April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot lamented. He had no idea.
We’re only halfway through the first month of the second quarter, transitioning from Aries to Taurus, and good luck with your astrological forecasts making any sense COVID-wise. Mine on Sunday (Scorpio, but on the cusp with Libra) was fairly prescient: “Today is a 7. Communication resolves misunderstandings. Take time to work things out before they grow. You don’t need to share everything. Edit words before sending.”
I don’t know why I care. What good does a calendar do you anyway? There’s almost nothing to schedule, plan for, anticipate, organize your life around. One day morphs into the next, which actually is a pretty good strategy for surviving this thing. The more days behind us, the fewer in front of us. Sheltering works. Nothing else does. Unlike most purposeful endeavors, turning our coronavirus bell curve into a flat line takes almost no effort. Be still and live.
Of course, it’s not that simple. We’re still on the merry-go-round even if it’s at a full stop, and the only way to get off is … well, tragic. Waiting for the music and movement to start again is preferable to the alternative.
But inactivity can be enervating (and yes, I am using that word correctly — look it up). Restless humans are prone to respond with creativity, innovation, and rechanneled energy — the good kind, we hope. You don’t have to spend much time on the internet to find hundreds of examples of people making something of their confined time.
Not all of us are housebound. The “essentials” — and that’s an amorphous distinction if there ever was one — are contending with the outer world while masked, gloved, sanitized, washed, wiped, and properly distanced. In the Methow, a lot of otherwise cooped-up souls are walking, biking or running in quiet solitude on our roads and trails, or getting their gardens tilled (April is good for that at least, Mr. Eliot).
We can’t see the thing that has us isolated, but it’s all around. It apparently took COVID 18 tries before it perfected itself, but viruses have all the time in the world and not much else to do but look for ways to kill you. Which is pretty ambitious for something that isn’t even alive. You’d think we sentient beings would have the advantage.
But human arrogance, ignorance, and greed gave COVID-19 a free pass. Too many people in government and the private sector think we can simply waltz past COVID-19 at some convenient date of our choosing, and it will just wink and nod. We are not on our own timetable, which drives a lot of people crazy — especially those who think all we need to do is return to “normal.” The cure is worse than the disease? Well, the disease is “death.” Hard to get much worse than that.
“Stay Home, Stay Healthy” remains the prime directive. And yes, looking ahead without an endpoint in sight is frustrating. What about that long-planned family event in June? Can you get to Europe this fall for a good friend’s wedding? Will there be school in September? Can I get my teeth cleaned, my hair cut and my nails groomed before I degenerate into something even my family can’t abide? How long will it take to get our financials sorted out? (A long time, is the prevailing projection.) Will we even have a job to come back to? When can we enjoy something as simple as going out for a hamburger, or shopping in a bookstore, or sharing a bottle of wine in a bistro with friends? Maybe we’ll come out of this with a better appreciation for the everyday things we have taken for granted. I know I will.
Meanwhile, we seek guidance where we can find it. So let’s say, as some astrologers do, that I’m actually a Libra. My Sunday prognostication: “Today is an 8. Home and family take priority. Organize and upgrade domestic systems and infrastructure. Nurture your household with delicious flavors and sounds. Tend to your garden.”
Perfect. We should all be Libras.