Last Friday I stubbed my little toe, (well it, and the one next it, as it turns out) and now, they and that part of my foot, has turned a lovely purple/green colour and are very, very, sore … probably some cracked, if not broken, bones.
It’s funny isn’t it, that until we do even the smallest of damage to our appendages we don’t fully appreciate just how much we need ’em.
I’m not going to get my foot x-rayed, or go anywhere near our regional hospital at the moment. For one thing there’s nothing the medical establishment can do for my tootsies that, with a modicum of common sense, I can’t do for myself … and …a local outbreak of Covid-19 was traced back to the hospital and until they get a clean bill of health, I’m staying away.
In the early days of the known outbreak, I say ‘known’ because the more time goes by the more we learn that the virus was out in the world earlier than first thought. Current estimates have it hovering somewhere around December of last year.
What were you doing in December of 2019? I bet you weren’t social-distancing, or wearing a mask, or self-isolating if you felt a bit ‘flu-y’.
Anyway … In the early days of the known outbreak, I started keeping tabs on the global confirmed numbers registered on the John’s Hopkins website. In hindsight it was a way for me to make sense of the horrific tragedy that I knew was coming even back then. I check, every night, around midnight.
The first date was the 8th March – 103,369 confirmed cases, an increase of 3,923 from the day before. (those numbers seem almost like a fairytale now don’t they?)
From there it took 23 days to reach one million. Yesterday (Monday) the total was nine million, and only 7 days before it was eight million. The average infection rate, at the moment, is about 150,000. Per day. (the actual rate of infections is probably ten times those ‘official’ figures)
When you look out your window, does the world look normal to you?
The view from my desk is still of the Summer Tree, the green grass of our front yard, (which in this humid weather we’re having right now is growing like gangbusters, and isn’t going to get mowed any time soon – see above-mentioned broken toes), and the wee lad across the way who has progressed from trotting to a flat-out run-waddle.
The global climate crisis hasn’t gone away. Once things get back to ‘normal’, pollution, sea, and temperature, levels will continue to rise, and ecosystems will continue to experience catastrophic collapses.
I can walk out to the garden and pick strawberries that are sweet and juicy, and know that in a few weeks the blueberries too will be ripe for the picking, and we’ll go ‘hedge-harvesting for blackberries along our road (my toes better be all healed up by then!) after that.
Will we experience food shortages in Autumn and Winter? Not here, perhaps, but what about countries where people are already running drastically short of food, medicine, fresh water, etc?
This dichotomy troubles me. Not all the time, that way lies madness, and no-one can hold the enormity of what we, as a species, are facing, for long and stay sane.
It troubles me because there are times I don’t give a flying fuck about the enormity of what we are facing. All I want to do is nurse my broken toes, make something nice for dinner, read a book, write some words in my next story, and forget that anything else exists … but, thankfully those times don’t last very long either
Is this denial, grief?
We strive for balance in our lives, don’t we? Balance between things, whatever they may be, that are important to us. And yet on some level we know that that balance, once achieved, is fleeting. It never lasts, then we teeter off in another direction, perhaps far, perhaps not too far at all.
So, I teeter this way and that, and thus far, I haven’t stubbed my broken toes on anything else.