Thursday, April 09, 2020

A Bleak House

By all accounts, this is predicted to be the worst week yet in the U.S. for Covid-19 deaths. Last night, before I went to bed, I turned on CNN for twenty minutes. The blame game was being played by the White House. The number of fatalities for the day in the U.S. hovered around 1,400. And, worse, I learned that 72% of those dying in the U.S. from this coronavirus are people of color. From the obvious lack of leadership to institutional racism, the news was bleak, to say the least.

So where does all of this leave us?

A friend, living and writing in New York City, wrote on Facebook that it’s like 9/11 but in slow motion. My daughter, in January, and ahead of her graduation from Kenyon College, accepted a position with a company in New York City. She turns 22 on Easter. Living in the City and working on Madison Avenue at age 22? We were all over the moon. Now, I have my Dad hat on: Start date is still June 8? Looking for an apartment and moving there when?

But I am one of the lucky ones (and, yes, I am knocking on wood as I write that sentence). My family is safe and, as of this writing, healthy. I am holed up with my wife and three daughters, all five of us working or studying virtually. We are reading a lot. My 19-year-old showed me that Instagram can be a useful tool and got us to make a family Tik Tok.

As I look to the future, I can only wonder about the aftermath. Three months? Six months? I heard yesterday, we will know where things stand from a medical standpoint in 18 months. People in my circles are reading more. That can’t be a bad thing. We are learning that technology can fill some spaces. Zoom doesn’t replace face-to-face interactions, but it’s better than email.

Still, I have friends who have lost loved ones. I know I will have more. Those people are not making Tik Toks, and they are not worried about getting their next Kindle download.

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