I’ll never take hugging, closeness or compassionate touching for granted again! Part 2.

Notes from In-house exile: Taking Notes on the Plagues Teachable Moments.
(10) March 29, 2020

II.

When choosing is a non-choice…

“The greatest happiness in life is in knowing that others love us, for ourselves, or rather, they love us in spite of ourselves.” –Victor Hugo

Strange how the mind manages the power of choice based on the level of an existential threat. (pre-plague) Every day I wanted the right to be alone, to discourage any forms of random ‘drive-by’ visitations. The “I just happen to be in the neighborhood, and so…..”— Well, just keep on going Mr. or Mrs. Rogers, and don’t stop here! Oh the joy of dwelling in the quiet peace of reading, writing or just thinking , day dreaming, imagining; all without being distracted by a human voice.

I spent the bulk of my adult life in constant communicative service: “ Mr. Johnson I need… Can you…Will you please?” I honor and cherish a life without never-ending verbal request (principals will understand this).
My doorbell was not working for 5 years, which led my (‘can’t by nature and vocation stand broken things’) exasperated fix-it guy to frustratingly say: “Yo Mr. Johnson, let me fix that doorbell for you; I’ll even buy the parts and won’t charge you for labor!”—-Me: “Nope” . No uninvited visitors, everyone must call first!
But these Coronavirus isolation days have changed everything, meaning that I now leap to the door when the UPS guy arrives to bring my Amazon packages and boxes. And even though we both carefully practice safe social/commercial distancing; I am just happy to experience a human face and voice…

Notes from In-house exile: Taking Notes on the Plagues Teachable Moments.

(7) March 24, 2020

Long-term school closures will produce student winners and losers: Sadly, the U.S. Covid-19 virus pandemic will expose and expand the PreK-12 Educational Learning Opportunity Gap… http://majmuse.net/2020/03/24/notes-from-in-house-exile-sadly-the-u-s-covid-19-virus-pandemic-will-expose-and-expand-the-prek-12-educational-learning-opportunity-gap/

• There is the Story of the two Revelatory Plagues; Donald Trump and Covid-19. How someone responds to either or both, tells you everything you need to know about that person’s moral character…

• Rand Paul gets the Covid-19 Virus, is advantaged by his position in government; the hypocritical and immoral Ayn Randian (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged,etc.) philosophy of callous selfishness…

• I guess economic privilege drives politics in a circle: If you go far enough to the right or left you end up in the same place. The ‘woke’ folks who say that Trump = Biden; but unlike most struggling Americans they have financial options and probably health insurance…

• Whiteness sure has its privileges; I can’t imagine Barack Obama getting away with this level of dangerously ignorant leadership. Initially the ACA website malfunctioned and folks (friends and foes) went crazy with criticism. And now under Trump when people are actually getting seriously ill and dying…

• The futility of hoarding. The history of plagues (for real and in science fiction) suggest that starving desperate people, will most-likely fall-back on their Limbic pre-pre-historic system instincts; which means that they are not going to allow you to stay in your home well-fed, toilet-paper rich, safe and sound while they and their children starve to death…

• The proposal to end the necessary social distancing, and let large numbers of people die in time for businesses to reap the highest Easter shopping profits; reveals the cynical and evil nature of capitalism…

• They keep talking about the “high-risk-elderly”; and I have to keep reminding myself that they are talking about me! Age is sometimes nothing but a number in your head!

• Trump’s still strong approval ratings during what is clearly incompetent leadership behavior in response to the plague; and the way he is normalized and tolerated by those white Americans, including Democrats, who claim to disagree with him; suggest to me that the rest of us need a plan “B”; and I don’t mean reparations; something closer to self-reliance…

• Thoughts on being in ‘so-low’ isolation: (1) I’ll never take hugging for granted again. (2) Thank God for 90 day medication prescriptions!

Notes from In-house exile. So many thoughts in one solitary walk around the block…

Notes from In-house exile. So many thoughts in one solitary walk around the block…

(2) March 19, 2020

Prison must be terribly psychologically damaging place…Now let me state up front that I can in no way compare my self-imposed house-isolation to being in prison. After all, I have a steady retirement income, food that I eat when I want, I have music, books, cable TV, films on video, a computer with internet access, a daily Yoga practice, 5-6 hours of writing/per day routine, phone access to friends, family, former students and colleagues; I have dozens of ‘hobbies’ e.g. organizing my large but neglected stamp collection; and so, to be honest I am in no way suffering having to stay home all day. But putting aside whether an incarcerated person is or is not guilty. I am wondering if we must ask ourselves if we are truly ‘rehabilitating’ for the purpose of reintegration of these individuals; or, are we further (and more deeply) damaging human beings who will return to our society so severely emotionally wounded and employable unprepared, that their ability to effectively integrate back into the society will range from extremely difficult to impossible.

Yesterday I gave myself an outside “vacation” (I live in a low populated area and so I did not encounter anyone else, which was one of my objectives) to walk around the block. This after being inside for more than 3 weeks; which means that if I have Covid-19 and don’t know it, I won’t infect others. I sheltered in place very early as soon as I algebraically and biologically mapped the virus —this, for all of my former students who did not believe that Biology and Algebra were ‘useful’ subjects to learn! I also suspected before being told, that all of my medical “onset” illnesses probably would put me in a ‘high risk’ category— I have an advantage in gathering and sorting out all of the Covid-19 information because I am and educator, and specifically a STEM* educator. Our nation however, lost so much precious time, and is still doing so, by being led by ignorance personify; and he (Trump) continues even in the midst of this plague to mischaracterize and mislead through racist unhelpful misinformation; a virus as should be clear by now is not a citizen of any particular nation or people, but I digress…

Back to my walk around the block. It was the most amazingly wonderful liberating experience. The sun massaged my memory such that I felt like that excited Crown Heights kid entering the wonderful Grand Army Plaza portal of Prospect Park. In Prospect Park my friends and I could safely run, yell, play “Army”, “Explorers”, fly our kites and sail our homemade boats in the (we imagined) rapid streams of the ‘untamed’ wilderness.
But I also thought during my much too short meditation-journey around the block, about all of my students who own businesses, those who work in corrections, sanitation, the post office, transit, EMT-EMS, police and fire departments, and the many STEM, Social service professional, and the many who are working professionals in medical facilities all over this nation; there are so many others who are at their post serving humanity and risking their own personal safety and health; they will always be my heroes; and each step I take as I walk around the block I dedicate a prayer for them, their coworkers and colleagues…

#ifpossiblestayhome

*Science,Technology,Engineering and Mathematics