The father of a friend and colleague passed away from the effects of Covid-19 about two weeks ago. I’m sorry for my friend and what he has suffered.
I was working with him on site last week, and I felt it best not to talk about the coronavirus or the current emergency. My friend had his professional demeanor back, but it clearly wasn’t the time.
I’ve remarked in these pages (in brief) that the danger of the coronavirus, while real, has been overblown and used for political purposes. But am I wrong to believe that? Is it cruel and heartless, given that people are dying?
The virus, at this point, is a force of nature. It doesn’t care what we think or say about it. We can’t control it. We can only try to conduct ourselves to moderate its effects.
But we need to be mindful that our efforts to moderate the virus have their own effects. While they may not be as lethal as the coronavirus, they bring their own pain and suffering. And to say those effects don’t matter ‘because people are dying’ is the worst kind of virtue signalling.
Death hurts. But life must go on.
* * *
Last Sunday, my wife and I went to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, wearing masks made from matching bandanas.
There were fewer people in the park than a normal springtime Sunday, and people were reasonably distancing themselves, but it felt, for once, normal. A couple of musicians were playing. We sat on a bench, listened to the music, and contemplated the scene. It felt good.