Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears
Oh, hard times, come again no more
The first verse of Stephen Foster’s Hard Times. Well, we’ve been paused from life’s pleasures for 62 days now, and instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I hear the train whistle.
Having not written for five days, it occurred to me yesterday after Ray inquired as to my absence that I was in a deep funk. Why? Because it feels so hopeless. The government is powerless to agree on anything that might help this country get through these hard times. People I care about deeply are getting sick. Sick from lots of things. Others I love are being directed to interact with people who have tested positive for the virus in order to do their jobs. That means they’ll give it to someone older and frailer. And so it goes. Maybe Kurt Vonnegut was right when he wrote his stories about Dresden, Tralfamadore, Kilgore Trout and Rabo Karabekian (great name, you have to admit). There is no hope and we might as well crawl into a hole and die.
Do I feel any better writing that? A little. I turned our Alexa on again, as she’d been disconnected from the internet ever since we changed routers. It occurred to me I’ve been missing the music she provides when I do the dishes. It’s not that I necessarily mind doing dishes. I just like the distraction of singing along with a good song. Like Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd or The Last Time by the Rolling Stones. That makes the task go faster and with less annoyance.
There is no news fit to report. I watched Nova about the Cvirus, and the ‘new’ things they talked about are all pie in the sky when you die stuff. Nothing is ready for use by humans, so lots of folks will die before it comes out. The WHO (not Roger and Pete, but that Irish guy with the bad haircut) says the virus will be with us always and we’d just better go ahead and die if we’re old. OK, I’m paraphrasing, but geez!
So if school doesn’t open in September because of the virus, what will parents do that would like to go back to work? There are just so many grandparents to go around, and maybe that’s not such a great idea anyway. The new unemployment number will be out in three minutes as I write this at 8:27 am. The expectation is another 2.5 million. And the Republicans in the Senate are dithering on additional relief. What the hell are they waiting for – Godot? God is laughing at us. We had it so good for so long, and now that we are in trouble, there’s nobody there to help. Read the book of Job again..it was like an “Oh yeah?” battle between God and the devil. These days I don’t see any difference between them.
OK, I guess I don’t have it all off my chest. I have canned goods to donate, and apparently nowhere to take them. Meat packing plants are closed, so pigs will be gassed because there’s nowhere to put them. Oil prices are likely to go negative again at the end of this month because of lack of storage again. And what’s the bright spot on the horizon? Again, I think I see the steam and hear the whistle.
Erik keeps saying this too will pass, but to be replaced by…what? It’s not that I’m afraid to get the Cvirus and die..it’d just be embarrassing that I wasn’t careful enough. So going back to the gym is impossible, and I really miss it and the gals I worked out with. But if I get it, might I give it to Kiernan with her bad heart? Or Erik with his bad lungs? Yes, exactly. So clearly I have to find something to distract myself with.
OK, the numbers are out and another 3 million filed for unemployment. So we’re up to 36 million souls without a job. That’s 24%. We’re well on our way to achieving a significant milestone: topping the unemployment numbers from the Depression. And we all know what came after the Depression, likely because of the Depression. Yes indeed, war be a comin’..cyberwar. Can’t wait to see the trailer for that one.
OK, I’m done now. Inflicted enough pain. Maybe I’ll be more cheerful tomorrow. Yes, I’ll try to stay with it..it really does help.