This COVID-19 pandemic.

How have you and your dogs been affected?

The idea for today’s post came to me from Amanda down in Australia.

We go back years and years and have stayed in contact with each other over that time.

In her latest email she wrote (my italics):

I started some classes at the beginning of the year, a family history research one and a writing one, which had to stop a couple of weeks short courtesy of the virus.  The family history class was essentially finished, but the writing class (How to Read/Write a Biography) is an ongoing thing, with the tutor being a published author.  I signed up for term two of the writing class as the tutor decided to trial conducting it on-line via Zoom.  Many people in the class are either writing a biography or just writing about their lives for their children or grandchildren, so the tutor encouraged us all to write a short piece about this COVID-19 outbreak; observations, feelings, how it’s affected us, or whatever we wanted.  There are only six of us in the class, but it was fascinating to hear the resulting six pieces, so utterly different in tone and content, but all really interesting.

I wonder if you could invite something similar from your readers?  Imagine the different perspectives and experiences of your readers in their different parts of the world!  Just a thought anyway .

So how have you and your dogs been affected. Your feelings, your observations, how it has affected you, and any other thoughts.

And I will close with a photograph that Amanda sent me years ago.

 

28 thoughts on “This COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. That sounds like a very useful exercise just in terms of one’s own mental health. I know I have experienced a number of emotions not unlike dealing with the death of a loved one. In this case, the loved one being my life pre-pandemic. As Mick Jagger sings in the Stones latest song, Living in a Ghost Town “Life was so beautiful. Then we all got locked down.”

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  2. I am spending more time with my family and that includes our beagle. She is loving all the extra time and attention she is getting from everyone 👌

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  3. As a beagle I don’t really see much difference. Lenny and I still get a walk, albeit adequately socially distanced. We get to run around our garden whilst baying at each other, which annoys our parents. We see our parents getting a little more stressed now and again. This is where we step in with a look and a leg lean to reassure them that life with beagles is always interesting and better than life without beagles.

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  4. My dog and I are doing well, I think. We live in a rural area that hasn’t been hit hard, yet. I only have a part-time job and have been looking for a full-time job, but haven’t found one yet, so money is starting to get tight. Besides that, we are ok.

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      1. I have lots of experience with computers and office work. I also have some knowledge and experience with accounting, and that’s what I am looking for in a job.

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  5. Having had a recent life threatening event for my new dog, I had to take Norman to an ER vet which will not allow humans inside-they come out and take your pet inside-you have to wait for the emergency treatment in your car. It was excrutiating knowing whether or not my boy would survive (bloat). Luckily he did but what a scare for me and probably equally scary for him not having me with him.

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  6. Lovely to see the comments above. As the instigator, I guess I should add my piece to the mix (and hope it’s not too long)!
    ***
    Glass Half Full: My COVID-19 reflections from suburban Brisbane, Australia.
    My neighbourhood looks like a poster for a 1950’s housing estate. There are people everywhere; children playing in front yards or whizzing by on bikes; neighbours chatting and people out walking in numbers I’ve never seen before.
    Late in the late afternoon my usually empty local park is dotted with groups of all ages and pursuits. Inventive fitness seekers employ trees or benches, while others jog the perimeter, weaving a line through excited toddlers and wayward balls. As though repelled by an invisible force, those approaching each other on its pathway veer violently off course to maintain the required social distance. Fathers, that rare afternoon commodity, are out in force, riding bikes, pushing prams or kicking balls to smiling faces and ready waving arms. Your average family dog has never been so happy, or exhausted.
    As I pass the sweaty joggers and happy families, I can’t help wondering if this unexpected time-out from relentless busy lives, despite its limitations and frustrations, is also an unexpected gift that’ll be much missed. Will we happily relinquish all in exchange for a return to normal, and what will our future’s normal be anyway?
    It’s been both fascinating and horrifying to watch the spread of the virus, an unwelcome and invisible tourist that’s reached almost every corner of the globe. It shines an unforgiving light on governments, health care systems, and us. It brings out the best and the worst, the heroic, the generous, the resourceful and the kind, along with the crackpots, the despots, the panic buyers and conspiracy theorists. What the media doesn’t see our smartphones do, our good and bad on merciless daily display, like it or not.
    I always feel lucky to live in Australia, but never more than now. Our southern hemisphere isolation, so bemoaned by travelers for its inconvenience and expense, is now our best friend. Our governments, federal and state, have risen to the challenge with rarely seen and refreshing cooperation. Difficult decisions were made early, crushing for businesses and so many workers, but crushing for the virus too. Our death toll stands at just over 100, an impressively low number, but no comfort I’m sure to those who have lost loved ones.
    Our restrictions are starting to ease, step by cautious step, but it’s a long road back to whatever our new normal will be. We can be sure of a few things, our politicians returning to tiresome normality, all and sundry nit-picking the global response and its consequences with perfect hindsight, and a recession and a debt to be endured for who knows how long. But what about changes in our day-to-day lives, how we greet each other, how we work and how we play?
    For a start, employers have surely learned that working from home doesn’t mean we’re all watching TV in our PJ’s. There will be conversations within businesses about who can and should work from home, and how much. The technology has been with us for years but that sticky duo, convention and momentum, has kept it mostly on the sidelines. We could wind back traffic congestion by decades, give precious time back to employees and decrease business costs. This is just one of many things that might be changed forever, destined to thrive or disappear in a “before or after COVID-19” world.
    And me personally? As a retired fifty-something, I’m at last seeing a crisis that doesn’t seem exactly timed and tailored to wreak maximum havoc on my life. Like many of my generation, I endured a mortgage with the unimaginable climb of interest rates to over 18% in the 1980’s. I weathered the GFC when funds were already tight, survived a few personal challenges including breast cancer, so this is just another bump in the road of life. The more you go over, the more resilient you get.
    Perhaps also thanks to parents who experienced war and depression, who simply led by example or taught by more obvious means, my generation is well prepared for hardship. We were taught to save and live within our means. We didn’t borrow money for cars and the banks certainly didn’t dole out money easily for our homes. It frightens me to think what percentage of the population live within their means today. Maybe this is one of the things that will change through a lesson hard learned.
    I’m not immune to the suffering of others, there will be more suffering around the world this year than I can ever digest. Empathy is automatic, despair I hope is avoidable. Instead, I choose to focus on what I have to be thankful for, which is a lot. My partner and I have good health, our families are well and miraculously seem to have avoided unemployment and financial hardship so far. I see the horrors on the news, but I also see the generosity, ingenuity, creativity and kindness that have flourished all over the world in response to this crisis.
    There will come a time of course when these troubles are behind us, but I really hope we will not only remember all the good in the world they inspired, but make it part of our new normal, whatever else it holds. For now though, my glass is definitely half full.
    ***

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    1. Amanda, it is both beautiful and a profoundly wise set of words. It reminds me that I should include my own thoughts, and I will when I am up and about. For here it is only 04:20 in the morning, a Thursday. But thank you!

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  7. Lots of people I am certain Paul will have been mentally affected by this pandemic, even if they think they haven’t.. I noticed from speaking to our granddaughter aged nine an only child.. Just how anxious she had become… Thankfully a neighbours cat has played a huge roll in her not feeling so alone… Which will be needed all the more since the loss of her hamster at the weekend…

    My own personal life has not had to alter that much, except for missing my family… In retrospect.. I think it has allowed many people to reevaluate their lives…
    I posted a link a couple of posts ago to the wonderful essay that Charles Eisenstein wrote…. I will add a couple of quote from his essay..

    “Now, all of a sudden, we go around a bend and here it is. We stop, hardly able to believe that now it is happening, hardly able to believe, after years of confinement to the road of our predecessors, that now we finally have a choice. We are right to stop, stunned at the newness of our situation. Of the hundred paths that radiate out in front of us, some lead in the same direction we’ve already been headed. Some lead to hell on earth. And some lead to a world more healed and more beautiful than we ever dared believe to be possible.”

    “There is an alternative to the paradise of perfect control that our civilization has so long pursued, and that recedes as fast as our progress, like a mirage on the horizon. Yes, we can proceed as before down the path toward greater insulation, isolation, domination, and separation. We can normalize heightened levels of separation and control, believe that they are necessary to keep us safe, and accept a world in which we are afraid to be near each other. Or we can take advantage of this pause, this break in normal, to turn onto a path of reunion, of holism, of the restoring of lost connections, of the repair of community and the rejoining of the web of life.”

    My greatest wish, is that we as a race of Human Beings reconnect and repair our communities as we learn to unite in harmony and love. as we learn to leave behind hatred and labels…

    Many thanks Paul.. Loved reading.. 🙂

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    1. Sue, dear Sue, that your wonderful response came in so quickly after I had responded to Amanda’s gorgeous comment is a most fabulous chance of timing. Again, I must convey my own thoughts later on this morning, for it is just after 5am here in Southern Oregon, we are sitting up in bed, as is normal for this time of the day, having had our first cup of tea, listening to the World At One, and the Summer dawn approaching in the Eastern sky. Thank you!

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  8. Since I no longer have a pet, this doesn’t apply for me but I loved the photo at the end. I think some here have had a little difficulty getting dogs in to be groomed but I think our vets were still seeing patients. I know my neighbor took hers in as she was so worried. It’s not going away soon, this virus. More cases since they are opening things back up. They just don’t get how dire it can be.

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    1. Marlene, you have demonstrated that even without a dog in your life that you are still in tune with the dog world. Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic so much depends on your location. Here, in Southern Oregon, we hardly seem to have been infected. Josephine County, our county, has had one death and that was ages ago. But, say, in England it is a different situation all round. We are a long way from seeing the back of this.

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  9. Well, better late than never, I think it’s about time I left my own thoughts on the way that the pandemic has affected us. Directly, about the only real impact was the closure of our local gym, the Club Northwest, for a couple of months. Jeannie goes there to the Rock Steady class for Parkinson’s and I go to see a fitness coach. But that has re-opened in the last week.
    Amanda gets closest to my own way of thinking and I also listened with interest to my local G.P. who thought that the situation was not as bad as it was presented. Certainly, not here in Merlin!
    To be honest, I am more concerned with the state of the world, as presented on Grist the other day. The link to that article is here: https://grist.org/ask-umbra/why-is-everything-falling-apart-in-2020/

    We seem to be at a point where lots of things are going wrong, or perhaps we are really starting to take notice of them now. Black Lives Matter is another aspect of where the world really seems to be waking up to the many issues it faces. Then there is climate change aka known as global warming.

    I think the jury is out at present on whether this is heading to the end or whether the next generation will sort things out. I fear the former but hope the latter, against all odds, wins the day.

    As I am saying more often these days: “After I have gone please don’t forget to turn the light out!”

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