A Plague Diary 2

Posted on March 25, 2020

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The worldwide deaths from covid-19 today surpassed 21,000.  Among them, just the other day, was the Cameroonian worldbeat star, Manu Dibango.  I go to my collection to see what I have of him.  Put it on my playlist.   Another something / someone left behind in this new sort of world we’re entering.

And here at home, we worry about how to pay the rent, and, everyday, where we’re going from here.

And downtown, the closing of the borders has cut off the supply of opioids, etc., with prices of remaining supplies going up and people getting desperate.  Somehow, desperate people on the street with addiction disorders seems contra-indicated as social planning for a plague.

And then there are the homeless, those people we somehow could never find a home for.  As the discards and castoffs of the rest of us, many of them live in a world of mutual protection. Close together and vulnerable.  Many have compromised health, not least because living on the street compromises a person’s health, and we already know that homelessness shaves decades off someone’s life expectancy.

A plague among the homeless can’t be disentangled from the fate of the rest of the city, not this time.  While the rest of us need medical services, they will need medical services, too.  The more people who need medical services, the thinner those services will be spread for all of us.

The catch.

The problem of the homeless really is ours.  Finally.

They can’t self-isolate.  The only solution involves giving them homes.

Now.  (And explaining later why it wasn’t possible before.)

And of course, the social services downtown—all the extra meals and lunches, so many of the extras and add-ons to stretch what you’ve got—have been shut down.  And you can’t even beg on the streets anymore because what’s the point of begging when the streets are empty?

We see the hungry truth of the welfare cheque.

It isn’t a safety net if it needed its own safety net.

Curious how all those problems we’ve been neglecting—which so many of us thought were the problems of other people maybe not-so-important in our scheme of things—have  been shown to be our own problems after all.

. . .

Myself, I am still among the fortunate, and entirely hiding out, looking around me anxiously, but still not feeling in my personal life the angst of a profoundly altered world, a world of new rules, a world much less ordered and predictable than the one we all so recently were living in.

In my cocoon I have music, books, my family pod, my guitar, and always chores and work to keep me busy.  My daughter for her part schemes and adapts.  My granddaughter stays near the computer.

My daughter and I (she on harmonica and vocals) are working up “Ain’t Misbehavin’”

Like Jack Horner                                                                                                                                        In the corner                                                                                                                                                Don’t go nowhere                                                                                                                                        What do I care? …..

Posted in: Covid-19