Two Pandemics

4

October 28, 2021- The viral scourge is ebbing, around these parts and in several other locations around the globe. In other areas, the stubborn Delta strain is proving to be far more than just a nuisance that keeps people from living the lives they had planned. It is, in those areas, a reminder that nothing can be accomplished, in the long run, without a personal commitment to healthful living. Without a robust immune system, any microbe can take root and develop into a “Superbug”. Fortunately, there are advances in organic diets and bona fide natural supplements that can help us to build such immune systems.

There is another pandemic, that of intolerance and false certitude. This is the pandemic of illiberalism, and it infects those on both ends of the political spectrum. We see it in the national governments of several countries-again, both ultraconservative and progressive. We see it in the pronouncements, on and offline, of authoritarian mindsets. I see it in the people who have turned on me, for making honest comments that don’t mesh with their own narrow views of how the world should be. Again, the only remedy for this is a robust immune system: Imperviousness to personal attacks, sudden emotional shutdowns and backs turned; a groundedness that sees one through attempts by others to shun and isolate.

I have had two doses of Moderna vaccine-at the behest of both my employer, Educational Services Incorporated and of the American Red Cross, with which I volunteer my services. Quite honestly, I feel no difference in my health and might possibly have managed to not become infected, given a commitment to using natural supplements and largely keeping to an organic diet. Yet, minimizing even that risk-even if it means running afoul of those who oppose the vaccinations, is not altogether a bad thing.

In adhering to my personal values, it has been reassuring to avoid being swept up in the political maelstroms that go in both directions and collide in the middle. I have lost friends on both the Right and on the Left-people who claim to love God above all else and others who claim to be filled with love for humanity. That love is very short-lived indeed, when they are faced with those of differing opinions. It all boils down to how one views the world.

So, ask yourselves- Which is most important: Loving people as they are and gently encouraging them to do better, or hammering people, relentlessly, until they toe the line you have drawn? I have a feeling that each knows the answer.

Crossing The River

2

April 26,2020-

The forecast called for no more than two inches of rain, last week.

We planned to take the footbridge,

across the Avalon River.

Imagine everyone’s surprise,

when ten inches fell.

Officials told us,

to stay indoors,

as the flooding was uncontrollable,

and besides,

more rain was now

in the forecast.

Some headed out,

heedless of what

they regarded as

pointless interference.

Yet, the bridge was washed away.

A few took small boats.

Others tied one another to ropes,

and set out on foot.

Still others tried to swim across.

Then, there were those who

tried to pole vault,

or do parkour.

Some drowned,

others were thrown

against the rocks.

still others made it

across,

and developed hydrophobia.

I waited a week,

and saw the waters recede.

As I set out, life jacket in hand,

I heard the voices of  those

who stayed in their homes.

“Go back inside”, they shouted,

“there could be ten more inches,

next Tuesday!”

I kept on,

crossed in a sturdy boat,

and reached the opposite bank,

without incident.

(Tuesday came,

and brought three more inches

of rain.

In the aftermath,

the communities co-operated

and built a bridge,

string enough to withstand

a 1000-year deluge.)