Life has changed rather dramatically for me in the last few months. I've gone from working to not working. While I volunteered for the layoffs, in the hopes of 'saving' someone else, it still came as a shock to hear the words that all of us in the room were considered permanent layoffs and would not be coming back.
Right on the heels of that, was covid, and my time at home became official as everything not considered 'essential' shut their doors and closed up shop. Almost simultaneously, schools closed and my daughter was called back to work. I became William's caregiver. It was also about the same time that the renovation on the little house kicked into manic high gear.
Between that renovation, and the garden, and William, I was just as busy as ever. Those empty hours were filled.
Now it is fall, and after a failed attempt at homeschooling (when a little boy wants to be with his friends, he can be pretty resistant to learning), I have more free time on my hands than I've ever had before.
We have an election coming up. Everybody seems to feel very strongly about it here in my little town. Today, there was a big article about the slashing of a trump sign in our very red town. There was another article, a very small one, with no particulars or details. about a burglary. What was not mentioned was that 'the burgler' went to a man's flagpole, took down his Biden flag and ran up a trump flag. The clever owner expected pushback and he had a game camera set up and took picture after picture of the man doing it. He put the pictures out on facebook and the man was ID'ed by name in the matter of minutes. I recognized the man by name, even though the newspaper did not speak of what he had done. When two men in silver truck were driving around in the dead of night stealing Biden signs, it was reported only as 'theft of political signs'. Entire streets of signs were taken, one right after another. It stopped right after a local elderly, very well to do woman (and a very vocal trump supporter) was charged with receiving stolen property.
Coincidence? We shall never know for sure.
Everything is a controversy about this election, and I am everlastingly tired of it. When the phone rings, its generally a robocall from a candidate. When I collect the mail, it's usually just a collection of brochures from all the candidates running for office, state and federal level, Yesterday there were six. You turn on the news, and it's the election news.
If it's not the election, it's covid and the dire warnings about a second wave. My state is included in this mix. Our county remains low although the cases have more than doubled since September 1st. We now have 59 cases. But the very advice we are being given to protect ourselves, information that should be so cut and dry has also become controversial. There are the deniers. They refuse to wear masks, run around screaming 'hoax' and 'fake news!' The next county over has been much harder hit. A funeral director was featured on the evening news, proclaiming that most of the 'covid deaths' he sees are not covid deaths at all. My immediate question: how on earth does he come to that conclusion? He embalms people and arranges them in a casket. What is his proof for such an assertion? His words were disseminated, falling on the ears of people eager to hear that validation from 'an expert'.
A recent letter to the editor claimed that there have only been 9000 cases of actual covid. Everyone else has died from some other cause, but the numbers are inflated as part of some national conspiracy. . I responded quickly it. A letter filled with such lies and misinformation should have never seen the light of day. I suggested that letter writers should be held to the same standards of truth that a reporter would be, especially about a critical issue like covid. I ended it with: 'If a someone living with cancer is struck by a car, they have have not died of their 'underlying condition', but from injuries incurred from being hit by that car.' My letter was published. Anxious to clear his name, the letter writer shot back with a lie claiming his numbers were taken directly from the CDC website, misinformation that was once again published.
In disbelief, I sent off another letter highlighting the CDC's figures and that he was simply reinterpreting those numbers to fit in with his own biases. This is, by definition, the 'fake news' that he was railing against. We are living in strange days: 'fake news' has become the actual facts. The 'truth' has become those facts reworked to fit a preconceived notions.
The editor's response came back refusing to publish my letter because only one letter per month was allowed. That rule was ignored for the original letter writer.
So there you have it. People very often don't mask here, and it has become very political. Say what you will, argue how you want, but these folks are almost without exception the same people who idolize our president.
I have my signs, and I have a private group where local like-minded folks come to vent and despair and to find encouragement, It has picked up more and more members. The uptick is encouraging. I find myself clinging to the belief that we are not so far gone as a nation that we would reelect trump. However, back in 2016, I was just as firm in my belief that he would not be elected in the first place.
I find that I wake up in the night sometimes with such a feeling of dread, a crushing sense of impending doom. That is not my nature. I lay there in the middle of the night, analyzing the whys and trying to logic my way out of these feelings. Sometimes, if I cannot, I get up and come to the computer for a while, to have a cold drink of water and to roam on line.
I have rediscovered blog reading. The blog of a weaver lead me to a blog of an elderly widow, which led me to a Welsh hospice worker, which led me to a gentleman who lives in France, and on and on ad infinitum.
I couldn't tell you where all I have been, but what a breath of fresh air it is to get these tiny glimpses of life beyond the controversies, these brief assurances that others out there are dealing with these strange days in their own resolute ways. They are humans being, that's all, but their little stories make me smile. I try leave encouraging comments and click on another blog chosen from their blog list and continue on my way.
And so, I thank you all, both my 'old' blog friends, and the new. You are a welcome distraction to me and respite in these trying times. I am grateful.