We are a week into the middle of winter and with the recent cold snap and with the snow that will be falling today and tomorrow I’m falling back into the New England mid-winter trance. Luckily without my typical commute a lot of the wear and tear on my body and mind are reduced to a reasonable level. In the past I would have to get up at 5 am and clear the snow for two hours before commuting to work and then drive home and still having to clear the rest of it in the dark before collapsing into bed. Now with my new and improved lifestyle I get up at 7 am, eat breakfast, play blocks with my granddaughter for a little while then leisurely and efficiently go out and clear the snow once it stops falling. I’ll probably break it up into two sessions with a meal in between to relieve the monotony and warm my old bones. Camera Girl has made a really excellent Chicken Butter Nut Squash Soup so I’ll be properly fortified for the second half of the operation.
In my less demanding routine I have the chance to reflect on the unfortunate aspects of this new world that we live in. Here we are almost a year into this absurd lockdown and most people in New England really believe that we are in the midst of the bubonic plague. I half expect to see the cartman leading his pony around with the pile of cadavers shouting, “bring out your dead.” The local tv coverage and the attitude of the people you meet when you do go out is that we are all struggling against unbelievable odds to survive the ravages of the Andromeda Strain. Apparently, we’re all heroes now. It sounds like the nonsense the Soviets used to spout every time the tractor factory came close to meeting the quota. “All hail the revolutionary fervor of Assembly Line B Night Shift!” When a country that did nothing about the virus like Sweden has, after a year, a slightly lower per capita death rate than a country like America, that threw all its small businesses off a cliff, you have to wonder just how detached from reality people are.
Based on the fact that California and New York are beginning to loosen the restrictions on such dangerous activities as opening your front door and breathing in the shower I am hopeful that by the end of winter we will at least be allowed to visit friends and relatives without the neighbors calling in a SWAT Team on us. And that will be big. I found that not seeing my various family members was the worst part of this travesty. And not just family. I have friends that I am dying to see face to face and share a burger and shoot the breeze with. This lockdown is harming us physically. It’s harming us mentally and it’s harming us spiritually. As I’ve mentioned I’m reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. And compared to the atrocities the Soviets perpetrated on their people even the lockdown is minor. But it is related to what they did. It is psychological warfare aimed at damaging people’s self-respect. We’re caged animals and they ratchet the punishment up and down just to torture us.
So the cold weather is a perfect symbol of the Gulag that has been built for all of us living in the blue states. Maybe now that Dementia Joe has been nailed up on his scarecrow pole in front of the White House they’ll let us free. Or maybe they won’t.
I have one exceptionally cynical old friend who claims that we right wing folk are just sheep and no matter how much abuse is heaped on us we’ll just continue to take it without doing anything more forceful than complain. He thinks that anything that’s going to happen will have to happen in a red state and even that will be in the nature of orderly and peaceable action. I’m of a different opinion. Even in the bluest of blue states, I think a point will be reached where people will revolt against this abuse. Somewhere a spark will ignite the tinder and a crowd will start a bonfire of these stupid masks and put an end to this idiocy. And I hope I happen to be nearby to join in.