TO GIVE UP, OR NOT TO GIVE UP – THAT IS THE QUESTION
Friday, Mar. 20, 2020
I have been self-isolating most of the day, most days lately. Not because of illness or any COVID-19-ish symptoms. Living alone is self-isolating by definition. Recent winding-down of nearly everything in my city, in everyone’s city, which need is apparent and obvious, notwithstanding – there is another more profound need: to not be self-isolating.
Emails, text messages, and phone calls are great – but half-measures at best. We all need more.
Resuming routines, resuming healthy habits, we need to see people face-to-face, albeit at safe distances – across store counters, across a coffee-shop tables (if you can find anyone open), or on a refreshing walk outside. You might have to say “good morning” to those you pass with your mouth covered, but you can still smile with your mouth covered.
TGIF, thank goodness it’s Friday.
Who started that moniker?
This day is not lucky, any more than last Friday the 13th was unlucky.
Days don’t possess luck or lack of luck.
Neither do we.
We have a choice. How to think, feel, act, re-act, to be resilient, to give up, or to not give up – that is the question.
Leaders in the spotlight in every country – medical and political, each offering barely rational hope messages woven with hard-nosed reality messages of what we are likely to see for many weeks, perhaps months, an altered way of life, of living, of working, of going about our business, and of participating in our communities.
There will be change, and it’s too soon for us to know which will become fluid, which will become permanent – but we can probably all expect a ‘new normal’ will emerge. Mine, different from yours, and yours different from the next person. But all different. To be sure some of those changes will be uncomfortable adjustments, some will be ‘new best practices’ we develop into ‘better habits.’ But what then?
There will be stable people adapting to change. There will be deniers resisting change. And there will be a third group, the mentally unhinged. Some will show us. Others will hide it well, but they’ll be unhinged just the same.
In those films and demonstrations about airplane safety, the warning is always “put your mask on first, then help others.” Whether our mask is real, whether our mask is to keep things in or keep things out, whether our mask is metaphorical, or green, or white – we then need to help others. A few of us will relish isolation, enjoy the solitude, and thrive no matter how long it takes. Most, I fear, will not get more robust, not get more able, not get through without some help.
Who will help?
Who else can, who else will?
p.s. I wrote the other about the sudden and unexpected passing of my friend Mike Kerr; I reached out to his brother, who provided this information – and as a long-time reader and frequent responder to this column, I’m sure Mike would want me to share this with Musing readers. He did not die of his infection in his leg, nor of any respiratory problem; in the words of his brother Kelly, “I think he was in worse shape than any of us thought. His doctors were concerned about a blockage in his heart, and he was given a stress test. During the test, an ulcer burst and caused a severe bleed. He lost so much blood that he went into a coma. He died the next day.”
Heartfelt thanks Mark for 6208 musings, for planning 'to continue as usual' ! I start each day with your musing, a connection that is immeasurable. Wishing you good health, happiness and joy today and throughout the year! Happy Spring!, MV, Kingston, ON
Congratulations are in order. I wish you enjoy the fruit of your work, it has accompanied me for years now, opening windows that gives me hope, thank you! , AG, Cancun, Mex.
Good musings today. Hope you are well, GD, Calgary, AB
Wow, no idea about Mike. I worked with him several times. Very good person. That’s a loss for Calgary. And he seemed like a pretty healthy guy. I saw him last fall. As you said, upbeat, starting a new business…another reminder to not wait to do the things you really want to do.Happy 18th Anniversary, ML, Calgary, AB
My condolences Mark. I too have recently, again, had a friend pass away when the situation didn’t seem dire. This brought to me that we need more connection, not less. I’m so glad you’re continuing with you’re writing. I look forward to it daily, weekly, etc., LH, Lethbridge, AB
Hang in there Mark and thanks for your ongoing dedication to this column, PM, Calgary, AB