Wednesday, April 1, 2020

It's April 2020 and time to reflect upon being an Insecure Writer during a worldwide pandemic.

It's April Fool's Day of the year 2020. Hopefully there are some fun pranks that will get pulled today to lighten the mood of everything that's going on with the pandemic. As it is the first Wednesday of one of my favorite months, I'm participating in the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage without the fear of appearing foolish or weak. As blogfests go, it's a pretty good one.

The rules and sign-up can be found HERE. Please go there if you are interested in it. Now onto the monthly question (which is optional):

April 1 question - The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

This is a bit of a loaded question, as there's so much to talk about that I wonder where to begin? Each day doesn't feel real to me, which I think is a mild trauma response. My government job is classified as essential. I have many responsibilities, but one of them is to issue laptops and computers to disabled clients so that they can transition from attending school in person to attending school online. I get many panicked phone calls with messages like, "My computer isn't working what can I do?" or "I have tests to take and I can't get online. Help!" I have to solve those things over the phone or in person. To borrow a phrase from George R.R. Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire..."Valar Morghulis," I suppose. The literal translation from the High Valyrian of Westeros is "All men must die." But in context of the novels and the television show, it is used much the same as "Que Sera Sera," which (as you know) means, "Whatever will be will be."

So I haven't stopped meeting with people, sometimes as many as three or four a day, because I need to make sure they get their laptop and that we get the loaner paperwork signed. We take precautions with sanitizing, social distancing of six-feet, and washing hands, but there's only so much you can do. So far, I've had no health issues aside from what I recognize as seasonal allergies that are easily controlled with one Claritin in the morning. I did cancel a visit to go and see my aging father in his assisted living facilility. And going to the grocery store feels really strange as people here stare at you if you clear your throat.

Utah's panic-buying has been intense, and I've heard it's the worst in the country by far. The population here is full of fear, and it's somewhat contagious. There has been no toilet paper anywhere, no flour, no sugar, no rice, no beans, and milk and eggs get regularly wiped out. The government here is very Republican, and it's loathe to put any kind of quarantine in place that has bite to it, because it would jeopardize the fortunes of billionaires that need stores to stay open to make money. It really does look monstrous to me as I see how expendable people really are. I've known for many years that they didn't really care. But to actually hear from our leaders that grandma or grandpa should die so that the economy remain healthy is a lot of truth to digest about billionaire largesse.

So the local government tells everyone strongly to stay home and stay safe, and that you could get arrested for not staying home. But then they load the whole thing with exceptions. Stay home...unless you need to go to work...unless you need to go for a walk with your dog...or to the store...or to drive around. And they say they won't arrest anyone really. It's just a scare tactic. ((Shrug)). Okay then. People of faith are still meeting, because they don't believe the virus is real. Then they're getting sick, because the virus doesn't care what they believe. The ones that stay healthy will spin it to say that their faith protected them. Whatever.

There are furniture stores that are still open as are many other kinds of stores with frightened workers still seeing the public. The why is simply because of money. The answer is always money. There are hardly any landlords giving anyone in this entire state any kind of break on rent. I've read story after story of how letters were sent out saying, "Your rent is still due on the first!" The brutality of the plantation owner and the slave is on full display. The fact that no one sees themselves as a slave seems to have either one of two outcomes: 1) the reality of being a slave hits home and causes lifelong depression or 2) denialism sets in about one's allotted place in life which results in extreme narcissism. So you either interact with depressed people all the time, or you are interacting with narcissists who have no empathy and constantly act like they are better than you. There doesn't seem to be any in-between.

Capitalism is very cruel. I just wish more people would understand exactly that and want to do something about it. And that's all I've got to say about that.


  1. The damage can be controlled, but people have to do their part. No business just selling 'stuff' should be open now. Here, no one would be going in anyway.
    Our church has been online only for weeks. I can't believe any church now would risk pulling a large group together. God gave you a brain, stupid.

  2. Sucks you have to work yet. My landlord sent an email saying to contact them and work something out if you can't pay your rent. I could pay this month but who knows about tomorrow? A lot of people trying to pretend everything is normal are going to panic as the death count keeps ramping up over the next 14 days. I think I'd rather have a zombie apocalypse because at least you can see them coming.

  3. Its sad that you still have to work and meet people during this Covid-19 pandemic time....though glad that you are taking the necessary precautions, but please be safe. My prayers for you.

  4. I keep hoping that it will calm down soon. Hang in there.

  5. I hear you, sir. Things have changed really quick just south of you, too. I'm an essential employee at my hospital and have even taken an extra shift to check temperatures at the entrance. Thanks for your service, I'd probably take my busted PC to you if I was closer. :)

  6. It's a strange time. I hope you're able to stay well. I sometimes wonder if this is our "Let them eat cake" moment, but I'm pretty sure it isn't. It never is.

  7. I'm in Florida, and the stores in my area all look like a major hurricane is about to swallow us whole. Our governor just passed a statewide stay-at-home order, but there are so many exceptions (going to church, for example) that I don't think it'll be very effective at all.

    I hope you're able to stay well.