THE PHRASE OF THE DAY — let’s face it, of the hour (or even minute) — is “an abundance of caution.”
As I write this, I am anticipating a shelter-in-place order for my county (Sonoma) to begin today. No telling when it will end, or even if. It may not happen at all.
The mood at the Attinson Digs continues to be stop-and-go watchful. I imagine that’s true for most people in the world right now. As for me, I am delving more intensely into my daily routine (Torah and astronomy study, handwashing, cooking [actually, baking, as the fresh fruit and vegetables have all been picked over by my fellow locusts], loving the cat, handwashing). It seems to help, somehow, either as an escape or a connector. Or both.
The early morning Sonoma streets were largely empty today, but the grocery store parking lots were crowded. Shopping this morning was … interesting. Despite that I got there within 10 minutes of opening, many of the shelves were empty, and there were long lines at the checkout counters — even at 6:15 a.m. The mood there was stiffly polite, as though we were involved in a conspiracy of silence so as not to spook the rest of the restive herd. No smiles, but a lot of murmuring, and facial expressions that communicated “no, I won’t knife you for having snagged the last case of TP.” That sort of thing. Hand sanitizer was gone, but there were bottles at all the counters.
During the 2017 and 2019 fires, Sonoma (city and county) was alive with the “we’re all in this together” vibe. That has been replaced by “every man, woman and child for themselves.” It’s not good, but it’s completely understandable.
Events like these bring out the worst in people. But they also bring out the best in people. I try, as always, even though it’s difficult, to see and do the latter. I hope you do too.
UPDATE (6 p.m.): We have just been ordered to shelter in place for the next three weeks, beginning at midnight tonight. I am determined to treat this event as an adventure rather than an adversity. We’ll see if I’m as good as my word.