Life During COVID-19

My employer sells product to hospitals so I’ve still been able to work during this pandemic, which gives me an opportunity to get out of the house and traverse through my less peopled city.  It is strangely calming to see so much less activity despite the circumstances, and even though being out does increase my chances of infection, it’s still better than stir craziness.

The very surreal experience of coronavirus continues to flabbergast me.  I tried to find something profound to say about this crisis, the lockdown, the contraction of the economy, and its upheaval of society, but it’s near impossible to comment objectively on something that is still happening.  Everyday brings more cases and more deaths, and it’s not known how long this will last, nor what the world is going to look like once we get through it.  Of course there have been other devastating epidemics over the past several decades, but at least we now have science to explain what they are, treat them, and possibly find a cure instead of ignorantly blaming it all on the gods or the supernatural.

Del Mar Theater in downtown Santa Cruz, right after the lockdown was ordered.

I’ve long wondered how people endured the massive plagues of history, but those were monstrous events from the past far removed from these times.  Now I’m wondering about the long term effects of social distancing and prolonged isolation from our normal routines.  Depression, panic, and other anxieties will afflict some people, and many more will be affected economically from no longer earning a paycheck.  The familiarity of our daily life we take for granted has been suspended, and when it returns it won’t be like it was.

We may also grow to like the less pollution and cleaner skies we’re now experiencing to the point that we may rethink the very avaricious appetite of our current economic system that constantly demands fossil fuels and other natural resources.  Instead of monetary gain at all times above all else, we may adapt an economic system that’s based on need instead of greed and contours to nature instead of exploiting it.  One can hope.

This last week there has been a decrease in hospital orders at my workplace, which meant a decrease in my hours.  This will affect me monetarily, but I’ll use the extra time for more writing.  Et deinceps sursum!


©2020 Robert Kirkendall


8 thoughts on “Life During COVID-19

  1. I wish I shared your optimism. I’m enjoying the decrease in commercialism and pollution and picture humanity rushing back to its vices.

    I do like your explanatory paragraph: “I tried to find something profound to say about this crisis…” I think everyone is feeling this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a figure of speech that goes something like: pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the spirit. I try to live by those words. The reduction in air pollution is an absolute bonus, but I do worry about people rushing back to their old consumption habits instead learning something valuable from this crisis.
      I had to rewrite that paragraph several times trying to find the most intelligent thing I could say about the crisis before I realized that it’s impossible to have the final word on an event that is still happening. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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