Calling on My Fellow Citizens to Help Us All Keep Safe

by on May 5, 2020 · 5 comments

in From the Soul, Health

by  Ernie McCray

If I have expertise
in anything
it’s kicking back,
being at ease.
Why not,
since stress,
can buckle your knees.
But now
after maintaining
my cool
for 82
around the sun,
I’ve become kind of an edgy
due to the realization
that the reason
I’ve been able to take things in stride
all my life
is because I’ve
had a fair amount of say
regarding situations
in my life
and now all of a sudden,
during “the situation of my life”
I’ve got to just sit tight
and be my normal
relaxed self
with a touch of fright,
my life in fate’s hand:
in danger,
under siege
as all of humanity
is at war
against a highly
infectious disease –
(and here is why
I’m so ill-at-ease),
in moments
we should be
separating ourselves and limiting
our daily activities,
far too many citizens, who’ve never
fought for liberty and justice for all,
are packing heat
and yelling and screaming at governors
and the police
demanding freedom
to run in the streets,
they would not
dare step upon
if bombs of war were falling
from high in the sky;
if the sharp sounds
of rifles firing
and grenades detonating
and machine guns
filled the air,
day and night.

They would be huddled
in their homes
like the rest of us.

Yet, here they are
up against COVID-19,
a virus
that’s eerily silent and unseen,
an infirmity that uses no cunning,
no planning,
letting, as they say,
the game come to it,
relying on a people’s ignorance,
their negligence,
their lack of caring,
their selfishness
and carelessness…

So oblivious
to the obvious,
that winning this war
is up to no one but us,
but that demands,
since we, ourselves,
are the pathway
to the sickness
getting to us,
that we stay
six feet out of each other’s way
and wear masks.
Seems that shouldn’t
be a difficult task
with our lives
on the line.

Such behavior
would sure ease my
worried mind.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks May 5, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Ernie, I had an adult Kenpo student come by today, a woman who runs the front office of the local alternative high school. Late 40s, intelligent, she’s the one that keeps the school office running. We talked outside, her in the parking and me on the porch 12 feet or more away. Upwind. She had no mask and has decided she isn’t going to wear one anymore. Her husband got called back to the HP plant two weeks ago, and she was pissed off because she’s, and I quote: “tired of being told how to live her life.” The rant went on and on but in a level, moderated, calm voice. Matter-of-fact voice.

It was eerie to hear. It was like the person standing there was someone different and not the person that I’ve been teaching self-defense to for roughly 7 years.

I was shocked. All the signs of stressed-induced ‘stir crazy/cabin fever’ getting to her I think. She said there hasn’t been ‘millions of deaths’ like they predicted, and this isn’t nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be, but I live in a ‘low risk’ county (since there are no test kids available unless you are admitted to a hospital dying) with less than 20 confirmed cases and a couple deaths. Oh my hell.

I’m reading, and hearing about locally, more and more of this happening. People just stopping because…well, it’s a lot like the ongoing climate destabilization (NOT change) attitude. The ‘I can’t do anything about it so I’m going live my life normally and if I die from it, so be it.’ She has now been ordered to go back to work one day a week to catch up on general paperwork, trying to get the incomplete Student Yearbook finished and out to the students, and other school projects that were left undone when the school system closed down. All schools are closed, stay-at-home extended to June here in Washington State, so how she can be ‘ordered’ back to work I don’t understand. But she actually welcomed it because it gave her something to do. That’s a big one, people have nothing to do and they are financially going completely under. Rent and mortgages come due, the car insurance, the car payment, the phone bills, the electric bills, Wall Street, the .05% wealthy class and of course their corporations get $$trillions with nothing left over to support the actual working population of the country…you get my drift I’m sure.

I never expected to hear this from her. Ernie, she’s good people, has showed that in her actions over and over for years, and yet…there is a crack showing. I’ve sent her the real science I read, links to infectious disease specialists and pandemic researchers, talked with her about what my two biologist friends are saying, and it is like she is unable to process the information because it’s NOT WHAT SHE WANTS TO HEAR. I’m…at a loss on what to say. I have an in-house dojo and my house hasn’t had another human walk in since February…
The one think that I really heard; she’s missing her, as she calls it, “routine!”

I talked to another neighbor this morning whose husband is the 75 yr old retired biologist and former local science teacher I’ve conversed with since January when this started up here in Washington State. She went to a local store about halfway between here and the city (Spokane), the BuyRite in Deer Park, this last weekend and almost none of the customers had masks on. And neither did over half the employees who were ALL in masks just two weeks ago. Nobody keeping separated, just all the caution of the last month blown right out the window with the warmer weather.

It scared the hell out of her.

I really, REALLY hope my retired 75 yr old biologist neighbor who worked in US Army Viral Disease War Labs in Germany during the early 60s War on Viet Nam is entirely wrong about what is coming next. Of course his experience is tinged with genetically tampered with laboratory war virus with 98% kill rates…

And I’m so sorry that the ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills in the US population is going to continue to not ease your worried mind. Mine, either. The dis-education of this country has continued for decades and this is where it ends up. Incredible ignorance of basic science facts.

The US is most likely (but I sincerely hope not) about to learn a very tough lesson on infectious diseases pandemics in the very near future. One that has to be continually learned by our species over and over because the history of Pandemics in our species is NOT taught as history. Humans seem to forget historical facts very very easily.

You keep dancing and singing, I’ll keep blowing harp and pounding on conga drums! Keep our hearts lit up at least a little.



Richard M May 5, 2020 at 8:32 pm

Oblivious to the obvious.
Nailed it again Ernie


Ernie McCray May 5, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Thank you.


Virginia L. Franco May 31, 2020 at 5:23 pm

I was glad to learn you also shared the NY Review of Books (NYRB) “Pandemic Journal” -articles from folks in other parts of the globe; made me and friends somewhat, feeling in company with folks we had never met; giving us some strength and patience – not feeling so alone. I never envisioned such a life of living in “lock-down mode.” The passages from these numerous folks around the world certainly taught me a bit; how to accept, and live alone, for a long periods of time. Sometime after, NYRB “Pandemic Journal” article became a gift from me to friends from near and far; we all, took the lockdown a bit better by not feeling so alone – at least, for a while.


Toby OB May 7, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Your comment “Oblivious to the obvious” speaks volumes!
I think we can add “ignorant & selfish” as well.


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