Saturday, May 23, 2020

Waiting. Watching. Breathing.

Belmont Inn, Portland OR - art on boarded windows.
photo by Dot. May 2020

So much and nothing to say. As life continues and the world continues to turn and yet we are pausing - some of us - we are watching - some of us - we are present - some of us. And yet we are holding back, holding on, waiting, wondering: where is it safe to go? who is safe and who is not? how long before people feel safe? before I feel safe?

Safety has a new measure.

Safety being a measurement after 60 - 80 % of the people have had the virus and have antibodies. Herd immunity. Like cattle, like livestock, measure us in percentage of illness survival.

How do we quantify the percentage of dead? How many dead before it's safe to return?

What are we returning to? More accurately, what are we phasing in and will we know if it's working before it's too late? I mean, pretty much everyone agrees that phasing in, that reopening, is going to increase the number of infected and the numbers who become critical and yet we must move forward. So how do we count the infected? those hospitalized and some in ICU? the dead?

So much more to say and yet, nothing. Nothing which hasn't be already said.

This pandemic and our response to it is not about me or you. It is about Us. This is an Us situation. Not an Us versus Them. Everything which I do has the potential to affect You - your health, your family's health, your neighbor's health, which affects your health and my health and my family's health.

I know this is hard for the "have it your way" culture this nation has worked hard to build. I also know that this pandemic calls for respect and cooperation and acceptance of shared responsibility.

I also know that we are in this pandemic together, absolutely, and that does not mean that everyone is being treated equally or affected equally. Repeated stories have shown that some groups of people are suffering more than others - and I don't mean that in terms of who gets sick or in ICU. The stories are there, if you look. Racism and classism are present in how people and communities are affected.

I live in the last county in Oregon to enter into Phase I or reopening; the projected date is June 12th, if all goes well.

Waiting. Watching. Breathing.