Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID-19: Diary of an Author-Intuitive (Entry 5)

By Cal Orey
Dear Diary,

Fear of the Unknown

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is not a drill. It is not the movie "Contagion"--it is happening right now in the U.S. and around the world. People are scared, angry, in denial or shock. Worse, there are the selfish folks who are hoarding food, products--even hiking prices. Our town is starting to shutdown and confusion is everywhere. And I experienced yesterday and today a town not at peace...

Mixed messages from the government to health experts is confusing. Do not stock up to stock up for two weeks--several weeks. So, I get another bag of dog food, fish rock, filters, and asked for the powder that keeps my aquarium balanced. One clerk said, "No problem. I'll give you a bit." Later, the other clerk tried to charge me 15 bucks after spending near 100 dollars! I got the fish stuff for 3.50 online, Amazon Prime (not 2 days any longer) but that's okay.

Tourists to Locals

Tourists are upset because the ski resorts have closed indefinitely. They talk of how unfair it is, no slopes, no fun. They don't care about a forced lockdown. They care about having their fun, that's why they came here. Perhaps in spite or fear or both they cleaned out our local supermarkets.  Other towns' restaurants, bars are shutting down. We are next and the casinos will go. Schools are without students. Events canceled. And it's a cascading happening of social distancing around the world.

Two years ago, en route to a book signing with
my Aussie (after his canine flu shot)--foreshadow?
Last night I started a thread on a local social media site and 100 comments later... a mean-spirited poster wrote, "Coronavirus isn't Tahoe-related." Huh? I try and help people to chill, from strangers in France, Tahoe, and the Midwest to Northeast. On the psychic networks, like today, I helped a young man chill. He is in the UK, partial lockdown.  I could feel his anxiety. isolation. I tell him by June we may see some sort of normalcy. But then in the fall, like the Spanish Flu, it may return like a monster in a film that doesn't die on cue. But after a month goes away like a nightmare. He is young. I tell him romance is on the way (I saw it) and he will be okay (I felt it). 

Stocking Up

My pantry is stuffed bringing back memories of Y2K. It fizzled after panic. I wish I could say the same about coronavirus. Some posters on social media say, "It's a cold. Grow up!" Others quip,"I'm going to hike" and "I'll go to the bar!" When my sibling comes home he looks like the character in "Contagion"--eyes as big as silver dollars. He is spooked by the social unrest out on the streets and empty store shelves. He is my eyes. I don't want to go out there. At all. I am like a sensitive cat before an earthquake. I feel the rumbling, a great quake is coming. And insanity continues.

My Aussie is good...he may know I'm off
a little. He is strong, he is wo(man)'s best friend
during the best and worst of times, with
respect to Charles Dickens
An earlier entry this week after a few tears, perhaps of sensing more of chaos was coming, I said, "I wish it would rain." Snow falls as I write to you. It gives me a sense of normalcy. I will build a fire tonight. The dog and cat, my Aussie and Siamese are comforting. I feel a sense of an oasis--for now. But another wave of unsettling news is on the horizon. It's happening hour by hour. A military man is now a statistic. Confirmed--infected. And soon, the military will be here to keep our community calm.

Knowing M*A* S* H tents are outside our local hospital, our main store is shutting early, the ski resorts are down, and the vacation homeowners next door didn't arrive are signs things are not normal.  Basic products like my fave organic milk are no longer on the shelves.

Life Goes On

Tomorrow will come... but these days after a good night's sleep when I awake I recall that America has changed. My travels have halted. I called the airline today. Again, a message comes on with a different voice which is a sign it's different now; the automated words are that they cannot take calls due to an overwhelming amount of callers. Try again in four days. No more Seattle book signings. No Canada trip. No swimming at my favorite resort pool. It's time to use the treadmill, write about my memories of traveling, and wait for our world to go through this challenge.

Today, I am not scared. But today I realize "gratitude" is key. I took for granted so many things that are now being taken away, one by one. I sense we will get through this ordeal.  But observing humanity still working against each other, whether it be government or in town--is painful. We are not there yet. It's time we work together and be kind to one another. We're not even close. 

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