Life in the Rearview
Life in the Rearview
By E.M. Fredric
March 23, 2020 – Headline: News Propaganda Is Rarely Questioned Amid Global Pandemic of Covid-19, the Coronavirus… As I walked this morning, fully prepped with my raincoat, mittens - that I spray with disinfectant before leaving my place and wash and disinfect upon arrival – I wore my hat I bought a few years ago, dubbed the “terrorist cap” by my girlfriend who refused to walk with me at the time. She was afraid we’d get shot walking the streets in Los Angeles. We laughed about it at the time but it wasn’t blatantly implausible in our over-reactive world today.
I bought the hat to help prevent sun damage and keep mosquitoes at bay during summer hikes and then along comes the pandemic Coronavirus - instantaneously making my headgear - a fashion statement. From terrorist to pandemically prepared!
What a difference a minute, hour and day makes during these horrific but survivable times. At first embarrassed to wear it - within weeks I’m greeted – at a safe distance on the streets – with friendly hellos or… stared at. That lessens by the day.
I need to walk, work-out and stretch my limbs for both pain control and to sedate the voices that tell me things are completely doomed – whether it’s my own thoughts or ones planted by the news or through well-meaning friends sending videos or sound bytes. You know the ones, it usually starts with “my friend” in the Pentagon, or military or CDC (insert British accent on that one) giving us insider information (my favorite is the CIA) – new info that NO ONE has to help keep you and yours safer and alive if you’ll only forward it. The PANDEMIALS are going to have stories to tell! Yesiree… Pandemials are the next generation of babies born to parents during Covid-19 and they’ll be ingrained with family tales as we all were – depending on your generation and what photos they’ll have to look back on.
Where they were born, how they were delivered, how they were conceived. Wild stories they should be and I’m sitting here reading a quick message the LA District Attorney Requests Temporary Custody of Harvey Weinstein a day after he reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus (none of his reps will confirm or deny) but somehow it’s important NYC release him so he can be tried in LA? He’s already gotten 23 years but this during a pandemic it is now deemed critical that he be transferred to face trial. Last I heard all the courthouses were shut down. My attorney friend left the state to be in a less dense population until things get better. But I’m veering off… just wants to make me want to scream and so should you. Just to release stress – go ahead, scream, no one’s coming for you… yet. I’m kidding or save it for another Podcast right?
This virus, like many addictive diseases knows no boundaries of gender, ethnicity, race or class and makes me wonder if there will be a slew of OCD meetings on over-cleaners in the future like I’ve speculated (tongue-in-cheek) that thumb doctors will become a new specialty in medical schools from all the rapid/vapid texting learned by kids straight outta-the-womb. Going around the room one can almost hear the stories beginning with, “My parents had sex in a food bank.”
“I was conceived in a park, in the dark during stay-at-home city warnings.”
“Really? I was too but it was a closed one and my mom said they had NO oral contact. Doesn’t really matter at least we were born with immunity!”
“My obsessive cleaning is ruining my relationship with my older boyfriend, he doesn’t understand why I have to wash my hands 20 times a day?! WTH?!”
“I was born in a tent in a parking lot while my dad watched on his cellphone… remember those? I know… so 2020, right?”
“Oh wow, my parents conferenced my birth, their wedding and divorce on an iPad! The doctor wasn’t even in the room!”
“Yeah, well my aunt sneezed on a metro platform and was shot dead-in-the-head by a social distancer!”
Oh, those Pandemials…
I noticed the lines are less frantic today – less than nine days ago the local Trader Joe’s was so packed I walked in, saw lines to the back of the store and exited. Science Fiction becoming reality. Everywhere news showed stories of blatantly obesive fights over toilet paper and other cleaning goods at local markets. I even saw a man filling up a 5-gallon plastic container of gas with a haunted look in his eyes as ours met at the station’s pumps.
What I have taken real note of is how this earth seems to be healing visually. The air is cleaner, the plants in the wild seem brighter and happier… maybe we all could take a cue from that. Yeah life right now as it stands is beyond difficult and the isolation is sometimes intolerable but if you pick up a phone - not text - pick up a phone and call someone so they can HEAR your voice – you might find it helps you more than it helps them. I just know that yesterday I heard from friends I haven’t heard from in some time and they’re all going through variations of hard times whether it’s the finances, health or a parent is at end-of-life.
If you don’t remember the ’92 Riots that set Los Angeles ablaze, Waco, the ’94 Earthquake, OJ Simpson - other than you couldn’t watch Barney the dipshit purple dinosaur that made parents go insane or the Kansas City Bombing – maybe you recall 911 or the bombing of the Boston Marathon as one of so many tragic atrocities this country has faced in the past three decades and the many decades before, dependent on your birth in the generational pecking order. What am I saying you would have to own an attention span to read this or anything I write so you’re not a Millenial – pass it anyway.
I bet they would like the idea of having a Pandemial as a term for their kids. I would!
Remember this. We will survive this virus as we continue to survive the spreading of hate and false information and hopefully, just maybe we might become less divided by it all. A divided nation we need not be to the extent that we’ve become. We’re better than that… one can at least hope and dream… I do. A famous and wonderful leader once talked about that and I think right now it goes for every single one of us. Be nicer and love more and give invisible hugs throughout this virtual world we reside in wherever and whenever you can! It does and will make a difference.