Journaling the Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic, Reflection #38
April 20, 2020
When I was in Vietnam, fighting down in the A Shau Valley, the North Vietnamese Army installed drums along the top edges of the cliff complex up above both sides of the valley, which was less than a quarter of a mile, side to side, at the bottom. They played those drums, mostly at night, in order to destabilize us. The beats were thumped slowly through the night, and they had the hoped-for effect. The beating of the drums was more than bothersome because it illustrated and made apparent the threat we were all facing of life or death every day and every night we spent in that valley.
Once again, without there being a real enemy in this ‘war,’ I can hear the drums play at night. The drums play a slow distant thumping beat, but it is the same messaged beat as so long ago. The culture can assign an enemy status to the virus, but inanimate, unthinking and microscopic bits of matter do not make the kind of enemy that can be gone to war with. It’s emotionally unsatisfying to do everything possible and have a curve go down a little bit.
Every morning now, MSNBC is running the identities and short stories about the people dying from the Coronavirus. It is exactly like what was done on television later, during the Vietnam War. Maybe one day there will be another ‘wall’ in Washington D.C. where all those who died from the disease will have their names up there in chronological order, like the Vietnam War. Today’s war, if you want to refer to the spread of the virus, or its retreat, as a war, is really more about the democrats and the republicans. Strangely, and it is really really strange, the combating of the virus has gone political.
Democrats, by and large, appear to be in favor of lengthy business and social life shutdowns in order to combat this thing. Republicans seem to be in favor of re-opening the culture in order to ‘take the hit’ from the disease but not take the hit from the devastated economy or social rents opening up around the nation.
How did this get political? How did people dying from both the virus and the shut-downs (the dying there, from those actions, has barely begun) become a struggle about who is going to be the leader of the country? At what point, how many dead and miserable to be counted, does it simply not matter who the hell is supposedly leading the country when in glaring fact, no single person leads the country and probably never has.
Listen carefully tonight, when you are up worrying, which has become the national pastime since sports went away, and maybe you will hear those distant, threatening drum beats too. I hope not. I hope you sleep better than me.
During this shut-down time, you may enjoy reading
the First and Second Ten Days of my Vietnam experience.
Want to shout our your position?
I already have two copies each of the first and second ten days autographed by you. Still waiting for the final ten days so i can order.
Thanks for caring enough to write. I am hoping to finish soon, but life did come along a bit…
It’s time to be watching the whole board. A cascading series of failures is about to start.
Agree across the board on this one Sam…
Looking forward to the last 10 days.
On it and the nest two segments are up and working on the third this afternoon. Only three to go and then on into the first book of the recovery called The Cowardly Lion.
Semper fi, and please consider the go fund me to help. https://www.gofundme.com/f/thirty-days-has-september
Again right on point. Well stated and analyzed.
Many of your fans are marking their 2021 calendars for the release of the final third (3 rd) and final book.
Thanks James and I am back at it, much of the thanks due to comments like your own and the go fund me campaign. Please help there if you can, and thanks for writing here on this site too.
The great divide we stand on from opposite sides looking down reveals an abyss and the bottom is not in sight.
Banging the drums 24/7 creates many irritations, distortions, corruptions in a common homo sapiens nightmare of mental and emotional turmoil.
Is the end in sight? I don’t know what’s insight because I question what I see.
Hedging my pessimistic side against my optimistic side, I picture monks standing on the edge of the abyss as it collapses.
As the mountain top crumbles dozens of monks are tossed over the edge with looks of horror on their faces.
Looks of horror, except for one singular monk thrust over the edge in free fall smiling blissfully as he reaches out his arm with fingers extended toward one, plump berry growing out of the side of the rock. — Mike Michelozzi
I meant: Hedging my optimistic side against my pessimistic side . . .but maybe in the small and grand scheme of things it’s one in the same.
Neither in the small or grand scheme is this anything about ‘one and the same.’ This is new ground,
at least for the USA…or what will become the USA when they are done…
Well, the monk in free fall may take some thinking about…I would presume his faith will keep him from being crushed on the rocks below…
there’s got to be some good ending somewhere…
I appreciate both replies. Yup, new ground, no past reference on our soil.
The monk died too like all the others onky with a mouth full of temporary happiness.
You do have an arcane sense of dark humor Mike!
An arcane sense of humor is what Mike is well known for. His martial arts prowess is legend ~~smile
It is strange haw the drums are so different than today’s media , but yet serve the same effect on those that are fighting against them !! Praying you are winning your personal battle LT.
I am doing okay and thanks for asking. Needless to say, this whole mess of the virus, coming right after heart surgery is
a bit disconcerting…and the vapid drooling stupidity I am seeing is a bit disappointing.