Collective Psychosis – Week 8

I am now seven weeks into my covid-19 field trip. For someone who cherishes his privacy and likes to control his environment, I have adjusted surprisingly well to living with others. It’s good to not be alone at a time like this, and it’s great living in a house with loved ones and a dog.

So far, in spite of Florida’s lax policies, all of us are well. However, I am convinced that there will be a big problem here in the coming months. At least there should be enough infrastructure (masks, tests, procedures, ventilators, etc.) to handle the onslaught. I’m praying that I’ll soon be able to find a lab for antibody testing; I’d like to know my status, especially before traveling.

In Costa Rica, the government acted decisively and effectively to contain the virus, with early quarantine and “teleworking” measures. Also, the Costa Ricans do not suffer from the same sense of entitlement and resistance to authority which plague so many Americans. They actually understand the value and necessity of precautions and limitations based on science and sensible public health policy.

It still takes my breath away to see and hear people in the US who have allowed themselves to be manipulated and disinformed into resisting and protesting the restrictions in place. Common sense dictates that we loosen restrictions where numbers of new cases and deaths are going down, not up. Not to mention the inane theories that a virus from China is, in fact, a liberal conspiracy. Really?

I’ve mentioned before my desire to move on to the next stage of my life. I’ve accomplished at least a couple of my goals for my sabbatical in CR, and I now know that it is unlikely that I will achieve my others. I have a consulting contract which might be more manageable if I’m in California, but Barcelona beckons.

In case life weren’t interesting enough, my brother and his wife learned a few weeks ago that they needed to move out of their house by the end of May. So we are now packing and planning the move, which will happen next week. Ah, life during a pandemic.

I’m teaching online, and it’s keeping me busy. I do enjoy it, but there are days when I’d rather just read. Speaking of which, I read Braised Port, by An Yu; a short, magical and intricate novel about a woman who, upon her husband’s unexpected death, goes on a quest looking for a fish-man. Also, The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin is quite a read. It’s the story of how cities, in this case New York, fight evil opposing forces in order to evolve into independent entities through the concerted efforts of their selected avatars.

I finished the most recent seasons of Ozark, which I loved, and I’m watching the new Penny Dreadful, this time in 1930’s Los Angeles. A fun ride, but I doubt I’ll be able to see the whole season before I have to leave. It’s funny how much Netflix has spoiled us so that we complain about having to wait a week for new episodes. Oh, and Last Kingdom released its fourth season: A quasi-historical take on ninth century England, with lots of bloody wars between Saxons and Danes, compelling characters and an improbably hunky lead who never ages or dies.

My other news is that I will be having prostate surgery at the end of month at the Mayo Clinic. I was lucky to find a doctor here who does a state-of-the-art procedure which, we hope, will need to be done only once in my lifetime. I also lucked out when I got an early date after the ban on non-urgent procedures ended.

Two weeks later, I plan to travel to Costa Rica. Since all tourist travel has been banned first until May 1st and then until June 15th, Delta has canceled all flights in May. I do worry that Delta won’t resume flying until it’s sure that the government won’t extend yet again the date for opening the border.

I love my family, but I miss my bed.

Stay masked, gloved and safe.