While Covid19 is trying to (and being quite good at it I must say) wreak havoc in our country and around the world, we the people are trying to (and doing a darn good job at it too 😉) get ready for what may be the largest lock-down I, for one, have ever known. My friend Silvanus, a gifted musician and writer, has decided to write down his emotions, anxieties, and responses to it in an Isolation Journal. Reflections will be publishing the daily rant for you to read. Well written and interesting musings, entertaining, they are offered to for free.
Anyway, before I leave you your reading, I can but stress the importance of practicing Social Distancing when not ill; Practice self-isolation and self-quarantine if you have been in contact with an infected person. This is bigger than ourselves. While you may be able to fight it and beat it, someone else may not. When in doubt, check the websites of the WHO @ https://www.who.int/; the CDC @ https://www.cdc.gov/. Follow their guidlines. Again, practice social distancing and stay home if you are sick. Keep all family members home too. And while at-home, practice social distancing. We want to beat this virus. And to do this we must adhere to specific strict rules! Take those rules seriously. It is only for a while. It does not matter if people think you are overreacting. I say, better safe than sorry. For now, Enjoy the Isolation Journal. Give us your thoughts. We may not be able to assemble as we are used to, but we are all interconnected through the internet. So why not use it to combat cabin fever, anxiety, isolation …. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Read, listen to music, do yoga, cook, bake, watch movies, jump up and down, if you are allowed, walk .... Just be. Think. Breathe. Be Happy.
Until next time, peoples of the page … Be kind. Stay safe. Namaste.
ISOLATION JOURNAL |Day One
➊Day One.➊ ➊In retrospect, it seems fitting that the first Sunday of March when the time change took effect, I had been seized by untenable anxiety that ballooned into a series of panic attacks. I had kept these in a bottle for twenty-odd years, but some undetected fear had swollen and crushed me like a tsunami.
I finally went to the emergency room at midnight, reluctantly, because I felt diminished for not having had total control of myself. There is a priest, Father Dure, in Dan Simmon's awardwinning novel of ''Hyperion,'' who finds himself darkly gifted with eternal human life and crawls upon an electrical device to hopefully kill himself. Instead, he is electrocuted, killed and resurrected over and over and over. This is what my anxiety felt like.
The doctor gave me an Ativan and sent me home to rest, then her directive to follow-up with my physician the next day. The attacks never returned, even as the week brought news of an impending shutdown of society and business-as-usual to ward off the Great Unknown designated as the Coronavirus, and being a man way into middle-age, I had been deemed as a favorite target of this new pathogen. Nevermind our leaders had equivocated in denial around protective measures for several crucial weeks to stave off marketplace pandemonium. Nevermind the winter had seemed like the most protracted and dark in decades, and one had held on with the knowledge that light would soon be here.
On this first day of Isolation, I left the Buick in my driveway and took two long walks into town and back. I live across from a cemetery, so gothic humor is second-hand to my manner of coping with Impermanence and the human condition. Of course, no one on that side of the graveyard fence seemed alarmed today, and I was reminded of an uncredited quote I had used in my first music album as a preface to a tune called "Sweet Resurrection": 'By all means pray for the Dead; it amuses them very much."
My small Southern town was barren of pedestrians. The usual loners--driving around aimlessly in their "armored vehicles" as I call them--tooled here and there in loops and circles, streaming manufactured sentiments from i❤radio, or beat-laden, dystopian, aggressive noises and howls of claims-to-power masking frustrated dreams.
From my purview, the convenience store looked empty, so I wrapped myself with a long scarf, crossed the street, and ducked in to buy some more cans of soup for my Emergency Stock, then cleaned myself with the hand sanitizer whisked from my coat as soon as the transaction had been completed.
I paused for a breather at my favorite creek. I love reflections in water so I stood there for a spell while my mind rewound images from a previous 'plague' in the Eighties and Nineties that I had relived so many times that my memories no longer enraged me as they once did. Noting the muted sky, I pulled out my phone camera and snapped a few angles of earth and sky, but everything took on some burlesque of Gothic through its lens. The bare tree was not just a tree: it was F. W. Murnau's ''Nosferatu'' stalking the city for blood. The pics that were not threatening were merely recycled junk-store Blair Witch Project.
I came home with the determination to shift my mind. I would call people, check on relatives, do my yoga, fix a healthy dinner, stay off the internet, listen to the soundtrack of "The Man Who Fell to Earth" from start-to-finish. I would not wallow. The Beast of Anxiety would not be allowed any home.
After all, I have thirteen more days of this unexpected sentence ahead of me.
© Silvanus Slaughter 2020
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Como siempre, estoy agradecido por su patrocinio.