Well I suppose we should talk about the thing that is on everyones’ mind. The Corona Virus Diseases of 2019, in abbreviated from, COVID-19. When it first was identified in China, many of us, including myself, compared it to one of the many other dooms day news stories we’ve heard in the past, such as SARS or the West Nile Virus. Perhaps it was when it began to spread and people begun being quarantined. Or after the National Guard’s sortie in New York to quarantine a city. Maybe it was when an entire country shut down and we woke to the news that Italy was closed. It may have been on Black Monday when the stock market had its greatest drop since the recession of 2008. Regardless of when, it became clear that the comparisons were odious. This lunker of a virus is something unlike anyone of our generation has ever seen. It is overwhelming, partly because of the intake of all the available media concerning it. To top it off we are amidst the US political presidential race causing the virus to be used for political gain amongst both parties, and biasing our media.
There are many conspiracy theorists and skeptics stating that this is a hoax or a move to take down the global economy. The distrust in our political systems and in our government has caused me to question the motives behind some of the actions that have been taken. This virus has become yet another thing to turn the people against one another. You’ve got one side taking it extremely serious and abiding by the social distancing recommendation from the CDC. Then you’ve got the other side who doesn’t buy into the severity of the issue and living out life as they typically would. Both sides having verbal altercations over the matter through social media and/or in person. Perhaps this was the plan?
The hysteria around the issue has caused people to panic and bulk buy items from the grocery store. You then have those judging the ones bulk buying. Yet, when those same ones judging stumble upon reservoirs of supplies, find themselves snatching up extra. This virus has resulted in an awareness of just how fragile all of our social and economical systems are. Leaving many of us longing for the easy street we had unknowingly been walking for most of our lives. Already reminiscing the days as epicureans when the decision between a t-bone or ribeye was our biggest challenge at the store.
It has only been a week, maybe two of social distancing, and already I feel the effects. The question looming on all of our minds, how long will this last?
Abbreviate – to make briefer; especially : to reduce (a word or name) to a shorter form intended to stand for the whole
Lunker – something unusually large for its kind.
Epicurean – Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, particularly the enjoyment of gourmet food.
Sortie – a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position
Intake – the number of things or people that are taken into something
Long for – to want something you miss very much
Easy Street – financial security
Comparisons are odious – Comparison (especially of people) is not productive and can have unpleasant consequences. People should be judged on their own merits. Note: comparison (noun) = the act of comparing | compare (verb) = measure or note the similarity or dissimilarity between people or things | odious (adj) = extremely unpleasant; distasteful
The gangrel giant sat perched on the side of the mountain. He had short brown hair which appeared in tufts framing his black brooding eyes. He had a massive jaw that jutted out when he was thinking. He was young for his kind and slightly smaller than his forebearers. He was still a formidable creature standing nearly 100 feet tall. From his position, he blotted out the sun causing the towns below to be cast in shadows. He lived in solitude because he believed that the pen is mightier than the sword. He had a poetic heart with no desire to reign terror on the tiny humans who he envied. His avocation was writing long strings of poetry on the side of the mountain using chunks of graphite stone. He showed fortitude despite the peer pressure he faced to engage in the activities of his people. He was different than them, he could write eloquent Haikus and Sonnets. He could even quote Shakespear. “I am one who loved not wisely but too well,” he’d rebut at his friends when they made their appeals. Who were they to judge him? The best they could devise was, “fe-fi-fo-fum” he thought smugly.
Words of the day:
Fortitude: Strength of mind
Avocation: something a person does in addition to a principal occupation. Hobby.
Formidable: Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively powerful, large, or capable
Gangrel: a vagrant or a drifter. A tall, thin, long-limbed person.
Saying of the day:
The pen is mightier than the sword: This proverb suggests that written material like books or poetry has more influence than fighting or war. We may also understand from it that ideas (as often set down in writing) are more effective than violence.
Winter was quick off the mark this year. Cold gusts had begun to blow through causing the leaves outside to pucker and drop more quickly. Winter coats were dug up from the back of storage closets. She had a hankering for a white Christmas but messed up by wishing for it too soon. Great oaks from little acorns grow, she thought with trepidation about what kind of winter her wish would bestow. November was much too soon for snow. As she buttoned her long tan parka she thought about her other wishes that had come true in the past. One time she wished for it to rain to match her depressed mood and two days later the town lost all its crops due to flooding. Her family although aware of her gift never took it seriously. To them, her wishes were recondite and they did not understand them at all. For this reason, she kept them to herself. She zipped up her black suede boots, slid her backpack over her shoulder, and stepped out her front door, bracing against the barrage of winter air. The crunch of the dying fall sounded under her boots as she made her way to her car. Not all her wishes came true. She had never quite understood the science behind which were granted and which were not. She had learned to be very concise with her thinking, although like her wish for a white Christmas, sometimes she failed. It was hard to be disciplined all the time.
Words of the day:
Recondite – difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend. Deep.
Trepidation – A feeling of fear or agitation about something that may not actually happen.
Hanker – desire strongly or persistently
Mess up – to make a mistake
Saying of the day:
Great oaks from little acorns grow – sometimes small and modest things become large and impressive things over time.
Idiom of the day:
quick off the mark – quick to react to an event or opportunity
Men and women from the oppidan suburb that surrounds the great city forsake their circadian clocks. They force themselves to be crepuscular creatures egressing from their slumber when the crow has not yet sung. They exit their homes to merge with strangers in mass transit for the city. They stand together nearly touching in silence almost as if searching for the mot juste. In actuality, each one merely inhabiting their body, their minds occupying the future or ruminating on the past. As dawn begins to break and they encroach upon the outer smog layer of Grand Central station, the energy, and noise within the car rises. They exit the rail into the underground station in groves. People begin to flow out on to the main street from the station’s escalator like water through a rhyton. They march through the city alive and with purpose. They complete their tasks in order to depart and do it all again tomorrow.
Words of the day:
Mot Juste – exact right wording or phrasing
Oppidan – of a town; urban
Egress – The action of going out of or leaving a place.
Crepuscular – like twilight; dim
Mass Transit – the system that is used for moving large numbers of people on buses, trains, etc.
Rhyton – a horn-shaped drinking vessel with a hole in the pointed end through which to drink
There was a lacuna of light between Fredo and Sally. Fredo shone brightly as he guided the entranceway where patrons drove forward and backwards in their visit with the diner. Sally always felt that Fredo was too officious, shining as brightly as he did. Sally took a much more sporadic approach to her services as she flickered in florescent patterns almost as if a veil of Honiton was wrapped about her. Fredo thought of Sally as he did most of her kind, flaky and judgemental. He took pride in his consistency and luminous glow, showing up night after night for the last 10 years. A fait accompli. Sam sat in the darkness these last few months between Fredo and Sally looking upon them in envy. He dreamt of the day when he could make a gambit into their conversation.
Words of the day:
Lacuna: a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument.
Gambit: a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point. A calculated move.
Officious: assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way. Intrusively enthusiastic in offering help or advise.
fait accompli: an irrevisbile accomplishment
Backward: opposite to the usual way : in reverse
Honiton: a type of lace with a floral sprig pattern
The flower man stands at the corner of the busy intersection surrounded by his gifts of unclaimed smiles for purchase. As he waits for new business, he waves at the people and cars whizzing by. The woman who had stopped to browse reflected on how seemingly unaffected the flower man was by the contumely demeanor that some passerby’s directed towards him. Perhaps he has some great wisdom in which he knew these glares had only to do with those wearing them and nothing to do with him, she thought. What the woman did not know is that the flower man’s smile, despite others’ demeanor, came from imagining caricatures of them in his mind. The flower man met all kinds of people each weekend. Some of his customers were without motive who had a propensity for kindness. Others were fraught with pain and seeking reconciliation. There were regulars who stopped often just to bruit about their lives. Most of his regulars were seniors within the community, retired men and women. The flower man to them was a much-welcomed friend. They chatted about their kids who rarely called, or smiled warmly as they described their skype conversation with their newest grandchild. They reminisced about their ex-partner who used to love yellow carnations. They described their frustration over their latest doctor’s visit. Behind which you could easily see the fear of facing these later years of life alone. The flower man provided more than packages of cut flowers on Sunday mornings by the shoulder of the road. It wasn’t much, what he had to offer, but it was more valuable than gold.
Words of the day:
Bruit: repeat rumor, usually used with about
Propensity: An inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way
Contumely: a rude expression intended to offend or hurt
Caricature: a drawing that makes someone look funny or foolish because some part of the person is exaggerated