This column has no underlying theme. It’s mostly a series of thoughts about COVID-19’s impacts, some hopefully humorous observations, and suggestions for coping mechanisms.
It has been a lifelong goal of mine to master the speaking of a foreign language, and I’ve recently become proficient at Spanish, but I’m not sure why that has been my quest when I struggle at times to properly speak and write my native tongue. Having spent a lifetime consuming books and such, it intrigues me that no matter how much material I read, I continue seeing new words in English.
Take, for example, “loquacious.” I recently encountered this word for the first time. Not knowing its meaning, and being technologically advanced, I googled my dictionary. To be loquacious means to be talkative. Given that I frequently engage in jabberwocky, I’m surprised someone along the way hasn’t said, “Please shut your loquacious mouth!” Maybe they have and I just wasn’t listening.
Our current plight with the “plague” is causing most of us to evaluate the worth of just about everything in our lives. We are finding out what really matters and what can be jettisoned. Connecting and socializing are being savaged this year, and we are not yet in the clear as the sands beneath our feet continue shifting at an alarming rate.
The best thing I have seen develop from the coronavirus situation is that it has derailed the Trumphobia psychosis (excessive focus upon narcissistic dysfunction). Before COVID, the only thing anyone could talk about was the latest bizarre behavior engaged in by our president, as he used to be masterful at commanding the stage no matter the message. Nowadays, most of us don’t care what he does with his fumbling lack of leadership or who he fires as we have far bigger things to worry about.
Keep telling yourself, Donald, that this is a minor virus that will go away after a few people get sick; keep telling yourself that until Election Day. Trump should lose, and if he does, expect the military to have to remove him from office with his thumb stuck in his mouth.
In regard to wearing masks, there was a time if you entered the local bank sporting one you would trigger an alarm calling for the police to stop a robbery attempt. These days not wearing one justifies the bank calling the police to have you arrested for stupidity. Masks are obnoxious, but science indicates they help to arrest the movement of this pesky virus, and we all need to do our part. Would you want a doctor operating on your entrails without wearing a mask?
I have close friends that are reclusive introverts. Recent conversations suggest even they are near cracking due to the lack of social connection. When introverts are close to losing it, it’s time for all of us to think of small ways to get out and engage. A walk in the park — a picnic away from other people — an extra phone call to check-in; there are countless options to ensure you and your friends experience some needed socialization.
This pandemic has blasted many people financially while others prosper. My relief check came late since Trump needed to sign it and take credit for saving me, but that money could have been better spent elsewhere because I have some fixed income and did not need relief funds. If you are in this seaworthy boat, consider making an extra donation to the food bank or sending surprise money to someone you know needs help. It feels empowering to attack this worrisome situation.
It concerned me, but I took a trip to Reno to spend my 65th Medicare-eligible birthday with my daughter. It was a heavily masked world in Nevada, but it sure felt good to get out of the house. And yes, I finally qualify for decent medical coverage (if you are willing to spend $300-plus a month and sort through a myriad of arse-saving options).
Who knows, maybe the people running our federal government will finally figure out after watching COVID at work that it’s time to craft a national health care plan that doesn’t discriminate racially and financially against the majority of Americans. Then again, perhaps elephants will start flying over Washington, D.C., dropping turds upon their pathetic, special-interest funded heads.
My daughter bought me a Vedic astrology reading for my birthday present. This form differs from Western astrology as it is based upon celestial movements that are usually more precise. I rely heavily upon facts when making my decisions, but my daughter and I enjoy consulting alternative spiritual mediums now and then. We laughed when the astrologer queried if I was prone to bouts of good luck.
I was dealt some dark cards early in my life, but since then I have generally been graced with freakish good luck. The astrologer informed me that I was moving into the orbit of “exalted Jupiter” phase of my life and to expect 10 to 20 years of even more exceptional good fortune.
Having received three royal flushes in the past several years, I pondered how much more gambling luck could one man experience? I tested my chances during the closing hour of my birthday and was dealt another royal flush. The odds of that happening once in dealing cards are approximately one in 650,000 hands. For the record, I gamble in casinos several times a year.
What encouraged me the most about the astrology reading was the observation I could expect another 10 to 20 years of good luck. I could be hit by lightning tomorrow, but the reality is most of us will survive this insidious plague and come out the other end of the tunnel. Until then, do everything you can to be safe, thoughtful and generous in making the best of it for those you know are really struggling.
Jesse Robison is a Pocatello native who has lived in Mexico and other places. He was educated at Idaho State University and University of Idaho. Robison works as a mediator and insurance law consultant, but his passion is public art. He has spearheaded numerous art improvements throughout Pocatello, including the Japanese garden located at Pocatello Regional Airport, and he serves on the Bistline Foundation. Robison currently resides in Pocatello.