Brooding about Politics and Coronavirus

“It appears we are in the chaos that churns in between more stable eras.”Β  –Heather Cox Richardson

As an American, I know I have a cheerful reputation to maintain, especially for my blogging friends across the pond. And mostly I am pretty cheerful, no small thing for someone who worries. A lot. But there you are—we all have contradictions, and for the most part, I am a worried optimist.

However, lately events have come together to leave me completely frazzled, worn out. First and foremost, there is politics. Between the Democratic primaries and Trump’s responses, everything is on full screech. What got us to this point has been building over the years and isn’t likely to go away soon, but how I wish this country would regain its footing. Everything feels off-kilter to me, off balance. And oh so ugly.

Therefore, when something like, say, the Coronavirus comes along, it makes everything feel even more unbalanced. I know. The virus isn’t supposed to be that bad, no worse than a usual cold or a mild case of the flu, at least for most people. (Some people have indeed died from it.)

But do I have any faith in the leadership at the top to steer us safely through what will more than likely be a pandemic, however mild it might be? No, I don’t. So I do what I can on a small scale. I have a nice stockpile of supplies, and because I am someone who is, ahem, more than a little food obsessed, this makes me feel secure. Dry milk, cereal, canned pineapple? Check. Green lentils, plenty of chocolate, and eggs? Ditto. If things go to heck in a hand-basket—and I sure hope they don’t—we are well stocked. If things don’t go to heck in a hand-basket, then I won’t have to go grocery shopping for quite a while. No harm in that.

Along with having plenty of food, I also live in a beautiful place. For me, the Maine landscape always provide great solace—the blue of the sky, the trees in every season, even when the branches are bare, the hushed feeling of the winter-white woods, the lush green ferns. Every season brings something different. All I have to do is look out my windows to see it.

So I’ll end with a picture of a tree by the town’s public beach, about a mile from our house. Right now, the tree is stark against the sky, but soon spring will come, and with it buds. Then green leaves to provide shade in the summer followed by a glorious burst of fall colors. The leaves drop, and we are back to dark branches against blue sky. A lovely cycle to console me.




84 thoughts on “Brooding about Politics and Coronavirus”

    1. Yes, yes! And let’s hope we all learn from this one because there will be other viruses. We really need to beef up CDC and all other agencies that work at fighting viruses. Guess what Trump has done?

  1. What I love most about blogging is this wonderful community of people who, wherever we are in the world, have gathered in an online community of like minds.
    I am feeling similarly and glad of my well stocked freezer and cupboards, but I might go out tomorrow and get some powdered milk and tinned pineapples. πŸ™‚
    We wait to hear the next bit of news and stay as positive as we can taking comfort in a beautiful sky, our gardens and our creativity.
    I am so grateful for my blogging friends.
    Thank you Laurie for putting it all into words so well.

    1. I was thinking the very same thing! How grateful I am for my blogging friends. Yes, we can prepare and wait and hope. And because I live in a rural area where I don’t encounter many people, I can grab my walking stick and go for a walk. A beautiful sunny day in Maine.

  2. The coronavirus doesn’t worry me much cos I think it is blown way out of proportion to let us think less about all the political problems, not only in the US but all over the world. It’s the politics that scare me the most together with the environment…..

      1. If you know that more people die from the flu each year than from this virus….problem often is that people don’t have time to be ill and want to carry on like normal instead of accepting their body needs rest and a bit of tlc, people don’t listen to their body anymore πŸ˜€

  3. That was a good note to finish on. It would be good to have confidence in the people who are supposed to be running the country but it is hard to trust them at all.

    1. No kidding! Sometimes I wonder how those at the top are even able to cross the street by themselves. And yet they have a canny ability to sway others and maintain power. Scary!

  4. We made it through the disruption, riots, and divisions of 1968, we can get through this, too! Love that tree! I’m sure I will be under it for many hours this summer with Robbie.

    1. Yes, we did. But in my worried opinion, we are in a far worse place than we were in 1968, which was certainly a bad time. But the climate crisis really ups the ante, as well as the potential for many more virus outbreaks. However, the optimist in me says, onward ho!

    1. Very true! Clif and I can hunker down in our own snug house and avoid crowds. Not everyone has the luxury of doing this. Plus I have my wonderful blogging friends to cheer me up.

  5. After having the worst flu I’ve ever experienced over the holidays, I’m not too concerned about the coronavirus, Laurie. I think the media is trying to create a panic, which is so sad. Gorgeous photo!

    1. It really is a wonderful thing isn’t it – we have Boris the Buffoon in charge of the craziness here – good gracious – what happened to all our flower power and optimism of the 60s – sigh!

      1. I know the craziness isn’t limited to the U.S. I’m hoping the younger generation will roar back at the current administration and give them something to think about.

    2. Blogging friends are a ray of sunshine in this crazy world. Glad to read you election will be nothing like ours. Wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Trump just called the virus “a Democratic hoax.” That shows you were we are headed. No place good.

  6. Thanks for writing about this. You’ve described how I felt all day: off-kilter, as if waiting for the other shoe to drop. In addition to covid-19, the stock market and the steady drip of insanity from 45 and his cohorts, it’s hard to keep one’s head up. I’m also recovering from major foot surgery, so too much time in my head doesn’t’ help. Sigh.

    1. Oh, goodness! Just what you need during these cuckoo times. Did you happen to read or hear that Trump called the virus “another Democratic hoax”? What. The. Heck. Hope your foot heals quickly. And stay well!

      1. Yes! I like our governer as well, but then we’re not the states we should worry about. More primaries today. I voted for Elizabeth Warren, and I’m still not over it. Two more old white guys to choose from. Sigh.

  7. We live in unsettled and unsettling times, Laurie. Hearing or reading about everything that happens everywhere around the clock is not conducive to peace of mind. Sometimes a little ignorance is indeed bliss!

      1. I hear you, and maybe the virus has been overhyped. We won’t know until it’s over. Still, it is something to be taken seriously. The virus is in the U.S. and it will spread. Best to prepare as much as possible. I will be writing more about this on Monday.

  8. You are very blessed where you live Laurie and when the news (spread by the media to sell and influence) gets to you, you can switch all that off and focus on what nurtures your spirit πŸ’– xxx

  9. Such an unsettling time, Laurie. I am glad you have Nature to balance you. I decided to tweet almost entirely about Nature and gardening during Lent. And even though Nature just dumped an unbelievable amount of snow on us in yesterday’s storm, I’m finding the beauty in it! Hugs from freezing Ontario.

  10. I totally agree. Love the Worried Optimist label, I am right there with you. Heather Cox is brilliant and really shines light on the genesis of where we are. We have to hold on tight to what’s important, and try to stay positive!

    1. Hear, hear! And I agree with you about Heather Cox. What a good mind she has, and she writes so clearly. As you noted, she shines light on the genesis of where we are. It’s been quite a while coming, and now we are seeing the ugly results.

  11. Hope coronavirus outbreak will be under control soon.
    When it comes to the politicians (around the globe), may God give them wisdom πŸ˜€

  12. I have been feeling off-kilter, too Laurie. What with Beastly Boris and his nasty un-elected adviser, the puppet-master Dominic Cummings, Covid-19 and all the extra work this has caused the already over-worked NHS doctors and nurses, and these storms every weekend during February causing misery and homelessness to thousands of people I am feeling very anxious indeed. I am sorry you are having to deal with Trump, his incendiary remarks and awful behaviour as well as the corona virus pandemic threat. I am trying to stop myself from thinking those ‘What if…’ thoughts and am attempting to concentrate on the good things in my life. We have also started stocking up on a few essentials, just in case -which is a positive – and I have been enjoying reading all these wonderful posts on WP and connecting with friends.

  13. In The Real Thing, one of Tom Stoppard’s characters says “Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight.” And that is what you deftly did–for yourself and all of us–with that tree. Thanks for voicing this. I feel out of balance, too, but just glimpsed a fabulous sunset, and that grounds me.

    1. So many of us feel off balance and are looking for ways to regain their footing. Taking solace in the landscape is one way. Wonderful blogging friends are another. Stay well, keep your footing!

  14. Yes climate change is making itself felt, there is a virus on the loose which may or may not be more dangerous than the ones we are used to and meanwhile the antics of politicians are causing even more strife than usual. I understand why irt is all getting to you. Your tree and my daffodils will keep on growing, nblooming and doing their own thing even so. I think you may find the post I am working on at the moment interesting because it is on the same theme. Meanwhile enjoy all the comments from your friends around the world and eat well!

  15. Look at it this way, this virus for all the damage it may do, could end up costing Trump the election. Of course, it’s still terrible for any lives lost.

  16. Wow – so good to read this post and all the comments. I gives me a sane perspective on the state of the world. Sometimes (often) it feels like it’s the worst times I have ever seen, but I know it’s not the worst it’s been, and it’s good to be reminded of that.

    I did not think to stock up on food – but if the virus hits our town, I’d rather stay in than go grocery shopping, so I will heed that advice.

    My husband keeps abreast of the news, and for that I am thankful. He’ll tell me anything I need to know about. I listen to NPR in the car, but, other than that, I find I can’t bear the much of the news online or on TV. These people we elected and pay to represent us seem to do nothing but bicker and poke. They’re all like the mean girls in high school. I just want someone I respect.

    1. The news is very hard to bare. I keep looking, but it saps my spirit. Especially when Trump says things like the virus is a Democratic hoax. Yes, stock up on food. Stay in if the virus comes to your area. I will be writing more about this in today’s post.

    1. I understand the need or want to pull back. As someone who likes staying informed, I can’t do that, but I have other ways of refreshing my spirit. Treats help. πŸ˜‰

  17. Laurie, You are not alone. My days are spent listening to and sharing with those who have are scared by the headlong plunge of the US into nightmare. That we have been here before is little comfort……

  18. I meant to reply to your post a few days ago… I agree the world seems very unpredictable and bewildering at the moment. Our politicians here in Australia are lacking in moral code… when did this become the norm?

  19. I want to be informed too-but it must be in small doses. Sometimes, I hardly recognize life anymore and politics seem to be doom and gloom -these days. May the beauty of Maine lessen your burdens. We must take heart and love one another . You are not alone, my friend
    love Michele

  20. I’m brooding right along with you and my hope of being more optimistic this year has failed, but I do love your “worried optimist” option. I’ve found that during the last few weeks following the developments of the coronavirus that I’m having a very difficult time watching our often frustrating election process and coverage and very disappointing press conferences on the virus (how can phrases like hoax or hunch be used during a time like this). I’m trying to do whatever I can to be aware of the virus developments and necessary precautions and we have also made sure we have extra supplies of the necessary items and a few additional comfort foods and desserts so I don’t panic too much. Love the photo of the tree and appreciated the thoughts and beauty of Maine that you shared.

  21. Agreed! I feel that this is making some people engage in politcs more so than they would otherwise. And trust is definitly a key issue. I know that Trump hasn’t exactly been on it when when it comes to making decisions to protect America’s citizens, while here in the UK it hasn’t been much better…

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