“The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.”
Those are the well-known, first lines of Carl Sandburg’s poem, ‘FOG’. It is a somewhat shallow poem in that there is only the intended comparison drawn between a cat’s quiet approach and the even quieter approach of fog. Left at that, it is simply a six line poem that states the obvious. Fog is quiet. Duh.
But, in Covid Days, the poem takes a bit of a shift in meaning. Like the virus, the fog and the cat are alive, they hunt and they kill, they stalk their prey on the edges and they come and go without hiding and yet do so almost sight unseen. Like a virus, they may seem to go away only to return a bit later.
And that is what C-19 has become. It is like a hunter. It quietly takes it’s prey. It comes and goes as it pleases and the hunted never seem to ‘get it’.
I can go a bit further with the comparison: the prey (us) is remarkably unmoved, unafraid, unaware and constantly in denial as to the threat around us. That, too, seems to be the attitude of the almost 8 billion victims-in-waiting regarding the virus. Despite more public service propaganda than almost any other public health threat I can remember, no one seems to be taking the right precautions or even taking the virus all that seriously. Certainly NOT the Bubbas. People want to go back to hugging and kissing and sharing germs over a beer at football games. The virus may or may not be a cat or a fog but humans are definitely dumber than rocks.
I write this not to overly state the obvious myself but because the obvious is NOT really being stated. This virus is not over. It is not even waning. In fact, it is still growing and destroying at will. Yes, we in BC have fared better than the rest of Canada and Canada has fared a bit better than the Stupid States but we still have a deluge of cases in the two main provinces and surges here and there all the damn time.
This virus seems to act like an STD and it virtually blossoms after close gatherings and contacts. And yet, all the talk, all the action, all the news is about re-opening the economy. That’s like spiking the punch bowl at a VD clinic party!
I suppose it will all work out in the end. Humans will likely continue. This – as bad as it is – does not feel like the END OF DAYS or TEOTWAWKI. We will likely endure. Especially locally. But another undeniable observation is that nothing will be the same again. The Global economy is taking a huge hit. All the ‘public’, National and Global industries are doing even worse than regional and local businesses but they are likely to eventually be rescued by government so they have a future.
So does the taxpayer – they are the ‘host’ for those parasites.
The little guys will have to close their doors. BIG Corp will survive on the public teat and, like the natural opportunists they are, they will seize the chance to eat up and swallow the smaller competition. Big Corp will struggle but they will emerge back into the marketplace without the competition. They will thrive.
Institutions will have a harder time. Institutions are largely less-profit, non-profit and semi-profit (schools, libraries, blood banks, non-USA hospitals, office complexes). That even includes the marginally profitable like ma-and-pop businesses. They do not have the depths-of-pocket. They will depreciate even more. Many will disappear.
Absolutely gob-smacking to me is the very possible, very likely outcome that, in ten years time, the world will have experienced a major makeover unimaginable even with today’s perspective. This might be the much-anticipated revolution of sorts we felt would happen someday but did not see how it ever could. This virus may just be the game changer, the global disruption, the quiet destruction of the status quo that the world actually needs. Covid is a cat, cat, catalyst.
It may come quietly. It may grow bigger. But it will NOT be cute.