Life in the Age of Cholera, er, Coronavirus
Aye Coronavirus, What Have you Brought Upon Us?
It’s the moment of great uncertainty, a time unlike any other that I’ve lived through in my 61 years. The world seems paused, baited, waiting to hear the sound of the other shoe dropping.
All around us in this unavoidable flood of bad news, the count increases…we listen every morning collectively as the number total is told. How many infected with Coronavirus in Italy? How many dead in Washington state? It’s horrible, it’s reminiscent of when I was growing up and the evening news included today’s body count of the dead soldiers in Vietnam.
But back then, it was only a number you had to hear if you turned on Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley. The anchor would give you the news, not the damn internet that we can’t escape. I mean now you can’t even pump your tank at Cumbies without having to hear the death toll and the precautions.
My friend John Henderson lives in Rome and is recovering from an unrelated ailment, kidney stones. He reported yesterday about what it’s like to live inside the Coronavirus zone, the quarantined area which is almost a quarter of Italy.
And I think back that I was planning to go to Italy this month for the TBEX conference….and my friends cheered me on, telling me not to be afraid. There are even a few die-hards who had already bought airline tickets, and they went, witnessing Italy’s remarkable closure of itself in quarantine, yet remaining upbeat.
Now I am here wondering if Mexico Tourism is actually going to issue to airline tickets to their doomed event called Tanguis. I sense that like in the case of Italy, they wait and wait and then, after they can’t delay any longer, go ahead and cancel the whole event.
Mary is excited to finally get a chance to attend her first national Occupational Therapist’s conference in Boston. I am supposed to go hobnob with tourism boards in Mexico. But do either of us want to go into an airport corridor that filled with thousands of strangers who might just be exhaling the Coronavirus? Or sit in an airplane or a train next to someone who could give us the disease with just a cough? Who doesn’t even know they have it?
I hate that the answers to these rhetorical questions is so obvious. NO. So we’re staying put, as the world swirls around us all without mercy, pity or understanding.