Reflections during a pandemic and my father’s passing.

I never thought I’d be writing a title like this one. We live in a world of hand sanitizer, scientific knowledge, and medicine. Pandemic was a word reserved for prepper types and stuff of fiction. But here we are. And here I sit in the room of my dying father. He is so thin and fragile yet with as strong a heart as ever. He made many a friend here during his nursing home stay.

How privileged I am to have had a good relationship with my dad. He was not a perfect man and he brought heartache to our home when alcohol ruled his mind. Yet in his senior years, his gentle attitude and willingness to accept the disability that made every task an obstacle was a lesson to us all. It goes to show that no matter our lot we can endure with grace if we so chose. He opened his home and heart to all he could. He was giving to the salvation army with his meager SS checks, forgoing expensive food so he could give back. His contrition for his past is a reminder we all have failings to atone. I have too many to name.

How is it I find myself lucky to be with him during his final hours. There are too many dying alone in wards overwhelmed by virus. A virus I only half joking wished would come.

This is a new reality, where good or bad, everyone’s actions have the potential to affect the world. Sadly it was people eating a threatened species that created the cross over corona virus outbreak. Will China learn from this? Will we change our ways or will nature be seen as an even greater threat? I had been hoping for something that would bring balance back to our cancerous human activity and population. I realize now just how callous a wish for plague is and the suffering it causes. Not only for those who are sick, but the newly unemployed by quarantine efforts.

So has this changed my view on the world? Some. As a whole we are just as much a blight on our world. Now I see my actions in that spotlight. Tourism and the unnecessary consumption of far flung materials must stop.  I’ve always found pleasure in being at home. But I may retreat ever more, to the despair of my husband who, as he gets older, is more social. But I think he too has seen enough of the world to last him.

Our man child president has waivered with economic forecasts.  His ego is bound to money and his only concern, the stock market.  This is a people first problem, and the worst time for a narcissist to be in office.  Because he knows little of the world or the president’s role, he got rid of the white house pandemic response team that would have acted way more aggressively in the beginning and saved many of the thousand US lives gone today. Short sighted and unable to follow advice, the orangutan said he wants our country open for business in two weeks. Now Sixty percent of Republicans think the response has been blown out of proportion as a political tactic to ruin the economy. They refuse to isolate.  So the Falwell religious college brought back over a thousand students in Virginia against the wishes of local and state governments. And many more are ignoring isolation orders as an act of defiance.

Today our state is on lock down. We are supposed to halt all “non-critical” travel yet I saw no change in traffic in the 25 miles I travelled to be with dad. When 80% of all industry here is labelled a critical service, the impact of a lockdown will be minimal. We started a remodeling project before the first corona case in Colorado. If we wanted, we could continue the work as remodeling is considered a critical industry. And if it were up to our contractor they would still have their subs working since they think the response is political. I asked them to watch the news coming out of Italy.

We can only hope those with the time for self reflection now will rethink their lives and seek ways to live lightly and with compassion for all those we encounter. What better way than a new found passion for gardens that seek to replace lost habitat.

Dads breathing is growing shallower now. Time to give him some of the compassion I wish to see. I love you dad. May your next journey be one of ease. 🌺

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