Wow. I haven’t felt this much anxiety for quite some time. Two people close to me are exhibiting mild symptoms that could be COVID-19. One of them is older, so that’s more dangerous. The other is much closer to me, so that’s much more worrying.

My kids’ school was just cancelled for a month straight. A month. I’ve never heard of anything like that in my life. It could be that two months from now we’ll mostly be back to normal. But more likely is we’ll be four months from now and two million Americans will have died from this shit and I’ll know several of them. There’s almost certainly going to be a recession as a result if not a depression. My feeling right now is to not go anywhere. Don’t go out to eat, don’t go to the gym. Maybe other people aren’t there yet with this same feeling but they will be within a few days probably. Lots of people aren’t going to be able to pay their bills, they’re not going to be able to be paid.

I can’t shake the feeling that this is going to be a life altering moment. Nothing will be as it was supposed to be after this. I can’t shake the feeling that this is just becoming a pattern of one fucked up thing after another. For years now here we’ve been dealing with nearby wildfire, our town covered in smoke for days at a time, whole towns in the region wiped off the map. Just a few months ago our power went out for days at a time. Living by candle light, working for a technology company by battery backup and Internet by cell phone hot spot. Whole refrigerators of food thrown away.

Now this COVID-19. And what’s after this? Probably the depression or recession that I mentioned. After that? I can foresee civil unrest, food shortages, more wildfire. I want to think that I am just worrying unnecessarily but I really don’t think I am.

One thing I need to take away from this assuming I get to the other side of this crisis as an unbroken man is to live up to the full potential of my intellect. I am disappointed in myself that it wasn’t until just about two days ago that I really understood the full gravity of this situation. I didn’t understand the severity of this disease as far as its fatality rate, the rapidity of its spreading, the effects of it on the economy, and its effect on everyday life. I could, if I chose, put a large amount of blame for this on the inadequacy of messaging on the subject. I saw a dearth of messaging answering the question of “why is this a big deal?” But the real blame should be on myself for not proactively researching this issue to really understand it. I won’t be so unprepared in the future. Yesterday I felt lucky that there was no shortage of rice and beans at the co-op. They had been stacking them by the front door for a week. And I didn’t wonder to think what would cause them to put such a display by the front door. It could have just as easily been empty by the time I looked, and my unpreparedness would have been the cause of that failure for my family.

The second takeaway from this is that life is short. I’m not going to waste my time on inconsequential shit. I’m going to accomplish important things in life, like making a real difference on issues of justice, and being an effective leader in these areas. I’m going to make real progress in becoming the man I want to be and treating myself and my family right. Because life is too short to do otherwise.

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