March 20th No one knows how long the Coronavirus will be with us. The exponential curve measuring the rate of infections is alarming. Will people voluntarily limit their exposure to possible infection? Will hospitals be able to keep up with the demand for their services? We have more questions than answers. The number of unknowns is unknown. Someone just said, “When no one is worried, that’s when you should worry.” In my experience, living in a small town of 600, way too many people dismissively smirk when they see me stocking up. Apparently, they think that I’m an alarmist. Their smirk is alarming.
Unemployment claims are climbing, and the Dow is down a third! But I’m supposed to be journaling my personal experiences – experiences that touch all readers – whatever their politics.
Last night I ate half of a five-serving container of Breyers vanilla caramel gelato. I began with one coffee cup of gelato, and then, midway through an episode of BABYLON BERLIN ON Netflix, I filled up the cup again. But I wasn’t satiated. Before we started a second episode, I held the Breyers’ container on my lap and ate directly from the plastic container. Had my tongue been longer, I would have licked the container clean.
Which led me to drawing a parallel between my gorging in the face of a pandemic and bears preparing for hibernation. Perhaps, as I hunker down at home, I’m a lot like a bear putting on fat prior to winter. Thinking this, I went on-line. According to a Yellowstone site, prior to hibernation, bears feast on berries rich in carbohydrates and in doing so, can gain as much as 30 pounds a week!
You do see where I’m going with this? If we all stay home and eat more than usual, we will all gain. Buy stock in Weightwatchers! Say what you will about the health benefits of oatmeal. Give me gelato!
March 21st Yes, we absolutely must listen to updates from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. We need to listen to the precautions and follow through, but how much news is toxic? But how much news is enough?
We know that listening to the news can be addictive. How many of us are in danger of an over-dose? What is a healthy dose? How does an over-dose manifest itself? What do doctors recommend? One hour a day… two hours a day… ? What is the tipping point? I’m not a doctor, but I’m thinking that listening to or reading about Coronavirus more than two hours a day does not bode well for those who binge.
At some point, the news becomes just noise akin to a pack of high-pitched, yipping coyotes, the drone of a vacuum cleaner, the cry of a teething baby… We’re not exactly listening and taking notes; rather, the news is just dark noise, and we find ourselves lost in it. The stars aren’t out, and we have no sense of direction. If there is a road, we can’t see it.
Yesterday, we drove to Canon City by way of Boneyard Park and Oak Creek Grade. The car radio was off. The landscape was beautiful, but more beautiful still was the fact that despite the mixed weather, so many people were out-and-about hiking on public land. Every trailhead parking space was taken!
Apparently, those who were hiking, were practicing preventive medicine.
March 22nd This morning I heard a dog walker say that she wished that she were a dog. I get that: eyes bright and loving; ears up and alert; tail wagging; torso a-quiver with anticipation. If only my eyes were bright and my tail wagging.
My Border collie Oogie speaks to me: “Look at me. I’m here to protect you from the Zombies. I’ll alert you to rattlesnakes, and I’ll keep the deer our of the garden. I love you. Do you love me? Show me! I like to walk. Let’s walk!”
To that end I try to channel Oogie. Classically, the downward dog yoga position calls for straight arms and legs on the floor. The goal is to look like a lean and mean inverted ‘V.’ But I cheat: when I do ‘downward dog,’ I look a lot like a dog. I’m on my knees. I lean forward with my arms flat on the floor. My head is also on the floor. My derriere is in the air.
Oogie gives me a kiss. He knows a kindred spirit when he sees one.