Friday, March 20, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Friday 3/20/20

I guess I'll start dating these posts in the title, since I imagine there are going to be a whole lot more we can do hard things-themed posts. It's weird to be coming here again daily, reaching out, knowing you're out there you and you and you.

How's it going?

I finished up a week of virtual teaching -- 17 classes. I am so damn grateful for this job, for these students, for the routine, for the subject matter, and I'm winging my caregiving on the side. Sure, it's only day five and here in Los Angeles we're in a kind of lock-down but Sophie is ever my teacher.

That being said, after dinner I felt like I was going to implode so I went for a walk in the neighborhood, the air was clear and crisp, the clouds blue puffs the streets silent. I passed a solitary man on the sidewalk who stepped to his right and me to my right and thus we passed in a weird lock-step dance of avoided intimacy.

I'm obsessed with this article: Is This American Resilience? and would love to discuss with anyone. Thoughts?

What else is there to say? I feel so heavy, so filled with dread. Cleaning helps.


  1. The article is extremely right-on about a whole lot. But I don't think it's just an American outlook. I mean- Italy certainly ignored what needed to be done for too long. I think it may be a very human trait to have a hard time understanding how such a microscopic thing can be so dangerous. I remember reading "And The Band Played On" and realizing for the first time just how amazingly resourceful viruses are. It took a very long time for people to accept that their sexual habits were going to HAVE to change. To accept that it wasn't just "them" who were vulnerable. Mostly they had to be scared into it. Which will probably be the same in this case.
    I don't know. I don't know.
    I don't even have a point to make here. Just riffing on thoughts.
    I guess that if I do have a point, it's that being frightened has its place. Perhaps we should honor that and act in its wake.
    I wish I felt like cleaning. I'm having a hard time doing anything. It's as if I've been struck into a place of complete ennui.
    But I love you.

  2. You do hard things everyday. I cannot imagine how you able to do so. The love of a mother must be one of the keys. I didn't know you have another teaching job. I must have missed that post. I'm so glad you do.

  3. That article is spot on in many ways.

  4. An excellent article. It's strange how different Americans and Canadians are, considering we live on the same continent. The US is more individualism and Canada is more collectivism. We try to do things that are best for the most people and often fail but try. One individual is not more important that the group, although I'm obviously oversimplifying this, a part of it is true. Most places are closed. There hasn't been a huge outcry, except maybe, what do we do with out kids?

    If the virus was to infect everyone, unlikely, 6 million people would die with the present mortality rate. However, it would climb higher as infrastructure became affected, as health care became overwhelmed and as supplies became short. It's not to scare people but it's reality. It's a bit of DNA or RNA, a virus without a cell wall, that bring the world to a standstill because it's highly infectious. It's the disruptions that will wreak havoc.

  5. In my second paragraph I meant, everyone in the US, didn't proofread, again!

  6. Interesting article. individualism is strong (and invincible). Witness the people lining up outside gun stores to buy more guns and ammo. Interdependence (or Interbeing-Thich Nhat Hanh's expression) is weak. Admitting vulnerability is seriously weak. Admitting we need one another to keep us safe...

    I am puzzled by people congregating-to play a pick-up game of basketball, to talk together on a trail I frequent while I'm crossing the street to avoid them. Is it youth who are unafraid that they will become sick? Is it the confusion of our media, depending on who you are listening to or believing? Is it the horrid polarization in our nation that has pitted us against one another?

    My dear neighbors are in denial that their weekend plans might not happen. They just bought an RV and they think it's a good time to visit the National parks (????) My brother was annoyed that he and his wife couldn't attend a tennis tournament in Palm Springs because it had been cancelled.

    I work in health care. I'm terrified-for myself, for our clients, for our dear front line responders who are putting their lives on the line to help others. For all of us across this globe who are all facing the same intractable infection, an infection none of us has immunity to. But I'm talking rationally. I know the history of epidemics and plagues. They're fucking real. They take out lots of people.

    But you, dear Elizabeth, know all this too. I wish health and safety for you and your family, but really for all of us who are showing up, sheltering at home, keeping safe distances from one another, believing the scientists who are working as fast as they can to find a vaccine (can't happen soon enough) and for all of us everywhere.


  7. One part of me gets the denial. Until covid touches your house it doesn’t seem quite real. Sadly because of this so called “resilience” it’s going to touch a lot of houses. Stay safe.

  8. So many behave in Denial about so much, until they no longer can. I think we're nearing where they no longer can and must face Reality.



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