Day 4 – Eyes Like Spooked Horses

It all changed within a week. It changed so fast.

We stay home now. Or, we’re supposed to. Many people don’t, or can’t stay home.

The streets are silent at inappropriate times. Indoors, with our screens — our remote digital eyes — we watch a hysterical world.

The poor have been the first to get it. Many service industry jobs collapsed this week under enforced quarantines.

Do we owe an apology to the tinfoil-hat-wearing doomsday preppers?

Online, some people make memes. Humor is usually a good way to cope with uncertainty and fear. As the weeks go on the memes become less funny. But at least we’re laughing. Right?

A few questions:

Are the optimists right? Will this blow over in a few weeks? Or are they canaries whistling in a coal mine?

Do we owe an apology to the tinfoil-hat-wearing doomsday preppers?

Within a week the remote “work from home” scenario began to feel trivial. The spreadsheets and emails that I convinced myself constituted something suddenly felt like nothing, really. Not compared to the basics of food, water, shelter, and safety.

The base animal instincts of self-preservation are starting to kick in for most of the population. In retail stores and grocery stores (both open for now) there’s a palpable anxiety. Folks have eyes like spooked horses.

With fear, and counterbalanced against it, I see the the highest human ideals emerge. I see examples of nobility, deep calm, prayers for peace, and altruism. These are the spiritual tools most effective at quelling hysteria.

Now I watch.

Now we all wait to see what happens next.

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