Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Life in the Time of Corona Virus

Yellow pear tomato from the grow room
It has been a long time...


The expanse of it is like an open maw. That Star Trek episode with the dirty corn bugle snack eating entire planets... And life is looking like this nasty Venn diagram of Legend/War of the Worlds/Idiocracy/The Rain.

I have broken myself badly twice, with assorted other medical mishaps along the way, but have sort of recovered. Handsome Son has graduated twice, gotten a terribly, excellent job where he appears to be appreciated and he and his long-time girlfriend have bought a house, one which I could never afford. Faithful Companion, Cinnamon, the Boxer, has died. I still mourn her loss. She is still my dog. Ever so often I still feel her presence. My father has died, and he is just... gone... We were planning a big celebration of his life at the time that would have been his 87th birthday. That may never happen, because some small, some would say non-living thing , a virus that was just a blip on the radar and so very far away when he died, has now taken center stage on the entire planet.

I feel like I am making this last part up.

We have new buzz words: "social distancing", "essential workers", "Zoom", "preppers". Preppers have new validation for some of their crazy. I ask myself how much I really "know" about stuff, like where does vinegar come from, and which local industries are isolated from the vagaries of supply chain mishap. Will this be one of the last oranges, bananas, cashews... I ever eat?

I outsourced the last cell phone manufacturing to Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc... in late 1999. And then 9/11 happened. I was still working in Global Supply Chain and the borders closed, for three weeks. I was suddenly sourcing from anywhere tiny bits and pieces worth pennies, but without which, 911-communication radios and systems could not be built. Imagine the chutzpah of telling someone they absolutely had to walk a mile into a mine cave in Utah to see "if" there was any chance they had a 10-cent part for a police radio because it was their patriotic duty AND it was for the NYC police department! I did and they did. It was a big win that day.

We need wins today, too.

Although, I have strayed from my roots, I have not forgotten them. I, at a time when many have been "#stay at home" quite literally within the very walls of their home, still have a tiny plot of ground in which I can dig deep. My brother who has never felt a farmer, with my father's passing, is trying to wrap his head around how to cheaply plant a corn crop. I mentioned to Handsome Son that it seems his uncle simply does not know "how" and we were both silent and stunned. How can he not know?

How much do I "know" about planting corn?

I am doing vitality and vigor testing of last year's harvested corn and reading studies about untreated versus treated corn germination and yield results. The internet is like the Temple of Delphi, asking questions which beget questions in place of answers.

Some ask when things will go back to normal? I am prescient enough to understand that will not happen-- ever. We have let the monster out of the box. Like Pandora's Box, there may be just one left inside. Hope.

Hope for our planet. A silver lining. A way to collect the best and get a re-do.  Can #Stay at Home stop climate change? Was it EVER a good idea to shake hands? That it is not evidence of your go-getter attitude to work through "not feeling well".  That we should appreciate relationships and our community natural areas more... that we should not warehouse the old and sick. That some of the most menial of jobs, hair dressers, waitresses, truckers, farmers, and grocery-stockers should be appreciated more than they are.

That science will lead the way; not ego, myth, power, or politics... Science.

So... in beginning... we are the Transition. Plant a garden. Buy local. Support the helpers. Improve yourself. Be well.

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