Sunday, April 19, 2020

Quarantine quivers

      As you have surely guessed by now, the wife and I are long removed from the high life…..if ever we were there. In even the best of times our octogenarian days tend to be calm and quiet. Still, I’ve heard it said that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. 
It has taken only a couple weeks of enforced confinement in a world of Corona chaos to have me dealing with a serious case of quarantine quivers and ‘stay-at-home’ heebie-jeebies…….bouncing wall to wall,  from one dark mood to another, longing for a few moments of therapeutic peace and quiet.
That began again early this morning, listening to a pair of TV talking heads debate the virtues and pitfalls of Quanitative Easing, corporate bailouts, and helicopter money drops.
Those two had me recalling my long-ago Economics class, where the monotone professor reminded us that just like every family on the block any fiscally responsible nation must live within its means, or pay the dreaded inflationary piper.
By then I was wondering how that economic logic meshes with today’s ‘fiscal alchemy,’ where the Fed, Congress, and Prez create trillions….with a ’T’…..out of thin, politically-charged hot air. Who will pay the piper this time? And when the dust finally settles, what will be the unforeseen costs of our fiscal extravagance?
About the time those uncomfortable questions had my blood pressure clicking up a notch or two I was overtaken by a pair of apparently opposing, yet equally unpleasant bits of modern reality.
While the cursed virus wreaks havoc around the world, it hurts to realize how fragmented, befuddled, and often inept our nation’s response has been. It seems we had a right to expect more and better. Instead, I am reminded of the all-too-relevant wisdom of the great and wonderful Pogo……….”We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
At this point, months into a potentially deadly pandemic the best response we have found to date is retreat……slowing down the disease’s advance by withdrawing from what we call “normal.” True, that seems to be working…….but at a very high cost.
It is hard to call our strategy an outright win when the price to be paid by so many of our people is hunger, unemployment, loss of small businesses, and possible financial ruin. Most of us feel perfectly capable of pursuing the life we call “normal.” Yet in the name of stopping the pandemic we are told we must “Stay home.” If I was in that boat, with a hungry family to feed, long food-bank waits, and/or a family business on the line I believe I would be tempted to raise a little hell.
So what are the options? Stay at home and slow the death rate……..while exposing so many, especially those most in need, to hunger, depression, and bankruptcy?
Should we put our people back to work and accept the likelihood of resurging casualties? It is a choice worthy of King Solomon’s biblical wisdom. And God knows we have is no Solomon in charge today.
I don’t claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I am usually able to stumble toward what seems to me the right answer. Unfortunately, today there seems to be two, somewhat incompatible “right answers.” I urge you to consider both of them, then follow your conscience. As for my house…………we are staying home.
And while we are here, in the comfort of our four walls, I intend to once again indulge in a bit of low-grade escapism. I invite you to join me there, if you are so inclined. Simply make you way to the link below.  Once on that new page scroll down to the “Photos” section, and at the bottom of that display click on “See all.” 
On the next page scroll down to “All photos.” Click on the first picture and settle back to soak up the sights and feel of a more comfortable place. Scroll through the “Comments” on the side of the page……. notes from all over the world. Then, using the arrow at the side of the photo, move on to the next scene. 
With that brief introduction I invite you to move beyond today’s trials for a few minutes or hours, knowing all that everything you hope to escape will be waiting for you when you return from your mind-bending travels. 
Why not check out This Magic Link and enjoy a few minutes in a better place? 


  1. With all of the pumped up numbers to start with it is easy to see how we were told to stay home. Now that some numbers are somewhat corrected it is time to go back to work. If you do not have a job to go to use your head and stay home a while longer. We all learned a long time ago the perceived problem is always a lot worse than the actual one. Hang in there , keep the faith and look before you leap.

  2. I forgot to name it again Comment by Myron Bredahl

  3. Thanks, Myron. It's been hard for me to come down on either side with both feet. Odds are if we get careless our hospitals will be up to their necks in a new surge of corona patients. Yet lost jobs, closed schools, and food shortages are the stuff of real life. A parent with hungry kids will do what they have to do. Like you say, "Look before you leap."

  4. Have been there often over the years...In the Navy while my ship was in Portsmouth, was
    invited to go aboard Nelson's flagship..Base security was handled in a very efficient
    but polite manner. After showing my Navy ID, the security man, an ex Navy rating by the
    look of him, asked several friendly questions about my ship; her guns, top speed, etc..
    It was all done so nicely. A couple years ago we were in London on the hottest day ever
    there..While sweating it out in a pub, the owner dropped by our table to explain to us
    why there was no air conditioning and the buildings in the City were made to hold the
    heat in...not to keep it out. What a great and interesting race...and too funny....John