COVID Ponderings (and Akbash Dogs)

Since I got the first shot, I’ve been trying to understand the invisible effects of the pandemic on me. I know, solipsistic, but something’s happened. COVID-19 appeared in Colorado almost exactly a year ago, March 5, though now it’s believed it was here in January. I remember taking a long walk (big surprise) and thinking about what it would mean for me. I believed that my responsibility to the world and my community was simply not to get sick. Our hospitals are small and since I am not obliged to do anything like go to work, and I’m not caring for anyone, I could easily “isolate” and I did.

I’m sure everyone’s “Covid story” follows a pattern and it’s likely our patterns are somewhat similar.

In my small life the pattern is essentially the same as depicted in these memes, but with some differences. The second image (going left from the top) is everyone around me scurrying to make masks for our hospitals and discussing what we all could do. The image bottom left is everyone realizing that this isn’t going away any time soon and feeling haggard, tired and a little betrayed. This isn’t supposed to happen to us!!! The bottom right is resignation. I hit the Nutella in picture two, top, but decided that was a bad idea unless I wanted to buy a lot of new clothes. It’s amazing, though, how many psychological problems are healed by Nutella. I hit the bottom left picture (middle version) a few days ago when I woke up thinking, “I want that damned shot NOW!” I’m still there.

The shot left my arm very sore and me very tired for three days. It also shoved in front of me the reality that this life I’ve chosen, and to which I’ve adapted, is going to come to an end. Since I have come to understand through this year (thanks to the cranes) that what matters most in life is life itself, specifically my life, I’ve been wondering if many of the things we do are nothing more than time fillers and illusions. We need human connection, but, at the same time there is no human connection without human life. That was one of the first things that struck me on those early COVID walks. “If I’m not here any more, then I’m not hanging out with my friends.”

The sudden and necessary prioritization of self was shocking until I realized that we rely on others to take care of themselves. That’s what makes a person trustworthy, knowing that that person is NOT going to throw him/herself willy-nilly into oblivion. That is (I think) why sane people reacted so vehemently to DJT (jokingly?) telling people to inject bleach and Dr. Scarf not standing up for medical science (and herself). Deep inside each creature (I believe) is a small wise voice saying, “There’s a meteorite around every corner. Break the ice in the trough or die.” I see the cattle out there finding the ONE warm place, a pile of dung, on which to lie during the deep cold.

I’m not the same person I was in March 2020, and I’m not sure I want to “return” to that person. I can’t NOT know what I’ve learned in this interval. Are you the same person or has this experience launched you into self-discovery, too?

In other news, here’s a video that shows what Akbash dogs (like Bear) do when they have a job:

32 thoughts on “COVID Ponderings (and Akbash Dogs)

  1. Definitely not the same person and I may never be again. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen. I have kept a handwritten journal since last March. Mostly as a daily record of the pandemic and how we coped locally. And how I coped personally. It gets raw at times. I never expected that it might fill 2 journals (so far). A recurring theme was just as you say – the loss of human connection and…really…it’s irreplaceable and essential and life-giving. Sigh. Mortality – front and center in a way it’s never been before. Time fillers and illusion…isn’t there a Moody Blues song with a line about life is but an illusion? You’ve also got me wondering if Nutella is gluten free. Then I could try some. Excellent post.

    • Thank you. And yeah, mortality, “front and center.” I’m grateful for that. I guess I’ve kept m “covid journal” here and I feel a little guilty about that. I looked all the posts I’ve tagged Covid the evening after I got my shot. Nothing too harrowing because (for me) it hasn’t been too harrowing, just illuminating. I’m grateful for that, too.

      I think Nutella is gluten free, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s as addictive as crack cocaine… πŸ˜€

      Here’s the “song”:

  2. I see a change in myself – sort of an internal shift. I’m less trusting that people will do the right thing but that might not be due to COVID – more likely a residual effect of 45’s reign of terror. I have been more attentive to relatives and friends that have been physically distant in hopes of pulling them emotionally closer…

    • Internal shift — yes. I’m also less trustful that people will do the right thing (to protect themselves) and yeah, part of that is 45. I’m still not sure about pulling anyone emotionally closer. That’s a thing right now I’m grappling with. I might just be responsive to them, having learned that I do very well alone. ❀

  3. I must agree with most but I cannot stand Nutella…there I said it!!! Luckily Covid is quite distant from my place in the bush and isolation isn’t a worry. I had other stuff to deal with. Love the video.
    Thanks for joining in Martha πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  4. Way too much time for solitary thought and self-reflection. I’m surely different, but I have no idea what effect (if any) that might have on me in the future. I go for my second shot tomorrow:)

  5. Since March I’ve learnt I can walk. Before I would walk the 200yards into town and think I was doing well. I relied on my cat. Now I’m on day 25 of a 100 day walking challenge. I’m managing to walk a few miles! I’m no born again walker. I still don’t know where I’ve got the energy from and I’m bloody tired! But if anything changed me I’m sure it was because of covid.

  6. Sadly, what this pandemic has shown me is that I no longer wish to live among my neighbors. That realization has been my biggest challenge to date. I don’t know that I’ve changed, but I’ve lifted the blinders I had willingly worn.

    • A little of that has happened to me, too, but I can’t move so I’m trying to put a good face on it. In my case, it’s that I can no longer ignore that they are a bunch of brainwashed, ignorant, fascist idiots who really believe that 3% bullshit and think Trump will be president again in a few months and that the vaccine against COVID is the mark of the beast. Other than that they’re good people πŸ˜‰

  7. I know I am not the same person. My wife of 50 years has Parkinson’s disease, so, our life was narrow in scope before Covid pandemonium. It became much more restrictive as I worried continually about her becoming ill. She now has both doses of the Pfizer version. I am looking forward to my second dose in a couple weeks. — My sister-in-law sincerely believes the vaccine itself will kill you. She causes me to read things I would disregard out of hand with new eyes. I ponder what she is understanding when she reads charlatans like Joe Mercola and Simone (frontlinedoctors) … I lost her name.
    I’ve actually started a study for my own interest on MEMEs why are they so gut wrenching and fascinating to so many.– I may try the nuetella thing.

    • thank you so much for replying — I’m really curious about all of us during this experience — pandemonium. Yep.

      A lot of people seem to have bought into one or two of the various theories about the vaccine — some that it is the mark of the beast or that we will not need it when Trump returns to power. Seriously. All I can figure is that this is some deep kind of denial of reality and they’re all a little (or a lot) insane.

      Nutella is dangerous so be careful πŸ˜‰

  8. This is such a beautiful post. I’m not the same person either. The video is just fascinating (I love the names of the guardians). As a community, I would hope we could protect one another in this way.

    • Those livestock guardian dogs have been taught to pull a sled! I’d love to visit that ranch. I don’t think humans will ever have the soul of livestock guardian dogs which is both good and bad. I have to warn people when I’m out with Bear because she doesn’t like other dogs, especially those that run at me, but that’s the whole guardian thing, I guess. ❀

  9. It will take me awhile myself to unpack the past year in isolation and past four years which have all been depressing under an oppressive monster and his mindless followers. I live away from a city, but out in the country side where so many that I thought were normal salt of the earth type people, who turn out to be just awful, and I keep hoping they will wake up. Covid has magnified them. Forever I will think differently about them, which is sad.

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