Corona Memoires: We All Need Our Mother

Wednesday 15 April 202006:13 pm

Today after more than a month of confinement I miss having a mother/father figure rolled into one. When we were children, we were read stories. Some were fairytales with merciful endings. Others ended tearfully. These tales were a palimpsest, a carte de route that adults deemed fit to read to us in order to prepare us for our lives.

Today, there is no one reading to me. There is no one reading to the homeless man who screamed at me on Sunday when I ventured out to borrow a potato masher from my mother-in law. My husband was making mashed potatoes for dinner (that wasn’t the whole meal) but more on that on a different day.

I worry about those lost in the system. I read about the empty subways populated by a subculture of poor and rejected men and women. They ride the cars using them as makeshift homes. A graduation from the tunnels into the trains. Is this what they mean when they say “living in a mobile home’?

Who will take care of them when the hospitals are filled to capacity and then some? Isolation is highlighting the plight of the forgotten.

The soup kitchens and the food banks are making headlines, yet we only hear those in power wanting to pounce on the button to “reopen the economy” – a clarion call to magical yesteryear: “the greatest economy in the history of mankind”. Excuse those who aren’t giddy with excitement at the thought.

We received a letter from our managing agent, informing us that one of the building’s employees tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, seven other employees – all of whom were in contact with their infected colleague – have had to self-quarantine

This is not only true for the US but also for Lebanon, my country of birth; a now failed country where both Lebanese and refugees from various countries are now all but doomed. Did they ever even have a fairytale read to them? Now the poor and downtrodden listen to the tale of an evil horror named Corona. This villain lurks everywhere, more evil than communism, AIDS, Al-Qaida and ISIS all rolled into one. Where the leaders that will defeat him? Where are the Churchills, the FDRs, the Alexanders, the Saladins, the Pericles? Today I want a leader. We want a hero. Be it the one we need or the one we deserve, I’m not going to be picky

I think that hero may well be a virologist. Humanity’s savior in this present fairy tale may be a physician, a practitioner of science. Can he or she hurry up please?

Yesterday, we received a letter from our managing agent, informing us that one of the building’s employees tested positive for COVID 19. As a result, seven other employees – all of whom were in contact with their infected colleague – have had to self-quarantine. Our lobby is being fumigated as I write this.

The monster is now even closer.

Last night, as I lay in bed, engaged in my now nightly FaceTime call with a dear girlfriend, I got an incoming call from a special lady, a relative of my husband who lives in Japan and happens to be… a virologist. She suggested that I use incense and essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender and pine. She also recommended boiling star anise and adding ginger, honey and lemon to drink as a nightly remedy. Keeping intestinal flora healthy with yogurt and miso are also important. Masks are a must and so is common sense.

I hope that I have not tired you out, dear reader.

Do not internalize.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Raseef22

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