Saturday, April 4, 2020

Adjusting Exile

   Reading the historic view of this time of virus is a "ways off," and so is our return to normal, but how we are handling this has already started telling us a lot about who we are, how we respond to crisis, and what is our character.
    In our village teachers created a parade as their poster and balloon decorated cars circled through neighborhoods and students cheered from their home or from where their parents car had been parked along the route. 
    In St Louis a tuba and a trombone player march and play down the middle of their neighborhood each evening. People are connecting with Zoom cocktail parties, dinners and church services. 
    There are those nightly cheers for medical workers. Scenes of kindness, entertainment, resilience and humor fill our social media and television screens. 
     And there is the awful onslaught of the infection rate and the fatalities, and in the face of that, the bravery and sacrificial service of nurses, doctors, orderlies, technicians, administrators, janitors, dietitians  EMS staff. There is the struggle to get adequate supplies. 
     There is a difference in leadership, some governors and mayors quick to act, and others taking their cue from elsewhere.
     Already the facts have rendered the first assessments  that bestow and inform history's judgment. The divide is clear, especially in leadership.
         The World Mental Health Coalition has raised a challenge than should emerge into full blown public discussion.
      Donald Trump "is so severely mentally troubled that he is a great danger," says the Coalition that calls for his resignation or "complete removal."
      Yale School of Medicine forensic psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X Lee, the group's president has convened a panel to examine the Trump handling of the crisis. Dr. Lee is both an MD and a graduate of the Yale Divinity School, holding an MDiv, a Masters of Divinity.
       Veteran White House reporters and some who have  covered Trump since his real estate development days, say he now lives for the nightly briefing and his moment in the spotlight. That is how he defines being President. 
      These close observers say he is more interested in his "ratings" than in the crisis. They report only recently have those around him made him understand the severity of the disease, though he remains more focused on economic recovery because he sees that as a direct link to his re-election chances. Still, they note he grows bored with the Covid-19 crisis and he returns to grudges, payback and getting even with those who criticize him.
       His incompetence has killed people. His mental health affects a nation.

living with a quarantine
    A little bit that we can do to help you through these new rhythms is to take you along the trail here on the California Central Coast. Perhaps these will refresh your life in quarantine. 

    trail scenes
        San Simeon Creek
         California Poppies in their glory

       Wild mustard fields

lessons in social distancing


working on it

      As one of the signs from the "teacher's parade" read
"Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other." Another said it well, "Stay Strong!"

      See you down the trail.


  1. Our friend Sheila in New York, she lives just off Central park west, sent us a video of the nightly 7 pm "we are here cheers" New Yorkers open their windows, scream and cheer, clap and bang pots and's great. That and Sheila says pigeons are walking down the middle of Columbus Avenue muttering "What the Hell?" she says you can hear birds chirping all day long.

  2. Unfortunately, "Zoom bombs" have begun as the human slug-buckets weigh in. Plus the Trump abetters continue their onslaught on sanity.

  3. Loved the pix, Tom, and as you know I sure encourage people to get out into open space for sanity-encouraging recreation. Fortunatelyy, you can really do this on the California Central Coast.