If you have seen any social media lately, you can’t have missed the jokes about Corona beer/virus and lime, often added to the top of the drink. It got me thinking…..how many people are using this time-out to re-think the everyday, and how many are simply looking to numb the anxiety with alcohol or a more benign distraction? Of course, I am more than thankful for those who are striving to keep us safe and stocked with food. I hope that the unemployed can take advantage of the extra pay some employers are offering. Not everyone in our community has been given the gift of less noise and the time for more reflection. But there are lessons to be learned as our routines are disrupted, and I hope our community comes out of this with a few new resolves.
Some of my readers will recall from studying history that British seamen were called “limeys” because of the lemons added to their rations of grog to prevent scurvy. (see Wikipedia for reference). Not only was scurvy a sign of malnourishment (Vitamin C), it was unsightly because sufferers had bleeding gums and open wounds. It gave rise to many derogatory remarks about British citizens in several places. But citric acid cured it! The derogatory remarks have faded from the lexicon, and life is better.
I use this as an example of making lemonade out of lemons (pun intended). In other words, as human beings, we have the capacity to not only think about what seems evident now, but what other possibilities there are in the future. We could be avoiding people with open wounds and bleeding gums. We could expect the plague to ravage us every so often. But we don’t. On Sunday March 22, CBS’s 60 Minutes reported on two US companies who have used the Novel Corona gene sequence to quickly ready two vaccines for trial. Within weeks of the outbreak! The world is not yet ready to be able to put this behind us, but there are people who refuse to be distracted from fear and instead are looking for answers.
How many of you have also seen the post about how The World is saying, “we can’t slow down our economies or our consumption and fight global warming” and Mother Nature says, “Here’s a virus: Practice.”? Maybe this period in our lives can be seen as a sort of gift. I know that I have been rethinking some areas of my life. Perhaps some of you have, too.
What started as an effort to get ready to remodel some rooms and at the same time provide goods to our church’s spring garage sale has turned into thinking about the idea of minimalism. I have realized that getting out of my house because of all of my cherished social obligations has let me escape from taking care of all the “stuff” I have carefully stored. The death of my sister-in-law in Colorado brought home to me how often I was too busy taking care of stuff (not people) to call or even travel for the few days necessary to visit. Old memories aren’t nearly as comforting as recent ones would be.
I have stuff all over my house that I tell myself will let people know about my past when they visit. But I seldom entertain. It takes too long to make the preparations. I’m not a hoarder, I have a cleaning service, but finding stuff to cook with, serve with, sit upon, or the time to plan have all fallen victim to the need to care of too much stuff.
In the past few years, I have learned that I have two main joys in life. My family and friends, plus learning new information and putting it together in “thinks.” This column is a result of the latter. This week, I am wondering if you, too, have noticed that busy is not always the same as productive. Corona with lime is good, but sometimes it’s just the lime that is useful.
Linda Brugger, retired from the Air Force, leaning Democrat and community activist can be reached at IdahoAuthor@outlook.com. She welcomes feedback.
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