Sunday March 29, 2020
There it was, above the fold, as I walked past a lone newspaper near the front door of my building: the interior of what I call the Calatrava (the Oculus) – above the fold on the front page of the NY Times. Apparently I am not the only one drawn to that space.
Life is like that
But not like this
Being in the hospital, which is never pretty, must be horrific right now — first world horrific. I cannot imagine what it is like for the medical teams. At least during wartime, soldiers do their work far from home, not returning nightly to their spouses and kids. And, it is no picnic for patients either. Unlike other times, you have to be very sick to even be admitted. Sounds like a very high bar these days, and if you do not meet it, they send you home. Once you’re in, there are no visitors—no allies in dealing with that not-quite-sterile world. No walking down the hall. Nothing. Your doctors and nurses are so suited up you can barely read their expressions.
This virus has put a stop to a lot of human interactions. We will see how that plays out over the coming months and years. Surely there is no going back. But what will the future look like?
Whether you are sick or not, it is significantly easier to navigate days or months of uncertainty when you have some savings. Saving money has certainly not been a trend in recent years in America. During the most recent financial crisis people started talking about frugality and savings, but like those who swore they would never eat meat again during the mad-cow disease days – things change. We easily revert to what we are used to.
One of the high spots in this mess (for me) is witnessing the level of the unknown that has magically crept into everyone’s life. It is impressive, to say the least, for anything to be able to touch so many people so quickly across such a wide swath of the human population. Uncertainty affects the haves and the have-nots. The young and the old. The left, the right, gay and straight, it is impressively inclusive. The offal of this mess will not be so blind.
It is easy to see that some people can handle uncertainty better than others; does that relate to how they were “built,” or was some training involved? How much effort do we exert toward keeping uncertainty away?
With health, a roof, and food one could consider it a privilege to witness a 100 year event unfold in one’s home, town, nation and world.