When Negative is Positive.
MY RESULTS came back this afternoon. Eight long days after the test (Nevada’s low taxes at work). Whoopee! I’m Covid free. So, now what?
What with our local infection rates raging exponentially, like much of the country, it seems my quarantine was just good practice. After all this, I’m thinking that being reckless and stupid would really be reckless and stupid. So I’m celebrating at home, at my keyboard. Maybe I should type IN ALL CAPS!!!???
Thanks for all your kind comments and concerns. Much appreciated. This virus is incredibly dangerous and easy to catch. And it can be hard to recover from: nearly twenty percent are diagnosed with new or increased mental health issues; many more are diagnosed with organ damage, blood clots and chronic fatigue that may linger for years. Please remain mindful and careful. I’ll try to do the same. It’s not easy.
That a significant minority of Americans choose to believe Covid is a hoax is disheartening and perhaps more terrifying than the disease itself. Literally millions are putting themselves, their families and communities, and potentially their dedicated front line caregivers at grave risk for a junkie’s high of smug self-aggrandizement. It’s an unimaginable jubilation of willfully ignorant arrogance. And all the more reason to be hyper-vigilant even if, like me, you are dreading yet another day of caution and confinement. Or should I say, “especially if…”
So stay safe. Be well. It’s a jungle out there…
To Know or Not to Know…
IT’S A waiting game.
Ten days ago, I spent an hour with a friend in his basement shop routing some boards for a home project. He’d gotten a Covid test that morning because it was required by his job, not because he’d been exposed. Or so he thought. His test came back positive a week later, although fortunately he remains asymptomatic. Consequently, I’ve had to quarantine while I wait for my test results—in yet another week.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
I was surprised to notice a difference, since I/we have been mostly hunkered down since April as it is. Maybe this was just that last turn of the screw, last nudge to the edge of the abyss. I now feel a bit listless, purposeless, adrift, floating on an ocean of depression—not in it, but on it; conscious of it. I keep busy, but am aware I’m keeping myself busy; not quite the same as being engrossed. It’s an effort.
We are social animals. Zoom helps, but isn’t the same as being together. I wonder about prisoners in solitary confinement, how they cope or don’t cope. Compared to them, I’m living in splendor and yet still feel like I’m slowly sinking.
Unless I test positive, my confinement ends Thursday (otherwise, the following Thursday). Odds are I’ll survive my mini ordeal, but it has been a profound reminder of how we are all connected, all needing the ebb and flow of human interaction to thrive.
The American myth of rugged individualism is neither true nor life affirming. Not that it’s going to change anytime soon; myths run deep. But truth, it seems, runs even deeper.
YOU MAY have heard the President taunted Covid-19 one time too many, ending up in Walter Reed Hospital while bringing down several senior White House advisors and Republican leaders with him. As if a world record of 208,000 deaths in six months and stubbornly rising numbers of new infections were not enough to get their attention or respect. They weren’t. They may never be. What can I say? A virus doesn’t care what anybody believes.
Climateers Shift Gears
I’VE CHANGED the upcoming weekly Climateers cartoons on Instagram to a simple voting message up to the election. Here’s a sneak preview…
The more traditional comic style will return after the election—or so I hope. Seemed more appropriate to laser-focus on voting right now because it’s game over for climate (and civilization as we know it) if we allow the President and his Petroleum Party to somehow seize another term (even from an immovable 10-12 point deficit).
The facts are in; we are approaching our final climate tipping point in the next ten years or less. If we squander the next four, our slide into catastrophic climate change will be irreversible.
INSPIRED BY the pergola kit from Lowe’s we installed in our backyard last year, I designed and built a trellis to match for the front. Although a redwood tree was harmed in the process, our intentions are green. Besides softening the view of the cul-de-sac from our breakfast nook, the honeysuckle and clematis starts on either end will eventually double as a hummingbird magnets and triple as a carbon sink. Or so I like to think.
Thing is, there has to be more to life than mobilizing against our mindless slide into climate catastrophe. Not much more, but even a little bit of gracious affirmation goes a long way. So, here’s to life while it lasts…
Putting Fun Back in Fundamental Change.
THE CLIMATE crisis is, generally, not very funny. And talking about it is, generally, no fun at all. So why not combine the two and see what happens; like multiplying two negative numbers? How that creates a positive number is still beyond me, but apparently it does. So I did, and this is what happened…
The “Casey and Claus” cartoon strip will be a weekly posting on our Climateers Instagram site. The hope, of course, is that it attracts more students to engage in climate action—including motivating their parents and grandparents to also engage. Could be a good thing.
Posted Wednesday mornings on Climateers
“Casey” (a kind of cool, gender-neutral name) is the blue “Climateer” and “Claus” is his trusty dog (and generator of subordinate clause punchlines). The PhotoShop-based template I built will simplify production—less than two hours per cartoon, start to finish. That’s manageable. Hope you enjoy them.
See you in the funny papers.
Sharing a Facebook Post.
MOST OF my FB posts are fairly pedestrian, but this one seemed to capture what I’ve been trying to say and do to inspire (cajole?) environmental engagement—so I wanted to share it beyond a small circle of Facebook friends. Maybe it will help? Ya never know. Goes like this:
“Five million acres burned, thousands of homes destroyed, dozens dead or missing, half a million evacuated, no end in sight. And we’re only in the beginning of the 2020 fire season. This is what hope without action looks like…”
What else can I say?
…as if your life depended on it.
YOU MAY have heard there’s an election coming up. It’s true—although it may turn out to be more of an exorcism. We shall see. And perhaps, endure.
That being said, it’s probably no surprise that for me—along with the survival of the few remaining democratic principles America started with—climate remains the clincher. No climate stability, no civilization; sooner rather than later. And climate is no longer stable. The evidence for that is everywhere.
In response, Climateers, our fledgling, do-it-yourself activist group, is urging its followers to “Vote Climate” with a series of postings I designed, ending on election day. Here are a few samples:
You can see the series as it appears, every Friday until the election, by following Climateers on Instagram. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s the right thing to do.
And if you like one, please share it.
It’s up to me. And it’s up to you…