Imaginative confinement

Confinement, like it or not, is presently compulsory. But this state of affairs is not for the highly-strung… unless you already have jail time experience.

The main problems with this predicament are the twin brothers called Boredom and Restlessness. We humans (and wild animals alike) are not used to remain inactive for long periods. We need to periodically exercise mind and body.

As a child, when I visited a zoo, I often reflected and empathized with the caged animals. In those days, out of ignorance, these poor creatures were unfortunately treated without any compassion, especially the big cats. Now, most of the zoos do a better job, but nobody should remain in permanent confinement.

To stay fully functional, living creatures need to periodically occupy brains and brawn.

You are in a better position to tackle confinement if you have a hobby. Any hobby, to take your mind off the present, lasting and depressing situation.

Besides boobtubing and reading, writing, chess, Scrabble, cleaning, sex, cooking, calling friends (through Zoom), rearranging your living space are good recreational activities.
But vary your projects; do not spend more than a few hours on the same activity… it could be taxing, especially when engaged in pata-pata (South African).

I try to be as multitasking as possible. During the day, I shred old documents, write, catch a bit of news, rearrange a room, add a few sentences to a story, go to the bathroom, go for a walk, take occasional pictures, bicker with my wife, etc.

You need to be creative (and I will one more time refute our president), be prepared for a long siege. This damn virus is a tough customer and will not leave on its own. It will have to be fought intelligently and kicked out manu-militari.

In the meantime

Researchers worldwide (including tiny but tech-savvy Israel) are racing with time to create an antidote or a vaccine to neutralize the beast.
When this happens and confinement is finally lifted, there will be an explosion of joy similar (maybe even bigger) to the announcement of the end of World War II in Europe.
And I hope to be there… with all of you.

In the meantime, keep busy, wash your hands, retain social distances and be damn grateful to all the medical professionals who are risking their lives to save the world.

Lots of hugs and virtual kisses!

Alain

We are all in the same boat

I usually wake up around 6:30 am and turn on my TV set to take the pulse of the nation… and the world.

I am glad to see that newscasters are doing what medical authorities are preaching. They are now seating at a “social distance” from each other and showing by example what has been urged from everybody. This is a basic precaution that many people still fail to observe. Make no mistake, we are at war, and if you are not fastidiously careful there will be lots of casualties and collateral damage.

The Coronavirus is spreading and regardless of race, gender or political affiliation, we are all at risk. And by the way, I hate to disabuse you, but no amount of prayers is going to help. Places of worship don’t provide any special divine protection and should be avoided.

In Russia, some people are flocking to churches and kissing orthodox icons. Probably the worse and deadliest mistake that can be made. The authorities are trying to discourage this practice but old habits are dying hard. If you absolutely need to pray (some people do) do it silently, without touching or kissing anything.
Be mindful that kissing has become a deadly sin, punishable by death.

Talking about kissing, I read that sex workers all over the world are also feeling the pinch. Just like the stock market, their trade has taking a terrible plunge leaving a multitude of workers without income.

Workers in the sex industry say clients are canceling and strip clubs and brothels are shutting down.

 This is getting serious! Closing brothels is akin to prohibition. Regardless of the risk people will still be seeking sex. But like booze in the old days, it cannot be brought from Canada.

But everything is not lost. In dire situations, one needs to be resourceful. Sex workers have first hand experience (pun intended) of the business and can use their expertise to generate some income.

They can start a second career in erotica. They have the experience and should be able to translate it into words. This cottage industry is now flourishing and publishers and readers alike are hungry for new stories. And while doing some research, I was surprised to learn that most of the stories are written by women for women. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

We are living in crazy times… Some people are now worried that the damn Covid-19 virus could hide in men’s beards… Under Peter the Great, men were ordered to shave their beards or pay a heavy fine.

Donald the Great might order to implement this measure to show that he is taking an active part in fighting this nasty war.

Until I am proven wrong, I refuse to shave every day. I am lazy and for the next foreseeable future, I won’t have to kiss anybody.

Keep safe!

Alain

The call of the wild

The call of the wild is an ancient attribute proper to every living thing. Very few creatures feel content to stay confined in the same environment for a long time. After a while, they long to explore fresh new territories. And so are humans.

Because of the threat of the Coronavirus, we have been requested to stay home… to keep a safe distance from our fellow citizens… And most of us abide by this directive. But as I understand it, it does not mean that we have to remain totally cooped up…

When you are about to be overcome by the blues, you might want to slip into your trekking zapatos and answer the call of the wild. But be careful and considerate. Stay away from people for at least 6 feet. You might also want to carry an electric cattle prod to keep the Spring Breakers and their ilk at bay.

In my neighborhood, pets are more numerous than people… (or so it seems) and they are not to be trifled with. It appears that the beasts don’t pay too much attention to the news and demand to go out every day. So, their keepers oblige, and that’s OK. As long as people don’t congregate, we all benefit from a bowl of fresh air.

Personally, I hear the call of the wild regularly. After a few hours spent behind a computer screen, I need to go out and stretch my legs. In order to remain sound of mind and body (and prodded by my wife), I walk regularly. I am not fanatic about it but I do it and I always feel better afterward.

Even during these trying times, I feel that I should continue that routine. But in a considerate manner. Like many of my neighbors, we walk solo and keep a safe distance from others.

But this practice can be boring and that’s why I never leave home without Sneaky Pete, my little compact camera. I am an indiscriminate hunter and I shoot whatever presents itself. I particularly like to photograph the fauna gathering around local ponds. If you look closely at them you will notice that different species mix peacefully with other breeds.
This is a thing that humans often fail to do.

To sum it up, don’t let gloom overwhelm you. Stay in touch with your friends (Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp) and walk regularly to aerate your brain.

Danger, if met head on, can be nearly halved. Winston Churchill

We are all in this together and we will soon reach the other shore. Just keep safe and laughing (not too loud) in the face of danger. So far this is the best remedy .

Alain