You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy
THE PANDEMIC PIRATES AND THE COVID 19 GHOST SHIP
There’s a storm on the horizon. Not the kind of storm you can avoid, or sail around. You can’t roll up the masts, and hunker down till it blows over. This storm is unlike any we’ve witnessed.
These clouds are filled with black death and troubled times. The sea is turbulent, the water the color of rancid meat.
Covid 19 winds are a putrid hurricane decimating the planet.
The Pandemic Pirates are invisible savages who strike without warning.
Their assault is sometimes lethal, more times than not, it is recoverable.
While the pirates kill many, they terrorize all.
There’s a fear in the air. You’ve felt it. We’ve all felt it.
People are nervous, on edge.
It’s like driving along highway one with a blind fold and a gun to your head.
It’s a mattress of nails and the weight keeps doubling on your shoulders.
While the death count is real, the terror numbers are visceral.
You can see panic in your neighbor’s eyes.
The Pandemic Pirates are surely sailing by.
They swing from the mizzen mast, knives clenched in teeth, ready to board wayward vessels who meander through the viscous death broth.
The fear is paralyzing. This might be what Jews felt as the Nazis kicked down their doors in WWII. Foreboding and unrelenting panic.
It’s a feeling of hiding in the dark, trying to be quiet, all the while knowing that something terrible is coming.
There is no antidote for the Covid, except time. The only prescription is sheltering in place, in the darkness, keeping movements to a minimum, sound to a tolerable whisper.
We are afraid. As a nation. As a world.
The Covid 19 Ghost Ship is coming. The pandemic pirates, cutlasses firmly clenched in bony fingers, are preparing to board your immune system. And once aboard, these skeleton merchants of death will push you down the plank into a sea of oxygen stealing sharks.
The Covid is an invisible monster living amongst us.
It floats on the breeze like a razor sharp pollen. It lives on surfaces like a transparent grease smudge that is uncleanable. It mutates on the breath of a single supermarket worker’s cough.
The Covid 19 is a monster from a 1950’s B Movie. It’s the Blob, undulating, overlapping, suffocating everything in its path.
I see the Covid fear everywhere I turn.
I’ve seen it while walking in my community.
Neighbors who always waved and smiled on the community path, now avert their eyes and hold their breath as they pass by.
Are the pandemic pirates on their ghost ship of death preparing to leap down my throat and infect me from the inside out?
Apprehension is a dirty mistress of the mind.
My neighbor’s fear is palpable. I can see it on the young woman’s face. To this soccer mom from the burbs, Covid is lurking in the tree branches, on a mailbox, on the sidewalk. It’s something to side step like invisible dog crap that you will step in and never know till there’s a ventilator shoved down your throat.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
The Pandemic Pirates sailing on a diseased sea of Covid 19 is the perception, and yet, this tangled nightmare is so very real that is influences human behavior.
I try to stay mentally strong, above the fray, but in the end, I’m no better than the frightened soccer mom on the path before me.
I smile at her as I pass by. I’m trying to act like the pirates do not scare me. But I too am in an altered state. Withhout realizing it, I begin exhaling before our paths meet. It begins slowly, easily. I blow air out of my pursed lips, like a scuba diver ascending from the murky depths to avoid decompression sickness. I will continue to exhale as I pass the woman, and then long after I have walked by.
The soccer mom’s face is that of obfuscated uncertainty. She neither smiles or acknowledges my presence. I feel her walk to the edge of the grass off the pathway. Normally it would be odd, but in this time of pandemic paranoia, it is welcomed space management.
As our bodies slide by one another, I imagine passing through an invisible toxic cloud created by the demons that possess her soul. Blood thirsty covid 19 denizens somehow are free floating through the ether, sticking to my clothes, lathering onto my face and hair.
I know this cannot be happening, but the mind is powerful, and the thought becomes real.
I walk down the path, past the soccer mom, exhaling slowly, easily, as I create distance and safety between us.
I exhale as long as I can keeping the pandemic pirates from entering my body.
Then as my lungs burn, surging for life, I inhale. The air feels good, but it also terrifies me.
Is this the breath that unleashes the buccaneers of sickness inside of me?
Is this random gulp of air, in the middle of a Tennessee neighborhood, chock full of molecularized sickness?
The Covid Pirates are clandestine. They are savage and unforgiving. They’re deleterious brutality has infected the globe. Why not on this quiet walking path?
The mental asphyxiation from Covid 19 is exhausting.
I go home and strip to my birthday suit.
I throw my clothes in the wash. Hot water only.
I jump in the shower and delouse my body.
I let the water wash over me. The feeling is that of relief as the ostensible filth of a Covid 19 pandemic swirls around the drain.
As I scrub my hands for the 18th time before noon, I pray that the CDC doesn’t suddenly break into Wheel of Fortune to announce that Corona Virus now thrives in warm water and soapy conditions.
And then it hits me; all we know is how much we don’t know.
Wash your hands the CDC mandates.
Not just after bathroom use, but all the damn time.
The CDC recommends 20 to 30 seconds. Sing a nursery rhyme you learned as a child. Don’t be shy. Sing your ABC’s. Sing Jolene? Pretend you’re Eddie Vedder, the Pearl Jam hand washing crooner.
Do what you have to do to keep yourself in front of that sink and scrubbing. Wash like you got leprosy. Lather up, scrub under your nails and be thorough like a surgeon preparing for surgery.
I’ve washed so many times, that my fingerprints are now that of a dead man long ago buried.
It’s gotten to the point that my skin is soft like I’m living in an eternal hot tub.
My fingers look like sun bleached flounders on a Florida dock.
Unless my hands smell like a can of Lysol mixed with Mr. Clean, I don’t believe I’ve been thorough enough.
And if you are not thorough enough, what else is there?
There’s no mark you can put over the doorway that will keep this pestilence away.
The pirate ship of pandemic paralysis is sailing just outside my thoughts.
What the hell has happened to us?
I want to be normal, but normal has shifted.
Normal is now a place where you look at your reflection in the fun house mirror and all you see is sadness.
Your smile is twisted, muted into fear.
Your eyes, once alive and vibrant, are now distant and searching for equanimity.
It’s a new kind of existence where we live in the shadows.
It’s as if the pandemic pirates in their aspirated ghost ship, are boarding our minds, stealing our souls.
These invisible cut throats, living in a poisonous petri dish of fear, come at us on an invisible storm of CDC issuances and incessant news broadcasts of despair.
These Pirates may enter our lungs, but they have surely entered our psyche.
We want to be normal, but we’re afraid.
We want to go to the park, but we’re afraid.
We want to cough out loud, but to do so invites ridicule and disdain.
“You got the Covid?” someone will scream only half mockingly.
Cough twice and it could become physical.
Somewhere the Covid 19 police are lurking.
Neighbors reporting neighbors for unenforceable violations of social distancing and inappropriate hygiene.
A basketball game is now grounds for a call to the authorities.
Neighbors talking at the mailbox is now a nasty email on the community web site.
Covid 19 is not only killing people, it’s changing the very essence of who we are.
I’m sitting here on the Eve of the weirdest Easter this side of Jesus’ rebirth and I look upon a world I don’t recognize.
People are stoned faced and afraid.
Children laugh, because they are innocent and naïve, but the sound of their voices makes me wince.
Why are they laughing. Silence yourself child! Don’t let the pirates know we are here.
Where are the parent’s I think to myself.
Get that kid a muzzle. Don’t let him breathe over there. Better yet, put a mask on that tiny face.
Oh the Humanity.
Thanks Corona Virus.
The new normal is a 6 foot radius of perceived protection.
We all walk around with a new spatial equilibrium. We are jelly fish, floating around other humans, surrounded by an invisible spheroid that we’ve been told is the safety zone we can live within.
What Einstein thought up this precise measurement that separates life from death? Is it the same scientific morons who said citizens don’t need a mask, then 2 weeks later said wear a mask.
And now my entire community looks like they are going to rob the supermarket wearing masks decorated with flowers and messages of hope and American flags.
Instead of keeping the pirates at bay, I watch as frightened citizens, thinking they are protecting themselves, touch their face constantly, adjusting and re-adjusting their cloth face masks that 2 weeks ago weren’t necessary, and now, for some unexplained reason are life saving PPE’s.
I call Bull Shit.
It’s a word that didn’t exist in 2019.
It promises to be Meriam Webster’s Word of the Year, now.
Someone with a PHD somewhere told us that the Covid can’t get us if we keep a 6 foot bubble between us and the next guy.
And in one mighty press conference, the six foot rule became the new law of the land.
It’s the world’s new 1st Ammendment.
It’s a commandment that governs all. Though Shalt Not Infiltrate my personal space.
Suddenly we are all dogs living in a yard surrounded by an invisible fence.
If we stray beyond the six foot border or someone saunters within our safe zone, a shock collar of realization bangs on the back of your cerebral cortex and initiates a fight or flight reaction.
If you can move back, like a bumper car, reacting to an invisible threat, you step away.
What was once socially awkward and rude, is now a gesture of healthy respect.
If someone encroaches your six foot zone and you cannot retreat, then the claustrophobic vice of fear presses upon you.
Do you run? Do you hide? Do you fight?
The Covid is real.
It’s the perfect B movie monster.
One molecule entering any orifice of your body can create a petri dish of toxins that puts you in the ICU with a death squad hovering above you with a rented ventilator from Lowes.
The world has become a Terror Dome and we are all Mad Max trying to climb out of a cage.
For the last month, I’ve felt like I have been trying to solve an invisible Rubix Cube. I can’t see the colors, I can’t know what each twist and turn does to change the odds of solvability. Yet I continue to twist and turn and maintain a life style endorsed by Punxatawney Phil who sees his shadow and cowers back into his earthen hole.
It’s now Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead and set our souls free.
Millions of Christians will wrestle with the thought of going to a house of worship to pay homage and respect.
The pirates of pandemic have twisted the thoughts of many, and the edicts of stay away or you will be arrested for breaking the 6 foot rule are flowing like wine across the internet.
It’s a religious battle that will play out across the planet.
PANDEMIC PIRATES VS JESUS.
Who has a stronger hold on the psyche of the human race?
If it was a MMA event, you’d pay $69.95 to watch it on Cable.
Here’s my Sunday Sermon; Let’s close the proximity on the Corona Pirates, make them walk the plank, and get our lives back.
We are social creatures who don’t want to hold our breath every time we walk our dog or buy sugar in a store.
It’s time to get well, both physically and mentally.
Be gone Pirates of the Pandemic, we no longer fear you.
The sharks still circle the boat, but they now await your demise.
Perception is reality.