Joe’s Journal

Week 20 – Get ready

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 07/29/2020 - 7:15am

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.

I just pulled the sheet over my nose and settled back into this lovely dream of how my bride and I were driving around the countryside in search of something she had her heart set upon. It was just a warm, cozy (or cosy if you are an old-timer from Southport Island) feeling.

For the last 10 years or so, I have honored a standing 7 a.m. appointment with a group of old has-beens to stroll through the lovely woods at BRLT's Penny Lake Preserve. There is nothing like a brisk walk in the woods to clear your head. There is nothing like swatting at deer flies, tripping over tree roots, and nearly falling into the pucker bush to wake you up. This morning, for some reason, I didn't want to get out of bed at all. But I did.

I am an old man, and others, who remember drooling over the first Corvette, will know why I finally rolled off the mattress, shuffled into the little room, took my pills, brushed my teeth, splashed my face, and pulled fresh clothes over my strangely shaped old man body.

After making coffee, I set out the big bird feeder and sat down with a steaming mug and clicked through my news feeds. And I almost got back into bed. Oh, joy. Oh, wonder. Lousy news by the bushel.

As the Maine CDC said, we had just a dozen or so new cases of COVID-19; other states were reporting thousands, and in some cases, tens of thousands. In Florida, officials said 30 percent of school-aged children tested for the virus were positive for the infection. Despite that, their governor told reporters he would have no problem sending his young children to school despite the raging pandemic.

In the South and West, governors who had opened up their states were now on the cusp of reintroducing strict lockdowns.

For some strange reason, even the suggestion that the public should wear masks has become a political flashpoint. Facebook features dozens of folks objecting to face masks. For those men who say wearing a mask is a pain in the backside, their wives suggest they should try wearing a bra on a hot sticky day.

Last evening, we settled into our chairs to watch “Jeopardy” and see if we still had enough brain cells left to match wits with the contestants. Between the Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy rounds, they bombarded us with nasty political ads.

On the heels of Tuesday's primary election where incumbent Republican Susan Collins was unopposed, and Democrat Sara Gideon easily defeated two other challengers, the political floodgates opened wide. A Washington group called the 1820 PAC is spending millions on Collins' behalf by flaming Gideon, calling her sneaky, risky, weak, untrustworthy, and a hypocrite. I assume the last adjective has nothing to do with the similarly named rocky outcropping located south of Ocean Point and east of Fisherman's Island.

A Democratic PAC called Senate Majority is funneling millions to attack Collins, accusing her of taking big bucks from Big Pharma and one of the opioid kings. In addition to the outsiders, the Collins and Gideon campaign committees bankrolled ads accusing each other of all kinds of nasty stuff. These ads are designed to make you view both candidates as someone you wouldn't think of supporting on Election Day. For all their bile, none of these ads mention the nation's major problems, like the economy, climate change, pandemic, foreign interference in our election, and race relations. What about the schools and our kids? Not one suggests they have a solution to anything.

That, dear reader, is just a small sample involving the Maine senatorial race. Wait until after the national political conventions when we can expect an onslaught of attack ads from the right and the left, and maybe even from China and Russia.

Meanwhile, our economy is in the tank; there is rioting in city streets. COVID-19 has killed more than 140,000 Americans, and millions more are very, very sick. It is not the “sniffles.”

Back home, our school officials are meeting every day to figure out a way to open our schools and educate our children and grandchildren. At the same time, they must figure a way to keep the teachers, administrators and support staff healthy. Then they must tackle the toughest job of all: Convincing the parents to allow their precious children to leave the safety of home and venture into the outside world where Mr. COVID waits for a chance to take them – and us – for an extended visit to the emergency room.

 Be well. Be safe.