Adventures in Lockdown
Here in South Florida we were on lockdown for a few months. Happily, the cosmos – the spiritual universe – was never ever locked down – never in history and not now. So personally I was busier than ever. I didn’t suffer any loss of income. Stocks melted down in March and of course my portfolio suffered as much as the market as a whole. But this was temporary. As of this writing (July 6, 2020) stocks have pretty much recovered. Some of my companies cut their dividends and so there was (on paper) an apparent loss of income. But higher earnings from my practice offset this.
There were some minor inconveniences. The restaurants were all closed. Even the ones that were open only offered take out. So, I couldn’t go to my favorite places since, by the time you drive back from there, the takeout is already cold. So, I had to do with the fast food places which are nearby. So I basically subsisted on burgers, fries, tacos, pizza and chicken. (Truth be told, I kind of enjoyed it.)
All the hair salons were closed. So I went for a few months without a haircut. When they finally opened up they required a mask before they let you in. The first time this happened, I complained that I didn’t own a mask (nor do I intend to own one). So, they graciously gave me a mask and I was able to get a haircut – I really needed one.
Most people around here are not wearing masks. Some are, but most are not. I don’t intend to wear one unless they become mandatory.
In the early days of the lockdown, when hysteria was at its peak, going to the supermarket was an adventure. You couldn’t buy toilet paper or tissues (which I needed). The shelves were empty. There was also a run on meat. The store imposed a limit on how much meat a customer could buy. Only two packages per customer. I remember standing behind a lady at the checkout who had 5 or 6 packages and the cashier wouldn’t allow it. The lady complained and argued. The cashier was adamant. There was back and forth between them. This held up the line for about 15 minutes. These kind of hold ups were pretty normal in the early days of the lockdown. Happily things are back to normal now.
All the gyms were closed. And most didn’t reopen until late June. My friends were all complaining about heat they were getting because of their inability to work out. The local YMCA opened mid June and they would take my temperature before letting me in. They were operating at 50% capacity. There were no lockers or showers either. So you had to make sure you didn’t sweat too much when you worked out. Light workouts only. Things that just got the muscles moving.
The most annoying thing for me personally (and the most bewildering) was the closing of our parks. This to me was insane. The park is the healthiest place you can be. You’re surrounded by nature – trees, water, fresh air. Also these are great places to work if you’re a writer. The inspiration flows – and much better than if you’re sitting at home behind a desk. I complained of this to a doctor friend of mine and he quickly said “I agree with you”. It made no sense to me. On a busy day I rarely see more than 5 or 6 people in the park at any given time. And in some of the parks even less. Why shut them down?
Then we saw the spectacle of churches and synagogues being shut down while protesters were encouraged to gather in large groups to protest (and often to riot and loot). Where is the sense of this?
During a pandemic the churches and synagogues are most needed. This is when people of faith have to bring in the higher energy which is the solution to the problem. There was also the spectacle of Mayor DeBlasio threatening Jews who were gathered for a funeral – he denounced them in the strongest terms and threatened them with arrest. Meanwhile protesters (and rioters) were given the nod of approval. Where is the sense in that?
Aside from these minor complaints I personally got off easy. But it proves the age old dictum that in a crisis we get see both the best and the worst in people.