It occurred to me this morning while driving for my paper route that the time has come to update Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.
I’d start with something along the lines of, I saw the best minds of my generation collapse beneath the weight of first world problems. The pandemic will be scored by Jim Steinman and sung by Bonnie Tyler. Holding out for a hero, indeed.
The heroes of course are the essential workers. The medical personnel who have to cope daily with all kinds of shit and the aftermath of bad advice spooned out by the tin foil hatters and their dimwit leader, Donald Trump. It’s pretty bad when Lysol’s social media team has to come out with a tweet advising against human consumption of their product to cure Covid-19. No, Mr President, we do not like your sarcasm. We do not like it on a boat, we do not like it on a goat. 4 out of 5 epidemiologists agree that Dr Seuss, second only to Dr Fauci, makes perfect sense during these trying times.
I should video chat with my 3 year old granddaughter today and ask her if her thoughts on curing Covid-19 have changed. Her answer alone will be worth the smiles and laughter. She told her father that when she grows up, she’s going to be a doctor. I hope you are, darling girl, I hope you are.
I had a brief conversation with one of my newspaper customers yesterday. He happened to be opening the garage door just as I pulled up with his paper. Very kindly asked me how I’m doing. Attempt at humour followed.
No. That’s not right. I am frightened. If I take a wrong turn in my role – an essential service – as an asthmatic I could be on a ventilator in no time. He told me that he was born shortly after the end of the Second World War, and he’s lived through a lot of stuff. Never thought he’d see the day when his wife wore what amounts to a space suit to go to the bank at 5:00 a.m. to replenish their cash stores because they spent what they had to hand. Figures it will be at least another year to a year and a half before we start seeing an end to this thing.
I agreed with him. I only leave the house for work, and the rest of the time I shut out the world at home with my pets. I have come to the conclusion that there is such a thing as too much sleep. I’ve been eating what feels like my weight in junk food. If Cool Ranch Doritos are wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
I don’t know how we get ahead of this mess, honestly. It’s Dickens writ large: it was the best of humanity, and was the worst of humanity. I’m sat here trying to download software updates on my work computer and my husband commented on how quiet I am, I must be lost in thought.
The revolution will be led by those who survive it. Godspeed to us all.