Fear and Confusion

Sunday March 22, 2020 10:08

Five days since the last entry. Not because there’s nothing worthwhile to record, but because it’s been busy enough at the normal rate to keep me away from dark thoughts and the need to write. But the sense of having purposeful activity to engage in is again being outweighed by confusion and fear.

At the farm this morning I discovered that the lock on Teresa’s shed had been broken and her power tools stolen. This complements the theft of Abimael’s generator and wrenches reported yesterday. An immediate sign of actual loss, as opposed to the theoretical horrors reported in the news, though one that could just as well have happened without coronavirus.

The positive developments there have kept me busy and high spirited for most of the week. With the suspension of all student activities at the farm and the reduction of staff, Tree, Shane and I have been able to work effectively to harvest 200 lbs. of produce on Tuesday and Thursday that was enthusiastically and photographically welcomed at the food bank, to map out a new plan for upcoming planting, and to get several rows of beans and peas into the still moist ground. The rain continues making up for the dry winter, but there’s not enough to prevent work in the well mulched and nontilled beds. Abimael has been out replanting starts after his early planting of bean seeds failed because of cold and wet, Corey’s cover crop suddenly came up in front, Katie is moving forward on planting her two acres. All of us agree that continuing to grow food is the most meaningful contribution we can make under the circumstances.

Jan and I have been shopping regularly for food and alcohol, the grocery stores apparently able to keep up all stock despite the runs on toilet paper. On Friday, projecting the need for more “home entertainment,” I finally moved on the resolve to replace our aging “new” tv and went first to Best Buy and then to Costco, bought a small cheap one, brought it home and tested it and found it wanting, returned it and bought a bigger and more advanced one that needed to be set up in the living room, spent many hours hassling with the instructions and software and finally got it working, so now we sit comfortably on the couch and use it like a monitor for the computer in front of the fireplace to enjoy a range of great content I hadnt before dreamed was available: 30 Rock, Suits, Miss Fisher for a start, and more flowing in all the time. A Thursday night phone call with Joe and Amy, lightened by booze and the first toke I’d had in months had us all laughing for close to an hour. Claire volunteered to take Sophie to the groomer, loaded with spare time now that she’s laid off and on unemployment insurance, while Lucas is out of school and assisted by Gregg in doing his online homework.

Reading the paper and listening to the news takes up quite a bit of time now, both because being “locked down” produces more leisure, but also because every hour brings refreshed reports of disaster regarding health, economic, and political threats that I still experience more as diversion than direct impact. SLO County is experiencing a rapid increase of reported cases and an absence of adequate medical supplies and facilities. The roads are close to empty. The neighborhood is quiet. But all real needs are still being met—including internet, more valuable than ever, electricity, water, garbage pickup, sewer.

That very affluence is becoming dreamlike. The waking reality of growing disaster gets closer.

Leave a Reply