I had planned to write my next blog post on what the first two years of retirement had been like, or maybe even one on the joy of writing with writing prompts (something I’ve been doing alot of lately!). But as often happens, my plans this spring have been in a constant state of flux. So, instead, I break my fast from blogging with a short “story” I wrote yesterday as I celebrated the beginning of my 64th year.
I wrote it as a third person account, because that’s how it developed in my mind. After sharing it with several family members, I was encouraged to change it to first person, because it really is my story of how the last six weeks or so have affected me and those around me. But I just couldn’t get it to work as well in the first person, so I’ve stuck to third. Have no doubt, though, it is very much my thoughts on this current craziness:
It had been a dismal start to the spring. All was doom and gloom with the predictions about a virus taking over the world. Politicians had jumped at the prospect of not wasting a good crisis and had pulled out all the stops on taking people’s liberties away from them in the name of “keeping them safe.”
The virus didn’t scare her. Her neighbors didn’t bother her. But the idea that a country could be turned upside down inside mere days and weeks, based on few facts, many assumptions, and countless fear-mongering, that worried her! She lived in one of the greatest countries in the world. But she was beginning to doubt that it could stay that way.
Fiction masquerading under the guise of facts had scared people into what only months before would have been unthinkable: Trips were being forced to be canceled, stores were being closed, jobs were being lost, and activities were being called off at alarming rates.
Meanwhile people were being told to stay home and stay safe, while no allowance was being made for how to keep them sane at the same time. As the time stretched on, she started hearing stories that made her want to cry: people living alone who were slowly dying inside as a result, kids who couldn’t go outside anymore, even as the spring weather was becoming more and more beautiful, people with so much time on their hands, and few good ways to fill it, folks who had lost their jobs and wondered where the money for their next meals would come from, never mind the rent or the mortgage payment that could never be paid. Small businesses were closing their doors, some in hopes that it would be a temporary closure, but many knowing this would just be the beginning of the end. She had owned a small business once and could too well imagine what even a month or two of forced closure would have done to her bottom line. It was painful to think of the harm being done.
She was personally faring fairly well during all of this, at least in the short run. Her health was good, she lived in a home with someone else, rather than alone or in a tiny apartment, she had family members close by that could still come for visits, and even had a backyard she could go into anytime she desired. And as a retiree, at least for now, her finances were in pretty good shape. But her heart ached for all those she knew and knew of that were suffering greatly through all of this. What were the uncalculated damages being done to family, friends, and strangers throughout this shutdown? It made her heart hurt to think on it.
But then slowly, just as it seemed that all would continue to spiral downward based on lies being touted as truths, she began to see small lights of hope appearing on the horizon. They were small and infrequent at first. There had been the lone representative that had dared to speak out against the socialist “stimulus” bill that had raced through Congress at the end of March. But that light seemed to go out almost as soon as it had been lit, and she was back to wondering where and when this would end.
Then there was the epidemiologist from a prestigious university questioning the assumptions being made in the doom and gloom models. Followed by a professor (also from a well known university) who came out and dared to analyze the facts and point out the fiction that too many people had been accepting as reality. Listening to them, hope had welled up temporarily once again. But each time someone came out with such good news, it seemed that those peddling darkness were stepping up their attacks.
And then, wonder of wonder, she saw the group of doctors from a small southern state who had risked discussing the false “facts” that were being used to scare people into accepting this scenario, followed within two days by two doctors in California raising similar points. In both cases their analysis of facts versus fiction had really made hope rise within her.
So as the second month of craziness was speeding towards a close, she could almost smile again. Almost hold out hope that the lies would be revealed and that freedom might actually not be gone forever. She considered the fact that so many were pushing for more testing, when the reality was we didn’t need to know how many had already had the disease. Enough tests had been done to show us that the number of people who had gotten the virus and recovered from it was much larger than we had ever suspected. To her that fact alone had done more to disprove the doom and gloom prophets than it had done to prove them right.
She wanted to shake those who kept pointing at these numbers as if they were evidence of a big, almost insurmountable problem. Of course the numbers were rising, the number of tests were rising! How could people not see that? But as long as political figures at every level were allowed to use those figures to frighten people in their county, state, or country, we would not be making forward progress.
She didn’t know what blinded some to the realities, but she was ready to stop focusing on what had been being thrown at her from so many directions for so long. She wanted to start watching the horizon for more lights. Surely more would come, little by little, and eventually the sun would rise again and put an end to all of this! And that was where she would need to keep her focus in the days and weeks to come. God help her country if the lights did not continue to shine brighter on the horizon!