It has certainly been a stretch since my last post! Even now, it is a busy time at PhMS as we are in the middle of Parent Teacher Conference season. I think our parents will tell you that we do, indeed, put a lot of effort into preparing for these conversations and that they find them informative and even vastly entertaining at times! But it is early in the morning on Veteran's Day and I am up and ruminating. I'm a morning person. Later today, my husband, our two dogs and I will go to the Albany Reverse Veteran's Day parade and I am excited to decorate our pickup with my homemade signs featuring line drawings of dogs (that I am inordinately and unashamedly proud of) and patriotic bunting made of fabric that I will later re-purpose as a festive tablecloth! I am one of that breed of pacifists who have a lot of love for vets. Happy Veteran's Day and thank you for all you have sacrificed, warriors. But right now I am pondering the Corona virus which causes COVID 19.
This Particular Virus is, I think we can all acknowledge, beyond troublesome. It is deadly. It is isolating. It causes great suffering. Dying, suffering from a lack of breath and without the comfort of loved ones is not a fate I would wish on my worst enemy. ( I have no enemies to my knowledge, rest assured.) So the above alone is reason enough to really dislike This Particular Virus, but wait, there's more! Even as I write, I acknowledge that some of the world appears to be successfully stopping the spread, yet other regions are worsening simultaneously. Nations that do not yet have the access to vaccinations that we do will surely suffer much longer.
To lower your expectations, the following observations are, I'm sure, nothing that you, Dear Reader, have not thought before. This post is self-indulgent in that it is an attempt to purge my noggin of these recurring thoughts. I'm truly sick of them. In no particular order, the things I really dislike about this novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes are:
1) It is so sneaky! People are often asymptomatic and unknowingly infecting others. At least the seasonal flu has the courtesy of causing all and sundry to know that they feel like death.
2) It is cunning! Just when we think we are getting the upper hand, there may be a new strain/variant/mutation. It's the Lady Gaga of viruses.
3) The virus can only be vanquished by the measures we humans take to protect each other! Masks, properly worn over nose and chin, protect others more than they protect ourselves. This is, at least, true of the multi-layered cloth masks that I favor. I know that other masks protect the wearer more effectively. Vaccinations are our best tool to diminish the spread, but they are not entirely effective, therefore a combination these two acts in addition to social distancing, appears to be the prevention trifecta. That's a tall order.
4) The virus comes at a time when misinformation is so rampant. I find it difficult to have a conversation about the news of the day and the facts of the matter with some people. We do not agree on what is true. We disagree on vaccine risks and benefits as well as the severity of the disease and the extent of the pandemic. This is largely because we have different sources of information and therefore, the coronavirus is not the only topic that might find us at sixes and sevens. (I hope, Dear Reader, that you do not mind my casual use of expressions from days gone by. They are delicious on my tongue and tickle my ear and they are a nod to my parents and the books I have enjoyed.)
I have, at times, felt that individuals who do not make enough effort to prevent the spread of This Particular Virus were selfish and uncaring. I now choose to believe that many people have been misinformed by sources, misled by officials and/or jaded by generations of ill-treatment. This doesn't help stop the spread, but it helps the state of my head and heart.
Thank you, Dear Reader, (I stole that Dear Reader thing from Judith Martin, AKA Miss Manners) for letting me get all that off my chest. Perhaps it helps you to know me a bit better in the absence of our usual school socials, where we would normally chat and become more familiar with each other. I feel compelled to add that these are my opinions and not necessarily reflective of Philomath Montessori School, its management or subsidiaries. (That's a joke. We have no subsidiaries. We are a one-classroom school that rents a lovely, light-filled space with a verdant yard in a church in a cute, small town in Oregon.)