It has arrived, today, earlier than it has arrived in years.
No welcoming of it at Stonehenge or Chichen Itza, this year. You know why.
Yesterday, I drove up to Ottawa to get my daughter and her boyfriend. They have both lost their jobs. We all figured it’d be safer for them to be here with me in the County – in a little rural spot with less than 100 people in it – than in Ottawa.
Traffic was surprisingly heavy on the 401. Cars, but tons of trucks. Usually I curse trucks – especially when they drive too long in the passing lane – but not yesterday. They’re the ones carrying food to grocery stores. So we need them.
The Walmart parking lot in Belleville was packed. Driving by it, I wondered how many of the people inside were practicing social distancing. Not many, I reckoned.
Past Belleville, I listened to Trump’s press conference. The news was the closing of the border with Canada, and the spending bill. But it was Trump’s utter madness that came through.
It was the “Chinese virus,” he said. A vaccine is close, he said. “Total victory,” he said, his endsieg. He’s the “wartime president.”
His lies and prevarications were so many, and so distracting, I missed my turn and got almost to Cornwall before I noticed. If that Walmart parking lot and Trump’s press conference are any indication, we’re fucked, I thought to myself, doubling back.
But we won’t be. We aren’t.
My daughter and her BF were wearing masks and gloves, as I loaded them and their stuff into the Jeep. They wore ’em all the way to the County, too. They did what we all have to, now.
Back home, I got in touch with friends and family. No one was dismissing the coronavirus anymore. They all are taking steps and being careful. They all acknowledged that they may lose things in the coming months – clients, business, maybe even some things they own – but they all sounded determined to keep moving forward.
And so must we all. A doctor I know, one not given to exaggeration, told me on Tuesday that this is a war, now. And it is.
Our parents and grandparents lived through a World War. The ups and the downs, the tragic losses, the enormous sacrifices, the dark cruelty and the shining humanity. They got through all of that, and they didn’t have the Internet or 500 channels or little computers they could carry around in their pockets.
They got through that war, and they built a better society. So, we are going to get through this and build a better world, too.
Am I going to get it? For sure. I feel it. Maybe I did when I gassed up in Ottawa yesterday, and I touched a bit of plastic or metal and then touched my face, without thinking. Maybe.
Maybe I will be one of the ones – the 15 per cent of the 80 per cent – who gets really sick. Maybe, maybe not.
What’s certain is this: Spring is here, and it will the darkest Spring of our lives. And then, at the tail end of it, things will get brighter again. They will, they will. I promise.
Spring has sprung. Go out and breathe it in.
It feels good.