Is This My Last Thanksgiving?

The COVID-19 pandemic is essentially out of control in the United States. I would like to think that things are better in my state of Illinois, but the rising numbers of deaths and infections say otherwise. Tomorrow I travel downstate to bring my son home from U of I for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’ve been working from home since the beginning of 2020. I only go out as necessary, and always with a mask. I’ve done all of the things that logically one should do to minimize exposure to the virus. Sadly, I cannot really say the same for my children.

They know everything that I know to keep safe, and I have talked to them about it as well. But I also know that I cannot force them to do anything. I’m relying on them to make good choices that also take into account the needs of others. Nevertheless, they’ve had visitors here at home, while I do my best to stay far away.

My wife and I thought it best that our youngest son stay downstate rather than coming home for Thanksgiving. But he wants to come home and he also wants to see other friends as well. He lives in an off campus apartment and his school has been a leader in regular testing and contact tracing. Still that doesn’t change the fact that the most logical thing is to stay put.

I feel like the Pandemic is getting closer and closer, like a hangman’s noose closing on the condemned’s neck. I fear that my children will be the literal death of me. I hope I am wrong.


Walk of No Joy

My walk was necessary, but gave me no joy. I could see a beautiful day, but did not feel it. It was good to get outside, and long walks have been something I have enjoyed for many years. But in this Pandemic world, the mask on my face only reminds me that all is not well.

I suppose I should be used to it by now, but I’m not. I stay inside, work and game to distraction. Temptation to throw all caution to the wind. But I am too disciplined for that. I will not abandon reason. Now is not the time.

I will walk again. Perhaps I can recapture the joy.


A COVID-19 Dream of Loneliness

I’m off work today observing the July 4th holiday in the US, so I was able to sleep in a lot longer than usual which I think allowed for a particularly livid dream. In my dream, I had just arrived at a large building, grey with tall columns like a church or temple. I had been running away from some kind of altercation in a parade I was in or passing through earlier. My youngest son was a short distance behind me.

In front of the church, parked in a line of cars was a long black one that looked like a Cadillac hearse. The license plate on the back of it said “Bears Fan”. So I figured a funeral was taking place. I crossed to the church from there and was able to see inside the side of the building. Inside I saw a Black woman bathed in spotlights and dressed in a silky gold jumper and wide brimmed flat topped hat. She was dancing. I could not hear if perhaps she was singing as well.

Nearby, I saw a figure also a Black person and similarly dressed in gold sitting in a high backed chair silently and unmoving, as if watching the performance. I immediately thought that this was the deceased person. At that thought, I was overcome with grief and sadness for someone I had never known who had died all alone.

It was too much. I ran from there wailing loudly and overflowing with tears. The last thing I remember was being in a nearby building crying with my sons around me.

So many people are dying alone during this pandemic.


My Goodness, my privilege

This is the first blogging I’ve done in a while, and my first posting during the current global COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a time when I have witnessed just how incredible many of the people I know and love really are.

As for me, I must acknowledge my own incredible privilege. Just as the US was entering quarantine, state by state, I was starting a new job. A new job that as of now I’ve been working from home almost four weeks.

It took me many months to find new work. I had to draw down my savings to keep afloat. I had one interesting freelance project in that time, but still the prospects were not looking great. Then almost out of nowhere, I heard about an opening at a company that was actually doing something I could care about.

So my cup is overflowing and I must acknowledge that, and that my own efforts have played only a small part in it. So I thank the God who made me and placed around me so many people who love me. I will do my best to pass my blessings on to others and share my love with them as well. That’s really the only thing I can do for a debt far too big for me to ever pay back.