Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Distancing From the Thought of Coronavirus

So long MSNBC. Adieu CNN and the rest of cable news. Goodbye to you, network coverage of the most important event of my lifetime. 

And as for you, my New York Times, all you other newspapers, magazines, as well as you various and sundry Internet outposts providing chapter and verse, molecule and atom, minute by minute and second by second detail of this Beast that is swallowing the universe faster than Pac Man devoured everything in its path, I must also bid you farewell. Maybe not entirely, but save for a quick moment or two daily, you too are now off limits.

As for family and friends, those among you who still have the capacity to devote most of their mental bandwith to absorbing and discussing the particulars of what has become of life as we know it, I send this notice to all of you. I will not be engaging you in anything but the most superficial of conversations, unencumbered by the facts and figures that weigh so heavily upon my brain, my soul.

For those who long ago decided the world was too much with you, who turned their attention away from the negatives and sought solace in less cumbersome outlets, I apologize to you. I have judged you harshly, me with my newspaper clippings of my words of importance, me with my undivided attention to the ugliness that has dominated our conversations and our universe for these past years. 

I no longer have the strength to absorb and analyze, to monitor and contemplate, to cogitate and consider what is happening to this planet from stem to stern. For the sake of my own mental health I must retreat. For the ability to function through the course of the coming days, there is, for me, no alternative. For today, and for the tomorrow's to come, I will operate on the periphery of knowledge, only dipping a toe on occasion into the frigid waters.

So think what you may of me, shake your head if you will. I will take no offense. I will not think the less of you if you think the less of me. But I am resolute, unwilling to listen to your thoughts as to why my choice is absurd.

For I am social distancing from you Coronavirus. I am staying six feet away from you, from your ability to capture my every waking thought, to kill off my capacity to remember what the smell of spring is like, what the anticipation of Opening Day means, what warm sunshine does as it touches my skin, what laughter and joy are, what New York City brimming with humanity sounds like, what happiness is. I will not, I cannot allow you to steal all that from me.

So, you Coronavirus are now officially off limits, verboten, you cannot pass go and collect $200, you are not entitled to a get out of jail free card. There is now a stay in place order for you. Do not venture anywhere near my mind. You are definitely not welcome.


Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

Ijudge you not one iota - good decision, good to be “very bored!”
Enjoy every precious moment....


Anonymous said...

I not only hear you but think this is a very wise decision as I believe it will save our lives, or at least our minds.

Falling off the Coronavirus grid for whatever length of time, is probably the best thing for us all.


Anonymous said...

Your brilliant advocacy will rejuvenate. In the meantime, I made the wise decision to take a nap.--RE

HACF said...

I have made the same decision ! Now I know why I taped all of those wonderful old movies on TCM.

Anonymous said...


Good choice!


Anonymous said...

I fell off the "world" a long time ago. I think I am still sane and able to engage when necessary.
I have always appreciated your perspective and wonderful writing!