Confronting the Present Moment

Where are you going to be on Sunday at 11:33am EST?

You’ll be sitting at the exact point of the vernal equinox, where the earth lines up at a transition point out of winter and into the spring. Spiraling on through the orbit we go.

Time warp

Speaking of cycles and shifts, I’m glad consensus is growing to stop the changing of the clocks twice per year. I agree with letting us establish our rhythm and keep it. My only question is who decided to go with the adjusted time forever?

I like the real time, which is also arbitrary, but it’s the original arbitrary. I also wish I had known we were considering stepping into the fake time and never coming back out. It would have softened the blow. I would have savored the last minutes. I’m sorry, real time, for taking you for granted. We are now trapped in separate worlds, only an hour away, but never to see each other again. (Sounding a little nuts? Spring fever setting in, I think). 

COVID headlines and round up

News from the week:

  • In Mass the 7 day average for the entire state dropped below the 500 cases per day range.
  • Berkshires cases dropped again to 15 cases per day average over the last week down from 23 cases per day last week.
  • US as a whole is experiencing just over 30,000 cases per day on average, down from 35,000. 

The Big Question

Does the uptick in cases in the UK and other places in Europe mean we could be following suit and will see more cases in a few weeks? That seems to be the question of the moment. In further support of that, Bloomberg reported, Wastewater monitoring suggests covid cases are rising again in many parts of the US. Here we go again? Omicron variant 2 will likely bring at least a small blip, but…

Don’t panic yet.

Many parts of Europe were still somewhat in their Omicron moment and had never really gotten through it. They had a dip and are rising again but hadn’t experienced the typical 3 month span that Omicron had lasted in the US and in the UK, before their drops. The UK did not have as robust of a curve in the winter as we did. I’m hopeful that their uptick will be minor and that Europe will peak in earnest soon.

There are important funding and EUA decisions facing Congress right now. The Covid optimist (combined with the financial realist) in me hopes that some of the heightened headlines of late are related just as much to garnering support for the next round of decisions as much as any real shift that is starting. We will have to go a month into the future to really know. But for now we will watch the local and regional numbers and feel comfortable moving about largely in a pre-pandemic sort of way!

Confronting the Present Moment

I’ve said it before, but pandemics don’t last. Just like any challenge, we are best suited to meet it head on, not skirt it. That’s how it works, that’s how we as a society will get through it. In the US, with Omicron, we did just that. The country was on fire this winter. It went through the majority of households. We’ve scrambled to find the tools to lessen the blow, and have some decent ones on hand. They help, but the main tool is standing in there, simply showing up uncompromisingly as yourself, facing what is at hand, one day at a time.

To that end, at this point the Swede is in a much more favorable position compared with resident of China. China is acting avoidantly, and struggling.You can’t avoid your obstacles:

China Locks Down a City of 9 Million Amid a New Spike in COVID-19 Cases (NPR) China last Friday ordered a lockdown of the 9 million residents of the northeastern city of Changchun amid a new spike in COVID-19 cases in the area attributed to the highly contagious omicron variant. Residents are required to remain home, with one family member permitted to venture out to buy food and other necessities every two days. All residents must undergo three rounds of mass testing, while non-essential businesses have been closed and transport links suspended. The latest lockdowns, which also include Yucheng with 500,000 people in the eastern province of Shandong, show China is sticking to the draconian approach to the pandemic it has enforced for most of the past two years, despite some earlier indications that authorities would be implementing more targeted measures.”

I figured we would have pictures from all over the globe of temporary hospitals and would be celebrating the feats of modern engineering, volunteerism, etc. We never really had that, in part because of the nature of these infections and the tools we chose to use. But maybe it’s also in part because we don’t know so well this principle of meeting the obstacle straight on.

It’s understandable. I’m not saying I know how to run the show, but my observation is that China’s situation compared with the rest of the world demonstrates a big contrast. I’m just glad we are on the other side, as it appears to me right now, and I feel for the countries that have been “hiding out”.In any event, these are unprecedented times, and we are on the brink of many things. Absolutely, it makes sense to focus on the potential for good of the current moment. Be reassured that there are strong ordering influences accompanying the chaos. It’s just how it works. It takes it all together to be whole.

The rhythm inherent in the burgeoning signs of spring and this late winter sun-filled day we have ahead, remind us of this. Wishing you well on this sunny, warm day… and Happy Spring!