It doesn’t seem right that the days are already getting shorter in our fair Hemisphere. I’ve never been a fan of the summer solstice, the buoy in the bay that marks the turn of the sun’s race back to its winter harbour. But the prospect of ever-diminishing daytime hours seems especially depressing this time around. I wonder why.
I have gradually lost respect for the coordinator of the White House (emphasis mine) Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx. Her public statements seem designed less to inform than to market the effectiveness of Trump administration actions. I like to give health professionals the benefit of the doubt, but Birx has become the Susan Collins of our government’s pandemic response. You really can’t count on what she has to say.
For-profit hospitals should award their patients points for emergency room visits and overnight stays. You would earn 1000 points for every hour spent waiting to be seen in the emergency room, 100 points for every minute between the time you push the call button and a nursing assistant arrives, 2000 points for each time you had to tell a doctor or nurse what was wrong with you instead of the other way around, and 3000 points for trying to understand anything a doctor says to you while you are laying there weak and exhausted. You would earn one free night in a semi-private room upon reaching Silver status, or a private room if you reach Gold, along with a voucher for a complimentary breakfast and a delicious cookie.
No policeman arrests himself…. except that one time in Mayberry, North Carolina.
My high-school English teacher annotated my final report card with a two-star review: negative attitude. Yes, I did write and circulate a mocking and disrespectful school-satire magazine among my classmates, but to this day I’m not sure how my attitude should have affected my English grade. It’s not like I was making crude jokes about Dickens — because those wouldn’t have been very funny.
The Great Saharan Dust Cloud of 2020 has arrived here in the Carolinas. Looking out our family-room window today, I figured our visibility is about 3000 feet. And even with our doors and windows closed, our eyes have begun to smart. What’s next, locusts?
It is time for a poet to step forward. Poetry has the power to make people “hopeful as a rainwashed hill of moonlit pines.” [Carl Sandburg, “The People, Yes”, 1936]. I hope we are not in a post-poet era but I fear that is the case. Maya Angelou died six years ago. No one has replaced her. Who can name one candidate? (Please, no votes for Taylor or Beyonce.)
One would like to be optimistic, especially if one is an optimist. One would like to think that the course of human events can indeed be bent in a favorable direction, if only one makes the effort. The rest of this thought is left for one (you) to complete.