These days at home at sundown I sit with a book in the balcony. I am there when it gets dark, and I switch on the lights and continue reading. The lockdown began with the new moon, which has been growing and starting higher each evening. Soon, it’s time for dinner, after which I lie on a couch and read on. “Your posture!” my wife says, and I shift an inch or two, and she leaves the matter at that.
The proffered advise to beat the lockdown blues is to learn a new recipe, practice yoga, read the big books, pick up a new craft. The real challenge is to enjoy a meal, to focus on breathing, to concentrate on a book, to commit to any pursuit in face of the reports coming in.
Before the balcony, the pink tabebuia (flowers like candy floss) have almost all fallen, and their leaves with them. Other trees have lost their green as well, but on a few trees, shiny leaves are flourishing. Still, the overall sense is of barrenness, as though the flora have caught the pandemic as well. There’s a depression that’s come over plants these days that mirrors the ennui and despondence among humans.
The breeze comes in now and then and soothes the face, but it smells of worry and of flagging hope. Will the lockdown end after three weeks? Wise Dr.Fauci in the US and others at the UN and the WHO assert that this pestilence is not keeping step with our hopes.
For a business owner like me, some articles in the papers are worrisome. They demand that financial relief should not go to the corporations, but rather to the people straight. That’s an argument that comes without doubt from the heart. When these columnists say “corporations,” do they also mean mid-size companies like mine? Because we need help, too. If the total lockdown continues, how shall we pay our salary bill? Interest on debt? The other huge, fixed costs?
This is a crazy situation, and if businesses are given a helping hand, the welfare of our employees are secured. But I’m only a businessman, and I may lack the sweep of a Guardian columnist’s thinking.
This is supposed to be a total lockdown. But I hear the occasional walker and the jogger on the street. Some are in pairs, talking. They’re keeping the distance, and when they sense me looking down at them, they look up — sheepish faces, defiant faces, but I’m guessing, seeing only the eyes in their mask-covered faces.