Some Lessons from the Pandemic

I am not going to be very specific in relating the Covid-19 story about myself and my current situation in life. But I am eager to try to explain that everything matters a lot, I am fighting to keep and even improve my health when that is not so easy to do, I am struggling to remain solvent. I am struggling to be responsible for the responsibilities that I still have. I am struggling to improve my condition and keep some small gains as a participant in the economy. I repeat the word struggling advisedly, it is a struggle. In that struggle I rely on some patterns of behavior that have allowed me to survive up to now. I do this even knowing that I have not been a rousing success. I try to figure what changes I can make, I make a few but not that many.

In this balance of competing demands and concerns I often hit a new bump or two that puts the whole balance in jeopardy.  I am writing this post on a day when there are some new threats and challenges in trying to stay in the pattern of life I am trying to keep going. I am aware that there are negative consequences as well as positive ones to every choice I make. last evening I got a call from a robot that brought up very complicated issues from a certain point of view that could be consequential for me. I knew I could not talk to the robot about this so I contacted the AI source at the website level. I realized that his was a site with limited forms of communication as well. But I found one way to at least express the most simple aspect of what was going on. Now I will have to deal with another robot soon or another different website and answer very simplistic questions in a way that is somehow true to my understanding of what happened with the first robot and website. I know that there are often all sorts of legal civil consequences and even criminal penalties associated potentially associated  with an answer on many of these websites even though giving a correct answer may appear to be empirically impossible. But I will do the best I can and live as best I can with the consequences. The Covid-19 crisis is involved in how all this plays out but it does not determine all the factors. Much of it was hard to deal with and part of my life before and in an odd way the pandemic has just cranked up the potential consequences for bad and good.

Going to bed shortly after the online incident described above, I woke and made coffee and had breakfast as I watched the news. I also checked on the progress I have been making with the familiar home based therapy on my chronically ill feet which had reached a crippling state but one in which I have worked before because I avoid jobs that a partly crippled person cannot do.  The swelling malformation and pain were enough diminished that I mowed two lawns which I had prepped two days ago and which I hope to trim over memorial day weekend. Then I ran a few errands and while doing a little laundry I wrote this post. I think I have worked a lot although some people have worked a lot more. But I have also had these kinds of hybrid days. I took a smoke break (cigars outside are my thing) and did a bizarre little urgent repair which reflected the  tools, supplies and conditions on site. It was urgent but not a technique I could recommend to anyone.

As people try to find a new normal we can all see that there will be a lot of good done if we can drive fewer miles. There may be costs and gasoline and even car sales may suffer but keeping the planet alive is also pretty important. If people are at home they will find that they are more responsive to conditions on site at the moment and far less subject to the norms of a public place. This will conflict with the kinds of online structures that make this way of life possible. The result will be that the people living in this new way will experience a different perspective about all of this mix of life and work than if they all commuted to a job where in many cases they then spent a good bit of time driving around to other work venues.

I think that there are opportunities for things to get better, There are also many ways in which things can get worse. But as I try to navigate through this day and through this period of time I try to be guardedly optimistic for myself and for the country I live in and for the world. People will be changed by all of this. It will be difficult to tell what the long terms results will be. Perhaps we will have gotten some experience dealing with uncertainty and finding the best way to optimize current conditions. That is where people are finding themselves now in some cases. That is the  situation in which I find myself.

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