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I did not want to write about this virus-time. I did not think I could.  Another piece was in my mind this week, not quite yet taking shape. But when I sat to write, the virus took my attention and I could not wrest it back.  

There are useful and funny memes online, and stories of good will and good works, and words of inspiration and comfort. And terrible stories, too. 

Mostly at a distance, we have been sharing dance and art and music, facts and opinions, cautionary tales and fairy tales. We miss hugs and doing projects and working and learning together in person.

Sometimes we are in a bubble for a while that lets us just be, free of anxiety or fear.  Sometimes we cannot get out of bed.  Sometimes we cannot sleep.  Sometimes we eat all the chocolate and sometimes we eat nothing.  We who are privileged live like this. 

We are grateful to the people who work at the jobs we need to have done even in the face of the danger and I believe we do not understand a fraction of what it costs those people.  We thank them and we acknowledge a debt and really, we have no idea how impossible it will be to repay.

This is a new version of have and have-not, not entirely different from the old one, in some ways more visible and in some ways not fully clear.

Some people say we won’t go back to what we thought of as normal, that we won’t be able to. Some think we will go right back without a moment of hesitation.

We don’t know what will happen next and we don’t know when the “next” will happen. This is always true but right now that not-knowing feels like a unique burden.  

I can find no meaning in this peculiar twist in time other than the meaning I always find, that we must be as kind to one another as we can be, always. 

This account is from one person on one day, in the midst of it all. Other accounts have been given and many more will come. Perhaps there will also be lessons for us. 

I did not want to write about this virus-time, but I could not pull my attention away from it.


Elaine Learnard
Conscience Bay Meeting

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