Facing the Future

There are several previous posts on the COVID Crisis: March 6, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19.  I will add material as it comes in, and tend to avoid the kind of material that is covered by television and newspaper news, as it is redundant.  Your news is solicited.  

Friend Molly periodically sends around some prose and poetry she’s found, and here is her Spring edition: Molly, Spring 2020; Molly 2- The Geese Return   (click on images to enlarge).  Mine these for some hopeful signs….

March 21 4:25 p.m.  Carl sends a link to a TED talk by Bill Gates in March, 2015.  8 minutes, well worth it.  Recently Gates retired from Microsoft to devote full-time to issues like that identified in the video.  He, I think, “walks the talk”.

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Overnight I responded to an e-mail from a cousin: “Re the Virus [COVI-19], all we can do is the best we can do.  No guarantees about anything for anybody.  I’ll write more in a blog today.  This is a time without precedent in our country.  We all need to do what we can, not only for ourselves, but for others.  We all have to be neighbors of each other, imperfect as that is going to be.  Thank you for keeping in touch.”

In the same batch of e-mails was Just Above Sunset, from Los Angeles, authored by a fellow senior citizen who has health issues of his own, and lives in a city and state now on lockdown.

There are abundant signs that we’re making efforts to stay connected.  Just one example: my Church, the Basilica of St. Mary, decided to have no in-person Mass this weekend, but will broadcast the 9:30 Sunday Mass live for those who have access to Facebook,  Later a video of the same Mass will be posted at the Basilica website.

Stay tuned.  I will write more later today.

Mar. 21, 2020, noon.  Yesterday I mentioned quarantine of a student at the college I attended in ND.  This from a news report in the Fargo Forum.  Today, e-mails from two friends reported the same news: the test came back nonpositive.

I took a long walk this morning, outdoors, as I’ve done this week.  It is surreal to be in the midst of this crisis, in a large city, and hear birds chirping, and see possibly one or two people walking their dogs.  There is another reality not far away, which grips, now, the entire northern hemisphere, it seems.  The Southern Hemisphere is on deck.

Todays mail brings an update on what the United Nations is doing, presented by Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary General on YouTube.  You can watch it here.  I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Dujarric here in St. Paul last October.  These are high stress times all over the world.

Thursday the 2020 Census form came.  It took only a few minutes to fill in.  Take the time, and remind others to followthrough as well.  It is important.

In an e-mail today,  our northern Minnesota friend who grew up in Nazi Germany forwarded an e-mail from a friend in Germany who comes from the community where she grew up, near the Czech Republic, and now lives and works in Leipzig.  His e-mail is worth your time.  His English is remarkable.

Good Morning and many greetings from Germany,

It’s time to write you some impressions about the corona pandemic in Germany especially from Leipzig:
One month ago, I realized that something happened in the world. China and other Asian countries startet to fight against a new virus with harsh measures.
At that time I was laughing about that behavior and thought that nothing will happen to me, because China is far, far away.
One week later, the virus reached to Northern Italy and the Alpes. When the first positive test results were in Germany, I got shocked and became very sad, when the Saxon government decided to cancel the Leipzig Book Fair, one of the most important events in the year. During the same time 15 friends (my colleague’s husband and 14 further Family fathers) started to their yearly ski vacation to Ischgl in Austria.
One more week, I couldn’t laugh anymore, because more and more people got infected and the German government began to tell us, how we have to protect us and that is imported to keep a distance from minimum 1,5 meters to other people.
Then the 15 guys came back from Austria. some of them felt sick…coughing and fever…more or less. Except of one they all went to an empty house of a friend to be in a self imposed quarantine. After the laboratory test all 15 are (still) Sars-CoV-2 positiv and 14 have Covid-19 symptoms. Fortunately only one of them had to stay for 5 days in a clinic…now he is with his friends in the quarantine house and the most of them feel better.
But the hardest time still have their wives (including my colleague). They have to stay at home and take care of the children and the men in quarantine…als self-organized, because the state institutions are more and more overwhelmed.
Since Monday I don’t go to work, because my company decided, that it’s to dangerous to work as a sales representative. But I’ll have no real financial loss…the state Jobcenter will pay the most of my salary (called short-time work allowance).
After one week of staying at home, cleaning the whole flat and watching too many Netflix series; I really feel bored and prisoned. But on the other hand I can be lucky, that my family is healthy and in Saxony is still no curfew (like in other parts of Germany and Europe).
What I really hate is the mass of fake news and the mass of people who believe them. I often have the feeling, that people like it to be in panic or to do Hamster purchases: who told the Germans, that they need tons of toilet paper and noodles (only cheap kinds of course ?:-)
At the moment I’m asking myself, what will happen to all the small companies, shops, start ups, artists…will they survive this crisis? I’m confident, that the government will help, but in some cases it could be too late.
In summary the German government is doing a good job. It seems that our chancellor Angela Merkel needs a crisis to work fast and focused 🙂
At this moment (21st of march) we have 20.000 infected people, but only 68 persons died. As it seems, we will have no more test kits soon.
Now, it’s time to make some delicious food, to skype with friends and family and to hope, that  we can handle the virus and I can go to work again in April….and I miss cultural events like concerts very badly!
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From Chuck W.  Mar. 21 A two page position on the future is here: 7 reasons from Chuck W 3-21-20.  
(click on pdf to enlarge it). The submission is footnoted.  For brevity, these are not included with this post.  Available from Dick B. on request.

 

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