I have many shelves full of books by authors I’ve met, mostly at writers conferences. I bought Waiting For God because it was written by Xochitl Dixon, who I’ve met and admire. Little did I know how helpful this book would be at this time in history. It’s a month long devotional with the subtitle, Trusting God’s Plan and Pace. What could be more appropriate as we deal with the corona virus and the impact it’s having on our world? The book shares stories of people dealing with various problems with God’s help and it’s very inspiring. I encourage anyone who could use some encouragement and inspiration to get a copy.
I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid (back in ancient history) and we were supposed to do one good deed every day. In spite of all the bad news and scary reports during this pandemic, it seems to me lots of people are doing good deeds lately. Teachers are spending hours teaching classes online. Some people are making masks and giving them to others who need them for free. Staff and personnel who work in hospitals and other medical places are working much harder than usual and risking their own health to do so, and their families are getting by at home without them. Other people are offering to shop for neighbors and some are publishing helpful information on the internet. There are lots of bad things going on, but we have a lot to be grateful for.
My name is Janet Ann Collins and I’m an internet addict with no intention of getting into recovery.. If you had asked me forty or even thirty years ago if I could do without the internet I’d have thought you were crazy. But I was unable to get online for about four days, and still can’t access any of my e-mail accounts. I’m amazed at how hard it is to get by without these tech things. Maybe in another twenty years instead of computers and cellphones we’ll all have brain transplants. Then some evil world government will take over and control us all. Okay, I guess my writerly imagination is getting a bit too active. Maybe I’ll go read a book.
I’ve been thinking about the differences between the Spanish Influenza epidemic and ours. A lot of things have changed in the last hundred years. Back then my father was sent to live with his grandparents in the Appalachian mountains since people were less likely to get sick where there were fewer people. While there, he attended the one room schoolhouse where his aunt was the teacher. Since she didn’t go to school yet, his little sister just stayed home. Back then telephones existed, though you had to ask an operator to connect you with the person you were calling. And radios existed but I don’t think they could get broadcasts from far away. They used what we call snail-mail to communicate with people who lived far away and it took days, or even longer, for letters to reach those they were sent to. With the internet, cellphones, and other modern technology we are able to communicate with people all over the world in a matter of minutes. Those who had to stay home back then probably read books, as I do today. But they didn’t have Facebook, Zoom, cellphones, and all the other things we use to stay connected with other people. Of course germs didn’t spread as fast and far without modern transportation. But if we have to live through an epidemic, I’d rather be doing it now than then.
We’re all worried about the economy, for obvious reasons. But I’ve often said it’s strange that money is so important. You can’t eat it. You can’t wear it. You can’t drive it. You can’t build furniture or houses out of it. I suppose you could burn paper money to cook with, but it wouldn’t last very long. Money only has value because everybody agrees that it has. And it may be the only thing everybody on our planet agrees about. At least we all do agree about one thing.
Before Earth Day became a national holiday it was originally celebrated in Berkeley, CA in the late 1960s. I worked there at California School for the Deaf and we were having a terrible problem with the kids getting head lice. None of us had even heard of head lice before because they didn’t exist in our area. We tried everything we could think of, but the lice kept spreading more and more. (Now I realize that was because the children’s combs and brushes in each dormitory were all washed in the same tub of water.) Finally one of the staff members went down to the Public Health Department and brought back a powdered substance they suggested we use. Sure enough, it worked. But I’ll never forget that we spent the first Earth Day putting DDT on all the children’s heads.
Since I’m a writer I have an active imagination. I’ve been imagining a science fiction world where people could communicate all over their planet using magical devices that allowed them to actually see and hear each other from thousands of miles away. But they were mysterious when they met in person because everyone who went out in public had to wear a mask. Oh! That’s not science fiction. It’s the world we actually live in today! If someone were to time travel from the past – even as little as 50 years ago – to our time, what would they think? And what might our planet be like fifty years in the future?
With all the people getting sick and dying, businesses going bankrupt, people loosing their jobs, and the nasty politics going on it’s easy to become discouraged and depressed. But there are lots of good things happening, too. People all over the world are sharing information to help each other. Nearly everyone is doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus, not only to protect themselves, but to help protect everyone. Many of us are learning to do tech things like use Zoom that we didn’t use in the past, and we appreciate the modern technology that allows us to stay in touch. Lots of businesses and organizations are producing products and equipment they never did before to help fight the virus. While nasty politics is still happening, we’re no longer focused on that as much as we were. We are learning to appreciate things we used to take for granted. Since now nearly everyone on our planet shares one concern, perhaps that will help the relationships between cultures and nations to be more positive in the future.
At first while being on “house arrest” because of the Corona Virus, I felt like I was going stir crazy. Walking my dog around the block and going to a store one early morning a week were not enough contact with other people. But now I’m sort of used to it. I interact with lots of people on Facebook and have had phone chat’s with lots of old friends and family I hadn’t talked with in a long time. I’m getting some projects I’ve been putting off done around the house, writing, and reading lots of books that have been unopened on my shelves for years. Of course, like everyone else, I’m worried about the economy, and hope I don’t get the virus. (I know one person who had it. He’s recovering but still under quarantine.) I miss seeing people in person and being able to go wherever I want. But I”m taking it one day at a time and enjoying the opportunity to relax and enjoy one day at a time.
Some people in my family have birthdays on holidays. One was born on New Years Day, one was born on both Easter Sunday and April Fools Day. One was born on a holiday that no longer exists, Decoration Day. One was born on the Fourth of July. And one of my grandkids was born 100 years and only one day different than my mother. As for me, I just have an ordinary birthday. What about you?