Letters from the Quarantine
Inspiration for Living Through This
Remember these words of Nietzsche:
“That which does not kill me makes me stronger.”
March 29, 2020
This is the fifth day since our County Judge, Clay Jenkins mandated shelter in place for the residents of Dallas County to mitigate the effect of the outbreak of the coronavirus and the appearance of covid-19 illnesses and fatalities. Many of the residents of the county have been in self-imposed sheltering for days before that.
The Pandemonium of Covid-19
As I sit pondering the meaning of all that has happened since the coronavirus went from an ocean away curiosity to a full-blown, nation-hopping pandemic. What a word, pandemic. When this word surfaced recently as the extent of the viral dispersal became shockingly apparent, I was reminded of my world literature class when we read John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost.” In the poem, Milton named the capital of Hell, Pandemonium. The meaning is literally “the place of all demons.” In modern parlance, it has come to mean “chaotic uproar.” The coronavirus impact is not far from having the same effect of spreading discord and confusion across the planet.
Living the Memes of Quarantine: Binging on TV Shows, Games, and Humor; Homeschooling
Melody and I have been bingeing on The Wire on Amazon’s Prime Video during our household incarceration. In the third season, the corner drug dealers on the mean corners of Baltimore were hawking their wares using the code word “pandemic” for their drugs. How appropriate. Drugs were a plague in Baltimore and now the coronavirus is a plague on all our houses in the US.
The extent of forced idleness has made it a necessity to consider ways to pass the time. Most of us have been entertained by the blossoming of quarantine-themed memes on the Internet. Some of us are fascinated by conspiracy theories such as the virus is a form of biological warfare cleverly developed and dispersed by China. Others have turned to composing songs that either parody our battles with cabin fever or sanctify the virtues of our suffering like the song composed and sung by Willie Nelson and his three sons. Punsters have had fun with coining words such as “Quarantini” to emphasize the possibility of self-medication for boredom with alcoholic beverages.
This forced stay at home with school-age children has also summoned some of the best humor of the hour for parents trying to teach school-based assignments at home. Such as the mother of three school-age sons who reported after the first day of homeschooling that by 9:30 a.m., all three had been suspended for fighting and she was taking the next day off.
The hours-long spell sitting before the TV screen listening to the latest statistics of the numbers of coronavirus infected and the number who have succumbed to the complications of the disease is emotionally exhausting. We have found that after these disconcerting numbers have been repeated in various forms for the fifth or sixth time, we have the need to escape to our binge-watching of The Wire. Or, when we really want an escape, we visit the sane-by-comparison mugging of Steve Harvey on Family Feud. It is important to care for ourselves by laughter and mindfulness of when we need to take some quiet time to regroup if only for a moment before getting the next snack.
We will return with more letters from the Quarantine.
Be the light,
Fred Zuker, 3/28,2020
Fred wanted me to post this for him.
Fred Zuker has written letters telling what it is like to shelter in place as protection from Covid-19.
Naturally, I edited it a bit to suit my style of blogging. Headings are mine, as is the repositioning of the inspirational quote. I also found a cute teddy bear and a vacant street scene just for the memes of the day. (I also found a toilet paper visual meme, but decided it did not suit the current letter of Fred’s.)
The teddy bear was found on Wikimedia.com and carries the Creative Commons, Public Use License. Should you use the image, be sure to include the credit and the Creative Commons license information.