This is a revision of “We all Have It: Covid 19.” Posted more than 2 months ago. If you want to skip to the major revisions, read the last few sentences. Smaller revisions are within the body of the text.
The hardest part of catching a virus is when it’s coming on…you feel terrible, you start making all kinds of plans to deal with getting sick, cancelling obligations, re-arranging work. Your head buzzes with infection. You panic You’re mad and sick at the same time; you’re mad at yourself for getting sick, for having a break in your immune system. You curse your army, your fortress of protection for failing at their jobs. Your soldiers have fallen down on the field, even though you’ve worked hard to keep them in shape.
You’re mad that you have to do all this scrambling. So many details, you’re overwhelmed in 2 seconds. You don’t know how long it’s going to last. And you’re sick. You feel like shit. You’re weakened, compromised and confused.
You try to stay calm. You know that viruses run their courses. You tell yourself to surrender to mother nature, look forward to immunity in the future, the silver lining because you know that’s all you can do. You try to hunker down and accept the fact that you’re sick. Just BE SICK, and accept. Try to think of it as an new way of being, a new organization of the self, perhaps opportunity for reflection, even reflection.
You try. And you try some more and this just makes it all worse.
This feeds the fever–it’s getting worse.
The virus blossoms to its full self… you lose more sleep, you lose a few pounds, you lose your pride, you lose all semblance of “joie.” You curse and complain, you whine, you feel sorry for yourself. You blame others! Shame on all of them! all of THEM. You wonder if this virus will kill you? You begin to think it’s your fault, because you skipped that extra workout at the gym, you shouldn’t have eaten all those Dorritos. You feel like a failure. You’re sick. You fall. Into Depression.
You worry about others in your immediate circle… you want company because you feel so shitty, but you don’t want to be a jerk and ask people to expose themselves to your illness. You don’t want anyone to bring you any new germs either. You have no energy to do anything, you lament the hours you’re “wasting.” You watch TV, but that makes you feel worse for lots of reasons. The people on daytime TV seem to know you’re laid up and they play to your worst impulses — pummeling you with ads about medicines and filling the screen with insidious programming. They feed your fever and they numb you with narcotics.
You’re almost dysfunctional.
A day passes, a week? You lose track of time.
You hunker further down — surrender responsibility. You start praying.
But then…something happens…you imagine something. Something in the future. You begin to hope that…
You sweat. Something breaks… the fever. Some destructive pattern is waning. .
The army is more efficient, the fortress walls are getting fresh brick and mortar. There’s a bit of a lift in your heels… small energy pockets are renewed and released into your bloodstream. You’re getting an organic blood transfusion as your army gets on their feet, weapons in hand, ready to tackle the enemy. The battle continues, but something is different now. Your foot soliders begin to get the upper hand. You can feel the rush of fresh energy. It’s called Hope. You want this hope…
The hope builds upon itself, and soon the soldiers are pumped with enthusiasm – they fight with vim and vigor, getting the advantage in the fight. Hooray ! Joy! Maybe a thrill.
You start to be assured…yes! I have resistance…I have regained control Yes! Yes! …I will beat the enemy. Yes! I will win. We will win. We will triumph! Mother nature? Bah! Humbug. Fuck the science! we have WILL POWER. We have the NARRATIVE
in our imaginations.
We have the hope there too –this confidence has its own momentum, it defies physics –or– does it obey physics? either way, we don’t care, as long as it WORKS.
ACTION/REACTION. The curve begins to have a completed shape…Another rise, another fall,
symmetry in nature. It’s a rhythm thing.
It’s a vibration, a sound wave, a moment to realize:
we’re lucky. We can heal.
May 20, 2020 BIG Revision here— see strike throughs above.
Forget the Symmetry in Nature! It’s less clean, less predictable, less clear. The curve has not fallen in direct response. It’s still action/reaction, it’s still a rhythm thing. But it’s no symmetry baby… we so are fucking lopsided now, we’re swimming in confusion.
And this song, this “rhythm thing” is no ballad, nor an upbeat melody today. It is a dirge.
We’re NOT lucky. And we don’t know …how, when, and IF we can heal.
Still…we hope. And construct another narrative. We revise and revise and revise.