A. In a weird place – so pardon me if I have not responded to your comments or emails – I’ll get to them soon, promise.
I have all but lost my ability to laugh off the current insanity. Insanity: My 17 year old son is trying to reach Eagle Scout in the next 10 months. He joined scouts to 1) get out into nature as much as possible. He went on just about every hike and camping trip possible for the first couple years he was a Scout; 2) hang out with the guys, especially guys who were into camping and hiking instead of girls, gossip, and (possibly) drugs.
So, what do the Scouts do? Instantly become the most Karen-ridden organization out there. (Well, probably not – schools are probably worse, but bad enough.) Not only were there no campouts and hikes for most of a year, not only were in-person meetings replaced by ZOOM, not only were the few get togethers masked up and socially distanced – but, now, there’s talk of requiring 12 YEAR OLDS to get vaccinated. Kids who are more likely to get eaten by a bear than to die of COVID. Very science-y, that.
My son is suffering. He is spending too much time online, too little time out doors and with friends. He should be learning the ropes with girls – you know, how to talk with them and hang out with them in a sane way – but, instead, he’s locked out of virtually all normal interactions. We seek out sane people, people not masked up, not worried about the magic powers of 6′ of separation, people who will shake your hand and smile at you. But that’s like a few times a month, instead of every day like it should be.
Insanity: no difference, no pattern at all, is to be seen between areas with the most insane lockup and mask-up rules and those without. As was predicted by me and every scientifically literate person, the economy – and culture-destroying steps simply COULD NOT make much difference. Feeling sick? Stay away from sickly people, and wash your hands. Anything more than that? Irrelevant. Built on wild-ass extrapolations from vague theories interpreted badly. Ex: Masks might – might! – make some difference – in surgery. I’ve only heard of one real world test, where healthy doctors all scrubbed up in properly sterilized environments using nice clean instruments did and did not wear masks – and there was no meaningful difference in outcomes. If the doctor isn’t sick, he can’t, within any meaningful level of measurement, transmit it to you (yes, yes – Typhoid Mary. But that’s vanishingly rare.); If the patient isn’t sick, he can’t give it back to the doctor. Masking up, even for surgeons, is mostly a symbolic gesture based on a hunch, over-caution, and a ‘what can it hurt?’ attitude. AND that’s the best possible case! Pros using strict protocols within a controlled environment. Extrapolating from THAT to: everybody MUST wear masks ALL THE TIME is bat-guano CRAZY. Fumble-fingered civilians pulling a mask out of their pocket, fiddling with it, then shoving it back in their pocket until next time – right, that’s really the way to handle materials supposedly saturated with DEADLY VIRIONS!! Want to wear a mask? Have at it! Want me to wear one? Go perform an anatomically impossible act on yourself.
So, now, I’ve got 3 weeks more to teach history, and – it’s hard. One gratifying thing: few of the families involved take the mandated ‘precautions’ seriously and are willing to let their kids be kids. But some do – and, damn, that’s depressing. Lord help me.
B. So, distracted in a more positive sense: Leaving in two weeks for the wedding of our Middle Son back east. I already love his future bride – she’s a sweetheart, and has a refreshing can-do attitude about getting stuff done. So, huzzah! Two down, two to go, marriage/vocation wise.
Also, I’m a grandfather! Older Daughter, whom we married off last May, will be giving birth around November 1, if all goes well. Huzzah squared!!
These are wonderful things. Praise God in His Mercy!
C. Getting back into writing-writing, as in: putting useable words down, as opposed to research or editing. Got to push through May to get something done by June. Possible. If I got down 1,000 words/day, I’d be done with 1st draft, novel 1, by early June.
It’s the difference between letting the current insanity distract me versus using writing as a distraction from the current insanity. The latter is a better course.