We had to return to Portland for prescription refills and specialty dog food. Since our dogs both had pancreatitis in the past year, it’s important we keep their diets regimented, and I was almost out of insulin. This was a simple drive between homes. When we left for the beach house, we had planned to stay for a week. A lot changed in that week. There was no funny business on our part. We didn’t break any rules. It’s just the three of us, me, Blue Eyes, and The Peacemaker. We travel in a group and are as careful as possible. As we drove up the highway from the beach house, we saw that the mandate for all the state parks to close was no joke. The highway entrances are all barricaded by cement blocks. The popular town of Cannon Beach is literally closed to non-residents. The town is closed!
As far as I know, most of the United States has been in a lock down situation for more than a week now. This means staying at home unless for groceries, medication, or medical care for those of us who are non-essential. Our Brooklyn son is in the middle of the worst of it. He’s so stressed out. They haven’t left their apartment for days. They are having essentials delivered and then with masks and gloves are removing everything from its original packaging and throwing out all containers before bringing anything into their apartment. No joke.
Yesterday The Peacemaker and I were getting pretty stir crazy. We decided to check out some new pickle ball courts nearby. We brought our rackets and balls just in case. Just in case there was no one else there and we could get in some decent outdoor exercise. The courts are locked up until April 28th. We were disappointed, but the drive was nice anyway. We had no intention of getting near anyone. We have no symptoms, but you can never be too careful. Since I have diabetes and am prone to pneumonia, Blue Eyes does any shopping that needs to be done. Ironically, despite his childhood illnesses, he has a much stronger immune system than I do. And The Peacemaker has an incredibly weak system. He was the only one in our household who contracted the H1N1 in 2009.
As I sit here, I am contemplating shutting down my Nextdoor account, as well as my Facebook account. Although there is a lot of good being spread, I just cannot stand the negative vibes. I have Facebook friends around the globe and although I understand this is a difficult and stressful time, what is with the competition? What is with the America bashing? Yes, we know we have an unfit President who is narcissistic and a blithering idiot most of the time. That is not US. That is not me or my family or anyone I know. Yes, we’ve all seen the pictures from earlier this month of the crowded beaches in Florida. Yes, people can be slow to react sometimes. Yes, there are idiots all over the world and it is incredibly difficult to manage 330 million people in a country like ours. Thankfully our states are reacting individually with governors and mayors and counties stepping up and enacting proper rules and guidelines, and they have been doing that for weeks. We’ve been in what some are calling “lock down” for a while now.
Clearly, we’re not a homogenous country. One of my favorite aspects of Japan is how cohesive it is. The people move en masse (although that is changing a bit with western influences) through life. Lots of people in a relatively small space, working together for a common good. America is much newer and not built on the same concepts. I have lived in Japan and actually thought about living in other more socially responsible countries. But I was born in America, it is where my family is, and for the most part, I love where I live. We have our faults, obviously, but this is definitely not the time to be comparing leadership or judging how others are handling this pandemic. This is a world issue, not a country issue.
I don’t want to get too specific as I’m not sure who all reads this blog, but I have a Canadian Facebook friend who has spent a great deal of time claiming to be compassionate but then absolutely slamming people for not being home right now, and for hoarding, and for just about any negative thing she can get her hands on. About a week ago she said something to the affect that she and her children could be off on spring break enjoying themselves, but they are following the rules and staying home. She’s constantly posting and reposting the memes about infecting someone’s grandma. She has been pretty blunt and rude about it all. She was then blasted with comments (she has A LOT of followers) who were actually stranded away from home, having been away when the news of the virus hit, and have been unable to return home. They’re scared and some are financially strapped, out of money, far from home. The issue is, when you throw out poison darts, you don’t always hit the enemy, sometimes you hit a friend. Yes, I could unfollow her or whatever, but it’s not just her.
Stores have started allotting the first hour of the day for elderly and more vulnerable shoppers. On Nextdoor yesterday a woman absolutely went OFF on non-elderly trying to horn in on the time that has been allotted for early morning shopping. Now this is a service that has just begun, maybe a couple days ago? Not everyone is aware. Plus, some of us more vulnerable people aren’t so elderly, but we’re still vulnerable. Immune disorders are rampant, so just because a shopper doesn’t have gray hair, doesn’t mean they aren’t in the protected group that this shopping experience is designated for. So along with the positive, there is a whole lot of negative too. Not sure I want to try and weed through it anymore. There are so many more productive things I could be doing.
On a more positive note, we have a lovely neighborhood. A few days ago an email went around suggesting everyone decorate a front facing window with hearts so that when we all make our walks around the neighborhood we have something beautiful to look at and to know we’re thinking lovingly of each other.
This is truly a time to come together, not literally though (;)), and encourage people with kindness, not hate.