Archives for posts with tag: Pandemic

Ah, life during a Pandemic.

This is usually my favorite time of year. Mostly sunny but not too hot. Flowers blooming. Great golf weather. Start of the Major League Baseball season.

My solution to social distancing is to get in my car and exploring new places, listening to as much bad news as I can bear before turning the radio dial to old time rock and roll.

Have you driven along the South Skagit Highway? Because it’s a road rarely taken, it has some funkiness but there are also beautiful farms and incredible views. The part God did is amazing and mankind is starting to clean up its mess. The beautiful winding river is surrounded by beautiful snow-capped foothills.

Lots of time for contemplation. Am I living the life I should be living? How are my kids going to survive this disruption in their careers? How long is this going to last? Should we open things up to save the economy even though we know there will be a cost in human lives? Usually a challenge like this unites a nation, but nowadays, we have young people holding signs on bridges over the freeway saying “open” while old people are dying in record numbers.

I have seasonal allergies so I’ve been waking up coughing and sneezing and my doctor thought it might be a good idea for me to be tested for Covid-19. I had the blood test for antibodies which turned out negative and then I had the swab test to see if I currently have the virus.

It was so easy. Drive to the eastern parking lot at Skagit Valley College, show them your driver’s license and health care card and, not so much fun, stick a small swab into your nostril and dig out anything you can. They tell you if your results are negative, you’ll get a text within three days. If it’s positive, you’ll get a call.

The next day I got a text. One word. “Negative”. Best one-word text ever.

And now, feeling pretty optimistic, I have a revelation. I’m going to buy a puppy. The shelters are mostly shut down, appointment only, and only access to dogs with lots of issues, such as “not good with cats” or “not good with small children” and a neighbor tells me that his friends just had a litter of Golden Retriever puppies.

Lo and behold, I now have a wonderful companion to help me get through these challenging times, with the film industry shutdown and most of my family far far away. Her name is Rosie and she is sitting on my feet right now as I type away in my home office.

She’s affectionate and already loves to chase balls and she’s not even nine weeks old. We’ll see how she does when we are reunited with my wife and her new rescued cat Bobby but I’m optimistic that we can overcome all of these challenges and learn to live together in peace.

rosie1

shakespeare

Did you know that Shakespeare did some of his best work during a Pandemic? And he even referenced it in his work. “A plague on both your houses” are Mercutio’s dying words in Romeo and Juliet.

Now that I am a totally ADHD person dealing with the challenges on self-imposed, government mandated (common sense) isolation, I’m finally sitting down and finishing my play, MAX TO THE MAX. I’ve had staged readings with theatre companies in Vancouver, BC, and Santa Rosa, CA, notes from friends I trust, and I’m finally sitting my ass down and finishing the thing.

Okay, maybe I’m not Shakespeare but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Still, there is much more time in the day and I am spending a lot of that time driving around the beautiful back roads of the Pacific Northwest, along Bay View Road or up and down the Mount Baker Highway looking at lush farmlands surrounded by beautiful foothills and even a mountain or two.

I’m driving with Fred, my older brother, who sadly died just before his 59th birthday. Fred was my hero from boyhood to manhood (a journey that’s still ongoing), and a tremendous inspiration to my siblings and me. He was president of his high school class, played Curley in Oklahoma, served in the Army, went to law school and prosecuted the bad guys in Florida.

He contracted some kind of onerous virus while in the tank corps in Texas, and fought it his whole life but managed to raise two wonderful sons. His picture is scotch taped to my dashboard and as I drive around, he is a constant reminder to me that we have to appreciate every minute and every hour and every day we have on this planet.

Yes, it’s not all a bed of roses, sometimes it’s guns and roses, sometimes it’s a pandemic that came out of nowhere and is killing innocent people who did nothing more than inhale at the wrong time and place or touch an infected surface before touching their face.

As of now, there is no vaccination for this disease. Inspired by the Plague, the Bard wrote: “The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.”

Yes, hope and prayer are important but I think we can be more proactive than that. Our challenge is to make the best out of a terrible situation, definitely the worst in my lifetime. Yes, I lost friends and classmates in the Vietnam War but that did not have the worldwide reverberations of Covid-19.

My advice to all of you is to keep your distance while you’re in your house, but also get out of the house as much as possible, weather and location permitting. We are blessed to live in a very beautiful place with good air and so many beautiful hiking trails. That is a very healthy version of isolationism.

Explore new places. Meditate. Talk to God if you’re religious. Or write a play!