Slowing down isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you need to block the reality of COVID-19 to calm down. And you should keep a diary, however brief the entries. Before you know it we’ll be reading best-selling Cornoavirus memoirs and diaries! Might as well write your own.
What I’ve noticed is that you can really hear the birds. Various brown species (sparrows, I suppose) chirp and twitter and fly about. Cats all over the country sit in windows enthralled. (Birds are the equivalent of alluring witches to them.) Elsewhere, eagles are nesting, and the Sandhill Cranes make their annual migratory stop over the Great Plains. Although I know about the sandhill cranes only from Richard Powers’s novel, The Echo Maker, I’ve always meant to make the trip to Nebraska.
This is the year we have time to travel–but can’t. There’s nowhere to go, unless you believe you’re immortal. Drive past the malls and you will see no cars in the parking lots. McDonald’s drive-thru is open–look at the lines.
People are getting cranky and curmudgeonly. Women who dared to breed in this dangerous century are boldly writing essays about their exasperation at their offspring, and lashing out at people who expect them to become homeschooling moms. I don’t know why they couldn’t homeschool: anyone can do it. Assign an hour of reading a classic ever day, or, even easier, an hour of whatever they want to read. Give them math, if that’s your thing. Set some ground rules. Play to your strengths. Take responsibility, damn it!
While women fume about their families, men are writing comic pieces about how they’re driving their wives crazy at home. Men charmingly aver that they’re messy, needy, and demanding. Yes, it’s funny, and probably true, but isn’t it time they took some responsibility? These essays are not that cute. Deal with it or fix it! If you’re messy, embrace it!
You can now “binge” on anything at home: Netflix, books, food, gourmet coffee. Once we were “cocooners,” now we are “bingers.” What a culture! Bizarrely, I am watching less TV. What is there to watch? Nothing. They’re live-streaming Emma–uh huh, if you want to pay $19.
But we’re all a little distracted now. Time to join the Slow Living movement!