Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I didn’t expect ‘doom’ to be so exhausting

     “Impending doom.”
     I read the words aloud to my wife.
     “Now there’s a phrase that you just don’t see very much,” I continued. “I wonder if other things ‘impend.’ Or is it just doom?”
     She started to read something on her phone. The winds buffeted the old house, which groaned like a clipper ship rounding the Horn Monday night, as we fished the internet for news which, despite an upswing in positive developments — vaccines rolling out more and more, weather improving, that ship stuck in the Suez Canal finally freed — suddenly seems grim.
     “The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of ‘impending doom’ from a potential fourth surge of the pandemic,” I read. “CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, appeared to fight back tears as she pleaded with Americans to ‘hold on a little while longer’ and continue following public health advice, like wearing masks and social distancing, to curb the virus’s spread.”
     When government officials start to cry, that’s usually bad, right? Despite everything that’s gone on for the past ... ah ... year plus, the people in charge do not generally weep.
     Wasn’t it only last week we had turned the corner and were ready to skip into springtime? Robins twittering, tank cars of vaccines rumbling across the country, the buds on the saucer magnolia just beginning to emerge fat and pink? That is not necessarily good either — the weather is supposed to drop into the mid-20s Wednesday and Thursday. If the blooms come out too early, and the temperature plummets, those blossoms can get burned, and the blossoms are not luxurious and pink, adding a week of festivity to springtime, but brown, like burnt marshmallows stuck on the ends of twigs, an omen, a foretaste of autumn and death when spring has barely begun.

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  1. Impending?

    The doom has been swirling around for a year now. Lost lives of our family members and fellow citizens ,wrecked health both physical and mental. Crushed relationships and lost businesses. Financial stress and ruin.

    I'm glad for those who's lives were not upended . Those who could work from home and didn't lose their home. Those who's incomes were not disrupted. Those who got the jab before they were infected by the virus .

    The millions of us who had to swim in the sewer everyday to provide for our families , risk and damage our health , move in the midst of the pandemic exhausting our resources in the process didn't even notice the blooms in the photo let alone have the time or energy to contemplate the philosophical connection to the pleas of a governmental spokesperson on the verge of tears whistling into the hurricane of human misery witnessed by all experienced by too many warning of more yet to come.

    I hope this plague doesn't touch anyone or those they love. But it will. Unfortunately mostly the most vulnerable and resourcless will continue to bear the brunt of the continued doom .

    Reading about the plight of those who have shared experiences of death, infection , long symptoms, inability to get a jab while not comforting makes one feel less alone. Loneliness being one of the most difficult aspects of the last year.

  2. As a physician formerly assigned to attend the sick and dying of Covid 19 Dr. Walenski perhaps has a different perspective on what constitutes impending doom than the rest of us.
    In any case, this has led me to my Unabridged Dictionary to confirm a suspicion -- aroused by William the Conqueror's "Doomsday Book" -- that it didn't always mean what it does today. A word of Germanic origin referring simply to the final judgement of a court. something not appealable. Like so many terms it later became tangled up with Biblical associations and was assigned the meaning of an awful end of things.

    Yes it was a bitch of a wind yesterday, wasn't it.



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