We’re All in This Together.

We’re all in this together. How many times have I heard that recited during some television program to inspire me to carry on social distancing as my patriotic duty? I lost count several months ago actually. To all patriots here and abroad, I want to assure you that I decided to not post any feelings about the covid crisis long ago as I fundamentally was not born equipped to deal with it. However, there is a change in the wind now…our state is one of the few left in the United States still carrying on with sheltering so I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. For that reason, and because i have had a most unreasonable last two days of sheltering…I decided my experience needed to be shared. My working theory is that we aren’t all in this together or you would have been in my living room sharing these wonderful experiences with me. You weren’t. I noticed.

Rather than give you a recreation of the last few months, I will only share the major events of the last two days. If they seem similar to yours, it would be heart warming to know. The last two days have been plenty enough to allow you to contemplate how the rest of my time was spent. Oh! I will tell you that initially I used my time sheltering learning new crafts–as we were advised to do. Once I had cooked five batches of clam chowder–did I mention I live on Puget Sound? Well, I was pretty much over cooking and so was everyone I cooked for. I did discover you could make miraculous face masks from duct tape. My masterful one of purple velvet and duct tape is one of a kind. It really became a favorite when I added the rhinestones. ( I am not kidding. I could have produced the picture.) I promised though, I wouldn’t bore you with three or four months of that.) In the last two days….

Last night, I was in the living room reading when I noticed my sweet cat staring curiously into the kitchen. She was not afraid, only curious. Her tail was relaxed and her eyes wide. At one point she turned to me and mewed as though she was trying to tell me how interesting this was becoming. It was then that a deer’s head bent down to touch her nose. I stood up in shock as i realized this doe was in my kitchen. Now, to my regret I had left my sliding door open to let in fresh air…and there was a welcome mat  on the door. But please. I watched in stunned silence as they two of them sniffed each other without fear or anger. Just a casual meeting of friends. I pointed out with some humor to my cat that social distancing meant that the deer had to remain outside, and surely she had never asked this deer inside before sheltering. She needed to get a grip here. Both the cat and the deer, paused and looked at me annoyed. The deer turned on her hooves and headed back out the sliding glass door, but not before she pooped on my welcome mat. My cat sulked all the way back to her room, not speaking to me…letting me know in no uncertain terms that social distancing was a man made contrivance, not intended for HER friends.

That was only last night….Today, we were discussing something or other. That is what you culturally do in sheltering. You talk to each other. New skill learned there. Suddenly, the house shook and the sounds were catastrophic. It was nothing less than a sonic boom. However, I am nowhere near an airport. Here in the trees, you never hear a plane go by ever. Yet, there it was. We scurried outside to see what was going on. There were two gigantic army cargo planes. Boeing bombers literally buzzing the tops of the Douglas fir. The best we could think was that they were on the verge of crashing so we headed to the basement to find a supporting wall. If nothing else the logical assumption we felt was that one of the trees surrounding our house might fall.

Tonight, they said on the news that Fort Lewis, McChord Air Force bases were saluting all the people working during the crisis–which would be our home as we all work full time–who are risking their lives and health. My significant other told me that next time they decide to salute us they need to warn us beforehand so we wouldn’t be running for a bomb shelter. And in all honesty, he is the survivor of a triple heart bypass and doesn’t need this kind of stress.

This is barely a page of my life since this began, and I dare say I have been pretty much fighting my battle alone. The cat has packed her catnip and is asking to move in with my son and his girl friend. There is a deer somewhere who is probably packing a gun. I’d hope to think it can’t get any worse, but Mother’s Day is coming up. Oh dear.  The next time there is a pandemic and the order goes down to shelter. I plan of packing my bags and moving to Venus.

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  1. Since I have a very vivid imagination, I did appreciate the light humor of the deer and the cat in their innocent moment of tenderness. Your writing is extremely entertaining. Thank you for sharing.

    1. the deer in the dark is real. it is one of the wonders of living outside a naval base. they leave lush forests and wildlife. i hope my thoughts do not offend. i am in truth the woman who always wears my mask and gloves even to the supermarket. i am the good and practical citizen. my problem is that i worry. i worry that we are giving our youth a world and sending them the message that we can’t deal with it…when our youth needs to know exactly what you said in your article. the world is a magical place. it goes on every day and one has to take the good with the bad. my thoughts are only that other generations have faced much more and sought to face their demons head on. are we giving our youth the best showing of our inner faith and personal strength by telling them our world is a terrifying place. it’s not at all terrifying. its beautiful, but i am afraid they may miss the beauty in fear. did you know the hawaiians had no word for leprosy…so they named it the disease of vanishing because if you had it the counsel banished you to molokai…so they wouldn’t have to be around the disease. that is social isolation too. leprosy only found a cure when a priest, father damien went to molokai and refused to leave…even at the cost of his life. his legacy is a cure for leprosy. hmmmm. it is the best hospital on the planet for leprosy on molokai. i watched in sadness one night a charity asking for money and an elderly man offered a contribution…saying. he was alone in his apartment. sheltering. he hadn’t seen a person in three weeks. he was so sad he wanted to die…and worse if he died he felt no one would notice for another three weeks. that’s not a legacy i like to live with. nor the man in front of me in the check out who grabbed a 60 year old man threatening to break his nose because he had accidentally bumped his shopping cart. didn’t that bastard know that he was putting him at risk of getting the virus. to me…smearing blood all over himself and me, risking giving me HIV or something was worse. when is violence ever ok in a civilized society? where are the neighbors who check up on each other? that is what we are in this together means. where is father damien when we need him.
      the world is too beautiful a place to miss a moment of. it is only we who muck it up. when my student texted me at eleven at night afraid to leave her home even to walk, her stomach was too screwed up to sleep. i texted her for an hour. i don’t feel like a hero for that. what i believe is that this girl has been handed a plate of adult problems, and no one is showing her…..everything is going to be ok. and isn’t that what we all want? some caring person who says everything is going to be ok. i am going to be there for you.

      i don’t expect anyone here to explain that to me. nor did i expect you or anyone else to be able to explain why i somehow got this so wrong in my head. i am sure it is me….not the rest of the world.
      but is there a time we need to weigh the fear of the virus against the crumbling of an economy, the depression and anxiety that leads me self destructive behaviors…the self worth and reality of giving hope to a people who are afraid instead of hiding in the safety of our room.
      i wrote this i believe here, to dissuade anyone who read it thinking i am against sheltering and protesting at state capitals. i am not that sure i am right. you have to be right to do that. i just am no sure i am so wrong either. which is why is said initially. this is a thing not meant for people like me. thank you…..and i was so thankful your response was caring and thoughtful. i have been bracing for the worst. i read your magical world….and i believe the world is a giant organism growing and blossoming into a wonderful flower. you go girl…..the world needs people like you to help it bloom.

      1. Wow..I respect your words, just a lot of them ,so I will try to match you….lol. No I will address the last part yes you are right for or against protesting with my beliefs because my beliefs is all I have to work with, not that it is for or against your beliefs.
        Thanks for the response and I am so very sure I did not absorb all that you were saying, but what I got from it and I could be be very wrong is that you’re tired of the hurt and the world that we are leaving behind for our children and their children. I find myself going through Erik Erikson’s stage of ‘Generativity vs. Psycholosocial’ stage 7. ‘During this stage, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by parenting child to contribute to positive changes that benefit other people’. In other words, I will not be able to change the world, but I can change just a microscopic part of it, that is why I loved my child with all my heart and taught her life is not full of hate nor ego but of a higher power, love, and a pure imagination. The world is full of ego, that is unfortunate, but for mine, I feel looking at my child who is a very loving mother that perhaps I have changed the world from which I came from in just a small part. I grew up with parents set on hurting each other both physically an mentally, and yes my imagination was developed by people like Walt Disney who took on the responsibility to maintain innocence as well as pure imagination. He saw that his minute world was kept clean and worry free, and I fed on that as a child because it was so different from my world. Today’s world shuck their responsibility on paying bills by running to bankruptcy court and child services to pickup their unwanted only to keep producing …oh let me shut up.
        ‘ Albert Bandura’s child development theory suggest that observation plays a critical role in learning , but this observation does not necessarily need to take the form of watching a live model Instead, people can also learn by listening to verbal instructions about how to perform a behavior as well as through observing either real or fictional character displaying behaviors in books or films.’ The native Americans used the elders and fireside stories to convey to their young. But now we give our young televisions (I was guilty as well as a young mother) and social media for comfort. Hummm ….what has happened other than parents have to work harder to pay for the extras…like cablevision (est. nearly $1000.00 annually in my area)… while bankrupt lawyers sing all the way to the bank. Humm…My theory if you want to change the world by protesting, try protesting the media to clean up what our children are seeing and not so much negative. And since our world has so very much, try protesting for establishing cleaner minds and not because you can not go shopping at the local mall. Not for or against others freedoms of expression, just knowing what worked for me or my life, I feel good about leaving a small microscopic change that hopefully spew off seeds of love in the future. Thanks again Katrina…I do not know what is right either…just the core of what I felt I needed in my life as I walked the path leaving a trail of flowers, I hope.

  2. Just a question: if it were that dangerous, how come hospital workers are not dropping like flies?
    This video is from last April. It is a person that I follow on YouTube.
    And my comment and his response:

    2 weeks ago
    I like your video. It is heartwarming to see people that still have common sense. If someone is weak, keep them from harm, protect them. If you think that you’re at risk, stay at home and protect yourself. There’s no reason to confine anyone below the age of 40 that has no underlying conditions. I’m 63 and I can’t remember the last time I had a flu. Never took a flu shot. Still going to work. But I wash my hands more than usual now.

    2 weeks ago
    Thanks. Common sense to some is foolishness to others. 🙂

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