Monday, August 30, 2021

COVID Concern Is Sapping My Tolerance

Am I getting old, lazy or both?


Chronologically, of course I am aging. Almost 72-1/2.


Mobility-wise, it’s not a question of getting lazy. Rather, I should have written, lazier.


Bursts of energy for activities that interest me remain part of my makeup. But fewer activities seem to capture a place on my To Do list (for the record, I do not have a bucket list).


Take, for example, what had been an annual chore for the last decade or more—collecting leaves to turn into mulch for Gilda’s garden. Each fall I would roam nearby streets searching for piles of leaves before city public works trucks scooped them up. Several times each autumn I’d stuff into the back of Gilda’s Ford C-Max a dozen or so big black garbage bags full of the fallen treasure, retreat to my yard and spend hours feeding the leaves into the bowel of my electric leaf shredder/mulcher. When the motor overheated I’d plug in my second shredder.


All that activity is in my past. I cleaned out the storage shed Sunday, tested each shredder, took pictures of them and posted separate offers on Freecycle.org. Within minutes members claimed each one, disappointing other would be mulchers. The winning claimants picked them up Monday.


Lest you think I am teetering on the brink of doddering, let me assure you I am not. But I will admit to BOREDOM. The never ending COVID catastrophe has robbed me, Gilda and millions of others, of a liberating, invigorating retirement (I’ve been retired for 12 years, but Gilda hung up her stethoscope in 2019 and was just hitting her stride when the pandemic kneecapped her—our—plans. In the last 12 months we cancelled trips to Portugal, Colorado, Omaha, Switzerland, and couldn’t entertain any other ventures we might have desired). There’s just so much Netflix one can watch, or material to read. 


I’m not usually a vindictive person, but when I see or read reports about anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, especially from the ranks of healthcare and public safety professionals, I silently, okay, maybe softly say out loud, that if they get COVID they should not be permitted to burden the already stressed and stretched out hospital system. Some of the antis say they trust God will take care of them, discounting the argument that God gave humans the intelligence and means to produce vaccines and pandemic-protective masks. 


Some companies have instituted higher health insurance premiums for those who have not been vaccinated. I’m all for it. Make the surcharge high enough to sway recalcitrants to roll up their sleeves. 


As a nation we have had a rough half century. Divisions over civil rights, economic and tax policies, income inequality, immigration, reproductive rights, gender discrimination, climate change, the environment, conflicts and wars in Vietnam, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Nicaragua, North Korea and other hot spots, distinguish political allegiances. 


But with COVID we have passed into a region previously sacrosanct to all but society’s fringe. Our universal belief in science and medicine has been shattered. 


A nation that defeated or contained the scourges of polio, measles, smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases has resisted in dramatic fashion the miraculous development of COVID-19 vaccines. 


People, who for years have adhered to merchant and restaurant rules to wear shoes and shirts if they want service, vocally and forcefully have challenged mask wearing in private and public enterprises. 


No one likes wearing a mask (except maybe Batman, other superheroes, and Mexican Lucha libre wrestlers). Rather than suppressing individual freedoms, as the anti-maskers contend, wearing a mask embellishes one’s freedom, as it allows people to associate with reduced anxiety of transmitting or receiving the dangerous Delta variant.


Okay. Enough preaching for one blog from an old man. Obviously, I am not getting lazier when it comes to blogging. 

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