Pandemic Diary #74
Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and untruth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. President Joseph Biden - January 20, 2021
January 25, 2021
I look forward to the protection of our environment as a part of the climate crisis package. Over the last four years, there has been an attack on nature. I have been educated, while being shocked, at the news, showing horrific photos of the destruction of our public lands to extract forms of energy that are no longer feasible for our warming planet. …
Pandemic Diary Entry #73
January 18, 2020
I am of the generation that participated in ” duck and cover” drills at school. When I was in the second grade these drills apparently gave me nightmares for days on end. I do not have any memory of the nightmares.
What I do remember is my grandfather, who would have seen both World Wars, telling me it would all be okay. The world has been through a lot he told me, and we are still here.
This last week has had me, along with millions of others, dumping dry January, eating too much, and not sleeping enough. And yet, I know we will get through this, what I am not sure of is what we will look like on the other side. …
Pandemic Diary Entry #72
January 11, 2020
On June 6th, the day of the domestic terrorist act on our Capitol, I was watching Twitter and saw David Hogg’s Tweet:
“The shooter at my high school was a white nationalist Trump supporter. The suicide bomber in Nashville — a white nationalist Trump supporter. The people that attempted a Violent Coup today — white nationalist Trump supporters. It’s not mental health they are terrorists”.
I was watching David’s feed because I thought he knows exactly what it feels like to be trapped behind a door with gunmen on the other side. He stayed away from personal drama and stuck to the politics of it all, but over the course of the siege, I kept thinking maybe Congress will learn how much we need gun control in this country. …
Pandemic Diary Entry #71
January 7, 2021
You do not bring a confederate flag to the United States Capitol because you don’t like the results of an election, you bring a confederate flag to the United States Capitol because you are a racist.
What happened on the night of January 6th, a mob able to enter the US Capitol, the first breach of the US Capitol since the British burned it down in 1814, was the result of white privilege and America’s racist policies that while modified and altered, have not changed since slavery.
I can go through the things that white people think gave people of color (POC) more rights and freedoms, but I would ask that you read your history books instead. Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965, while that sounds great on paper, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and their “Southern Agenda” simply moved racism to the justice system, making racism disappear by rebranding it “Get Tough on Crime” and the “War on Drugs.” …
Pandemic Diary #69
December 28, 2020
As this hell of a year comes to a close, I found myself looking back over the reading I have done while many of us, pathetically not all, have been Sheltering In Place.
Over the years there have been two authors that “get me”, both Californians by birth, and both women. Ursula K. Le Guin, born across the bay from me in Berkeley, California, and Joan Didion, born in my hometown. Their voices have been a soft spot to land during this world turmoil.
Both have written eloquently about growing old, loss, and divergent paths, and I have been reading their books rather consistently throughout this year. …
Pandemic Diary # 68
December 21, 2020
Feeding America projects that more than 50 million Americans will have faced hunger in 2020. That number is up from around 35 million before the pandemic. That translates to 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children, experiencing food insecurity this year.
Due to COVID, food bank lines grow longer every month. You have seen the lines of cars on television, or as in my neighborhood lines of elderly with those shopping carts that are ubiquitous in areas where people can walk to the grocery store.
There are two pop-up food banks within walking distance of my home. They are outdoors so packing bags of food, along with being gratifying, is also safe during these times of COVID. As I work alongside great people like Dennis and Jennifer, Oscar, and Jose the hours and hours of packing bags tells me that the lines are longer than they should be. …
Pandemic Diary #68
December 14, 2020
Over the last four years, art has been absent in the White House. There has been no literature, no poetry, no music, and no Kennedy Center award celebrations.
I maintain a website about Public Art, I am not an art critic, I simply appreciate public art in its various iterations. This is why I look forward to a new administration in our White House and their focus on art.
Yes, it is OUR White House, and sadly over the last four years, it has not included the one scintilla of public art by its citizens. …
Pandemic Diary #67
December 7, 2020
I, by nature, have an insatiable wanderlust. In February I was able to take one trip to view the California Gray Whales calve in the warm waters of Mexico, and then, COVID hit.
I have no desire to board an airplane or violate any quarantine or social distancing rules, and yet, I had to get away. And I did. This entire trip took place the two weeks before Thanksgiving, most likely avoiding the larger seasonal crowds.
With a rental car and my cousin, we headed to the fairly unpopulated National Parks and Monuments of the Southwest. …
Pandemic Diary Entry # 66
November 16, 2020
On October 28th the Washington Post ran an article titled Trump to strip protections from Tongass National Forest, one of the biggest intact temperate rainforests.
While horrifying, it did not surprise me, he has been working as hard as he can to destroy our environment, but in the middle of the article was a statement that did shock me. It was this, “Logging in Alaska costs U.S. taxpayers millions each year, because of a long-standing federal mandate that companies profit from any timber sale.”
That is correct, the lumber companies are guaranteed a profit by government mandate. In 2019 alone the US Forest Service (USFS) lost 16.1 million dollars, on average the USFS has lost $44 million per year since 1980. …