NonPolitical Rantings from a Covid Captive

Many times over the past few years, I’d say 7 or 8 times, I have received phone calls from my political party asking for a donation. Each time I’ve told the the solicitor that I wouldn’t give money unless I could talk to someone about my concerns. All 7 or 8 times no one ever bothered calling me back.

Politics in our country has been reduced to raising campaign money, getting elected and then fighting with the other elected people while not getting much done. This cycle seems to repeat itself over and over again.

Because of the pandemic, I believe that traditional politics no longer serve us. The virus has reduced everything to the study of sociology and human needs, in other words, people. We are in trouble as a species because of our inability to work together. Our shared destiny and our ability to survive as a functioning society is in danger.

I came to this realization on July 18. And if I may, I will offer myself as a case study to show how I came to this conclusion.

 Positive cases in my county went from 111 on July 11 to 145 on July 17     I was angry at the people along the river who partied in large unmasked groups around an island and on a beach on the St. Lawrence River. They were young and didn’t seem to care about my county and or the fact that   I had spent 10 weeks at home in lockdown during the spring.

With the rising cases, my emotional fear alarm went off as I consider my options. Would there be another shutdown?    I scanned my environment. A heat spell was coming. Also, I’m 71 and even though I have great health I’m in the risk category. So, I made a plan. 

 I woke up at 6 am to avoid the heat and the crowds.    First, I went to Walmart 15 miles away to get more meat to put in my freezer. When I went a week ago to the store’s grocery pickup they were all out of the ground turkey I thought I had reserved.  I came back home and was able to store a good supply of available meat in my freezer. I felt satisfied that my stash of supplies was now quite adequate.   

Next to the recycling center. We don’t have garbage pick up in my rural area. It felt good to have my recyclables and trash out of the house. 

My basic needs were taken care of and I felt relieved. If the uptick in cases keeps going up, I was confident that I had all I needed to stay home again. I worry, as all Americans do, that another shutdown is coming.  

Today, July 27, the positive cases in my rural county have reached 185, 12 new cases added over the weekend.

Worrying about my basic needs reminded me of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, something I learned about in my training to become a teacher.

To become the best we can be, we first have to have our basic physical needs met, food, shelter, water, clothes. These things are essential to keep us alive. That is why I’m making sure I have food in case of another shutdown or because of a break in the supply chain.

Next comes a sense of safety and stability, freedom from harm including death from disease and/or social unrest.

Then there is love and belonging. Our present situation is separating us from friends and family.

These three important factors for human well being are being threatened by Covid-19. The world is in trouble.

Political parties and political bickering are insane when our country is facing life and death issues. There has to be a major shift. The time for candidates to ask us for support and money is gone! The question now is how are the people running this country going to protect and save us? We need that answer.

Worries of a Covid Captive Grandma

Before the pandemic, unless I was traveling, I would see my grandkids every other week. I would arrive at their house at noon, stay overnight and then leave around noon the next day. Since the new normal, I have only seen them two times for a total of less hours than I could count on my fingers. Time looms before me as I have stayed confined. Time also seems compressed as a deadly virus forces me to reassess the length of my life and the lives of everyone on this planet.. The months, the weeks, the days, the hours tick by. They almost lose their meaning as I wait and wait for the familiar to return. Time has lost its shape, its structure.

by Salvador Dali

My son, daughter-in-law and grandkids came for a visit on July 5th, 12:00-4:00. Four short hours. So many smiles, so much joy and then they were gone.

I worried that I hadn’t done enough. This really bothered me. For the first time, I wrote my grandkids a letter hoping to fill in the blanks of what I felt I hadn’t conveyed in our short visit.

July 6, 2020
My dear sweethearts,

After you left, I looked at all the things you played with and made. I’m amazed how wonderful each one of is and I’m so proud of you.

R. (my 9 year old granddaughter), my creative storyteller, you looked at my new calendar and thought about the passage of time.

Your wonderful imagination took over and you created a world where time could be controlled . You drew it on paper as you explain it to me.

It was the beginning of a great adventure. That is what writers do. They observe and wonder what would happen if things were different. Sometimes they see the things no one else sees or understands and they open the world to new possibilities. Never be ashamed of you imagination. The world needs the wonderful excitement that shines through your stories.

C. (6 year old grandson), I think you saw the wonder I saw in the golden mushrooms on the tree that had worked so hard to stay alive as it rested on its side. New life is now forming on its dead form as a sign of hope, telling us that nothing in nature really dies.

I loved the way you, R., and K. enjoyed seeing the styles of different artists as we looked through that art book.

C., you jumped into creativity with those oil pastels. It takes bravery and strengthen to be an artist. A person has to let go of doubt and be free. Connor, your picture of the cat shows you have great courage. I think you know that nothing has to be perfect when you are doing art, that there is no right or wrong.

R., I see that strength in your drawings, too.

K. ( my grandson, five), I am impressed that you are so observant. I’m glad we got to look at the Da Vinci pop up book. Like you, he looked at everything, birds, the human body, everything!!! And then he invented things and built things. He never gave up or got frustrated because he knew he would always figure things out.

You are a builder, K.

You are brave when you have a problem. You look and look and find a solution. Your construction crew will look up to you for the answers. You will invent and build just like Da Vinci. I can’t wait to see the wonderful things that you will create.

My sweethearts, I love when you come to visit and I visit you. I watch as each one of you use your talents. I am so, so proud of you.

Love forever and always,

Babci (Polish for grandmother)

I mailed the letter and I worried and wondered like all grandmothers do. Did I make the most of each moment? Did I hug my grandkids enough? Do they realize just how much I love them? Did I teach them enough? Did I listen and encourage them enough? The world and the future are so uncertain. I hope for the best, that the world will heal because I have so much more I want to give to my dear sweethearts.

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