The social isolation imposed on us since the Covid-19 appeared has not been too bad. I am a bit of a loner anyway and since my hip surgery in November I have been sticking pretty close to home. However, human nature being what it is, I admit to not minding staying home when it is my idea, but when someone else tells me to, that is a little different. On the lighter side I got to thinking I perhaps needed some human company when I was almost homicidal over a squirrel who has been devouring my bird feed when I am not watching. I am perhaps reaching a dangerous level of too much time alone with nature? At these junctures I am very grateful for the phone calls and points of contact with family and friends.
I live on the road to Makoshika Park and that has been busy. The wildness of the park is perfect for people to walk, hike, walk dogs, run and be far away from people. I see mommas with baby buggies, families walking kids and the dog, bikers. We are fortunate it is Spring and the weather is cooperating so we can be outside. Living in Montana, especially eastern Montana these days is a real plus. Social isolation and distancing is what we do best. I was so pleased when our Governor Steve Bullock put directives into place early on in the hopes of getting us ahead of the game as a state. He raised our awareness and that has been a good thing. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also shown a lot of leadership with the huge problems he has in New York. I am beginning to think there should be a “draft Cuomo” movement for the Democratic nomination. Other governors as well have really accepted the challenge of leadership and those states who have governors like that are fortunate indeed.
It is difficult to believe there are still people who fail to see this epidemic for the great danger it is. There are even some who seem to shrug their shoulders and say, “Yes, some will die, but it is more important people keep working” or “let’s not overdo the assistance package.” They fail to recognize this is a “new normal” and this year of the Corona Virus 2020 will be a turning point for us as a nation much as was 9/11 2001. Those people who lived through the flu epidemic of 1918, the drought and depression of the 1930s and World War II and Viet Nam were marked for life. Experiences like these change the way you look at the world.
One author, Wanda Urbanska who wrote Heart of Simple Living, outlined some ways our perspective can change for the better. Her book outlines four tenets for critical times — environmental stewardship; thought consumption; community involvement; and financial responsibility. Part of the change comes because we now have “time” to think, to just be, to spend time with ourselves which is not a bad place to be. “Humans have peace of mind, freed time, and a sense of belonging, self-worth and accomplishment when we have taken frugality up with the same passion with which we sought wealth. The desire to survive may stir that passion in us when we fully realize that doing more of what we have been doing is fatal.”
Air pollution levels in Italy have dropped significantly since people must stay home. Even water pollution has eased in some places. While fighting the epidemic and doing what we can to save lives, could the epidemic be an indicator that we will perhaps take a second look at how we live and think and act and adjust that indicator for the betterment of our society and the world.