"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus diaries: Anger, Humor, and Hope

Fighting over toilet paper
Don't know about you, but I am finding it hard to get on with life-as-usual these days even though as a retiree I often don't go out every day, now that I can't I want to! Yesterday as I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner the thought occurred to me that I have nothing planned that I have to do this coming week. NOTHING. My dentist appointment was canceled, as was my therapeutic massage. I can't make any coffee dates with friends. Book club is on a two month hiatus, maybe longer. So how do I fill my days? With walks, books, puzzles, and TV. I am trying to stay up on my daily devotions, but find that my mind wanders. I even have trouble reviewing the books I'm reading. My malaise is slopping over onto my blog.

Thanks to social distancing I can finally find Waldo!
So today, I decided to share with you a few things that really make me angry, other things I find very funny, and lately what is bringing me hope. Click on hyperlinks to call up articles or to view videos. Sit back, sip your coffee/tea and take your time. Here goes...

To begin with, I want to remind you, as does this song, that God is with us during these scary days. If you read nothing or open no articles, at least listen to this song.

The Infuriating Story of How the Government Stalled Coronavirus Testing and article from GQ magazine from March 16th. It is a lengthy and detailed article, worth the read but here is one very disturbing detail which really gets my blood roiling:
A large part of the blame lies with President Trump, who has not wanted widespread testing, apparently out of an obsession with keeping the number of confirmed COVID cases low. It’s why he waffled so long on whether to let the Grand Princess cruise liner, where COVID infections were spreading rapidly, dock in the United States. “I would rather have them stay on [the ship], personally,” Trump said earlier this month. “I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.” His administration turned down tests provided by the World Health Organization and instead wasted precious time having the Centers for Disease Control create its own test. While that was underway, the president denounced the spread of the disease as a Democratic hoax, giving the public a dangerously false sense of complacency just as a pandemic was getting underway.
Rand Paul, US Senator from Tennessee, just tested positive for COVID-19, Palmer Report, March 22nd. Apparently he took the test five or six days ago and then did not self-quarantine while he was waiting for the results. His father, a retired US Congressman has been making noises that he thinks the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax.
This means he’s spent a week running around infecting people while he was awaiting his test results. This means he put a significant number of lives at risk – including potentially the entire Senate. Not shockingly, a number of Senators are angry at him, including some of his Republican colleagues.
The Federal Government Outbids State Governments on Critical Coronavius Supplies After Trump Tells Governors To Get Their Own Supplies, Business Insider, March 20th. Soon, I predict, we will have state-to-state hoarding.
"But if our entire nation is going to survive this, we really need to adopt an economy of abundance and cooperation. This is not just true for the West Coast and the Northeast, where the medical providers and local leaders are yelling as loudly as they can about this need.  It’s true in places like Georgia and Florida and Louisiana, as well as every single state in the nation, where the need for this equipment is going to explode over night."
  • Here is something interesting and helpful: The Worldometer which tracks the number of coronavirus cases and the recovery rates. You can click on any country to see the results. I have the worldometer set to the USA but you can toggle around. The alarming news is how the graph shows the numbers shooting up, like it did in Spain and Italy. But there is some good news, too. People are recovering from the disease. (Updated daily)
  • Good news from the State of Washington, where I live: Our new cases are starting to stabilize. It appears that social distancing is starting to work. And a furniture factory has stepped up to start making masks and shields for healthcare workers, KOMO News, March 22nd.

Now for a little humor:

  • Tom and Jerry show us what to do if anyone sneezes near us:

  • And a teacher sings about teaching on-line:

The song "I will Survive" always chases me to YouTube to view this silly video about an alien singing the song.

  • And my daughter forwarded this to me yesterday. The sentiment is of course true. It is hard not to think of Dystopian novels these days.

  • A poem on Social Distancing by Alexander McCall Smith is worth the trouble to read the whole thing. But here are a favorite few lines from it: (Honestly, go read the whole thing!!!!) {Thanks, Dave, for sharing this with me and others who need this positive message}

And so we turn again to face one another
And discover those things
We had almost forgotten,
But that, mercifully, are still there:
Love and friendship, not just for those
To whom we are closest, but also for those
Whom we do not know and of whom
Perhaps we have in the past been frightened;
The words brother and sister, powerful still,
Are brought out, dusted down,
Found to be still capable of expressing

  • And another poem, "Lockdown" by an Irish Priest, Bother Richard Hendrick is bring hope and understanding to many people today. IrishCentral, March 23rd. Once again, click to link to read the whole poem, but here is a small excerpt: {Thanks Kathy for sharing this with the family}

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

  • The other day we were talking to one daughter who lives in SF on FaceTime when our other daughter and grandson called on FaceTime on our other phone. Ian's reaction to seeing his aunt on a phone within a phone was hilarious and priceless.

  • Don and I are playing a lot of games of Quixx, a dice game that only takes a few minutes. I've been working a jigsaw puzzle, calling friends and family, and of course reading lots of books. Alexander McCall Smith writes about this later int he poem:

We discover things we had put aside:
Old board games with obscure rules,
Books we had been meaning to read,
Letters we had intended to write,
Things we had thought we might say
But for which we never found the time;

  • We are not alone. God is with us. We have each other. Good CAN come from bad. 



  1. This whole thing is so overwhelming and I have family and a paying job. I cannot imagine how people who are alone or have lost their jobs are feeling. I am going to check out the world meter. You can use Zoom to video conference your book clubs. It's free and you get 45 minutes per session.

    1. I understand that Zoom only allows for 10 maximum or one has to have split screen. But I've never tried it.

  2. This is a lovely collection, Anne, and I've also read that social distancing is helping in our NW states. I've been baking and playing board games, and then I decided to start writing a novel, which is nothing I've ever attempted before. Tomorrow I get started on homeschooling and online teaching.


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