We are now into week two of our Bavarian Corona lockdown. One can easily get used to the silent streets, clean air, quiet neighbors, and boredom. But eventually we get comfortable in our day wear (pajamas) while days roll by like an old rolodex. I now know how hamsters feel. Lock them up, spin that wheel long enough, and they will eventually look forward to it. It is an insidious situation of wanting to leave the house but our butts won’t budge because it is too much of an effort. We are now conditioned. I don’t leave the house without carrying latex gloves like a pervert. When this blows over (pardon the pun) I would still be walking six feet away from everybody else just in case.
We are now in the pre-corona remembrance state. Do any of us recall what life was like when we could be obnoxious without having to think about catching anything? The joy of being jostled on a busy street, bus, or subway? Businesses are out of business. Whether a brothel or a jewelry store, we are all up the same creek. The joy of working from home.
I understand the trepidation in Europe, because borders were nonexistent and travel across EU states was virtually unhindered. Which is why the virus spread so rapidly. Italy took the brunt. Started in the North, in Milan, where fashion designers and brand name houses wheel, deal, and flourish. They are the ones who do the most business with China. From fabric to leather, China provides high end brands with lower priced resources and labor.
Milan is “China Town” to name brands like Prada, Gucci, Armani, and many others. In 2007, Gucci, D & G, and Prada were investigated by investigative journalists from one of Italy’s national television stations, RAI-3. The journalists discovered that the expensive “stuff” might have been “made in Italy”, but by Chinese immigrants often in slave labor conditions. In 2008, The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece called “Slaving in the Lap of Luxury”. Another expose on fashion houses in Tuscany and other parts of Northern Italy. Large manufacturing factories of high end goods were little more than sweatshops with poor sanitary conditions, and extreme low wages. Most of the Chinese were from the Wenzhou region in China. According to EU labor laws, a manufacturer can claim the country where the product is manufactured or assembled as the country of origin. A subtle legal loophole that brought myriad of Chinese workers into Northern Italy. The perfect connection from China to Italy to corona. Greed knows no bounds.
We are now living in the epicenter of the Chinese Virus, except that we can’t call it that because it is considered racist, or so we are told. We had no problem calling a flu Spanish although it never originated in Spain. No problem calling a flu African either. But this is the dawning of the age of politically correctness where stupid is raised to another level. In the meantime, our lives as we knew them, have changed forever. Akin to 9/11, we will never travel the same way again, interact with people the same way again, or even leave our homes the same way again. If this continues through the summer, we would have conditioned ourselves to never shake hands, hug, or touch anyone again. Are we anticipating a science fiction pod type of life in the corona aftermath?
I for one am taking the entire experience as a work in progress. Each day I brace myself like a trooper. My eyebrows are still plucked, and I will hopefully manage to hide the grey from my hair long enough to psych myself into believing that grey is the new blond. I might even wear my grey as a badge honor like those “I survived” goofy t-shirts college kids wear. My nails remain trimmed and even if I have to venture into the grocery store, stand at my pre-conditioned social distance, watching the masked latexed cashier run my groceries; my make-up remains impeccably applicated.
Gas is now at its lowest price I can remember in probably a decade. With no one on the streets, gas stations are lowering prices from one masked breath to the next. The price I drive by in the morning changes south by mid afternoon. No complaints here. But I can also envision the prices going up the minute we are told that we are free to continue our lives sans corona.
The virus has replaced all other world angst. Heard anyone talking about Climate Change lately? Where is our teenage climate change ninja; Greta? She must be going through some serious withdrawals. Her face contorts as she realizes that we are experiencing the cleanest climate in decades. China has stopped producing toxic crap and instead went into biological zoolonic crap. Oh for a whiff of carbon emissions at this moment. Will Greta and other banshee activist morons ever realize that they barked up the wrong tree? That the West is not the main culprit of climate degradation? I wonder what convulsions Ms Greta would experience if she realizes that the “climate friendly” boat she sailed on was probably made in China, and contributed more to the world’s pollution than my emission guilty roadster ever will. Well, the oomph has gone out of that balloon with a swipe of a contaminated hand and a cough.
Every day is a moment in time when we attempt to establish some norm in this crazy. I find myself timing my day between writing, eating, studying, working, and Netflix. What to do first? I am sleeping later because the quiet is surreal. Not a sound of tires, footsteps, or dogs. The mail person is the highlight of the day. If at all possible, he or she would throw the mail through the mail box. Last week I had the first package delivered at the established corona distance. The DHL man did not want my signature on the receipt. If he could have thrown it through the front door he would have. So I gingerly balanced myself to grab it as he tailed it out of dodge. I was compelled to yell: “Hey, I’m not sick!” Skid marks are still on the asphalt. Oy Vey.
I heard that distilleries are going to start manufacturing sanitizers. Adding a little bit of this and that to their original product. I intend to use the sanitizer on both hands, lick them, then settle down with a good cigar! Car manufacturers will be going into respiratory equipment; let’s hope that we have no recalls. I can stand behind a BMW, Mercedes, or Volvo respirator; but I have a problem with a Ford.
Every cloud has a silver lining. This exercise in regimental regulated living should sit well with the young socialist voters. We are going through a quick drill in socialist living. Nothing to buy, nowhere to go, nothing to do, and miserable. This is life under government regulations. A government that dictates what is good for you, when, and how. Which brings me to the young college morons at Spring Break in Miami. The intellectual elite who want us, taxpayers, to pay for their education because they think they deserve it. After their blatant refusal to abide by the restrictions imposed by the government, I submit that they would not fare very well in a Socialist “Amerika.” Good luck with that dream.
As I walk past my neighbors’ front doors I realize that I have not seen them for almost two weeks. They have vanished. Swallowed by brick , mortar and fear. I stop as I get this sudden strong urge to yell, “Is anyone still in there?” But I hesitate , as I conjure up third eyes, two heads, and long fangs creeping behind dark walls. I slowly tiptoe past a front door and suddenly catch a familiar hand waving through the laced curtains of a closed window. A sigh of relief. I am safe. I can now return to my corona life of tranquility and day wear (pyjamas)!