flow of movement, of drive, resounding with positivity and momentum. I’m watching these little sparks of inspiration, as these wonderful friends and neighbors around me, from the outset of this outbreak, are setting the stage. It’s happening as easily as taking a deep, clean breath.
Like a knee jerk reaction, I see people – smart, creative people, kick this can down the alley in their minds, and faced with what that future pretty much undoubtedly looks like, the ONLY response I’m witnessing, is that of creating a new normal – now – without skipping a beat. I don’t see us pausing, or hesitating, or waiting to be told what to do. I don’t see fear in the eyes of these people. I see a flow of moving energy, stirring from deep inside, from the part of us that not only wants to survive, but survive better. Without a second to overthink it, we aren’t allowing for a silent scary panic.
We are going with the flow.
We are showing our kids that if the schools shut down, we’ll keep learning at home. If it’s not safe to play with your friends, we’ll create access to our homes through our computer screens. If our hands and clothes and houses are dirty – we’ll clean them, and everyone at home can pitch in. If we need a forum for coming up with plans, sharing activities or podcasts or streaming concerts, we’ll create one. Are we tired at the end of the day? Of course. Will we falter in this roller coaster ride of this completely unnerving situation we’re in? Certainly. But we’re laying the foundation for a platform to share and diffuse that burden too.
What I’m witnessing exhilarates me. This stream of energy is more contagious than any stupid virus. It’s zooming from house to house – from phone to phone – from from survivor to survivor. I’m feeling called to contribute, and hold my place in the network of believers, trying to keep spirits high, before we feel the fall. And it’s happening instinctively. There’s no way I could be doing this alone. But as it becomes necessary for our bodies to become further separated, our souls are joining together. This show of support, this outpouring of vibrant and creative ways to spend our time in isolation is amazing. This counterintuitive productivity is popping out of the most unclear and frightening time I have ever seen in my life. To me, it is art in motion.
As I write these posts, I often look back on them when my mood has swung wildly the other way. I am tempted to erase them, with one click of my mouse – to take back the words, because they seem phony and empty when I veer toward the dark place. I hear the voices of critics, claiming I’m overreacting. I imagine the responses of those who think this is silly. But yet, it’s real from inside me. Thank you to those who have told me they feel the same. We’re all wading through this together.
I got some good advice – which is to read my own blog when I start feeling low. Funny. When I write from my heart, I’m in the stream of where I want to be. And I believe it. But sometimes, I lose my flow. The switch goes off, and the energy shorts outs. I fear where our spirit may end up, in the very probable difficult days, months, (years?) ahead.
From what I’ve seen in just these very few, but long and dense, days – this loving energy is going to be distributed among the brave and strong people I know, and many whom I don’t know. We are resilient. We are creative. We are, at the heart of it, caring and responsible for one another. We just have to Keep it Flowing.