Hello there, good morning, and welcome to yet another Thursday. It’s the first Thursday of April, and yesterday was “April Fool’s Day,*” but I doubt that many people felt like playing pranks on each other…I know that the ones with whom I interacted showed no signs of such “foolishness”. To be honest, I’ve personally never seen the fun in pulling pranks on other people, April Fool’s Day or otherwise.
It would have been nice—in a horrible way—to have learned that the global coronavirus pandemic thing had all been a big prank, to be revealed on April 1st, but it’s hard to imagine anyone doing something in such poor taste…even those people involved in government, who are notorious for their tastelessness.
We’ve finally gotten things set up so that, at least part of the time, I’m going to be working from home for the coming days to weeks (hopefully not months!), but since I do records and payroll for my workplace, I’m going to be needing to go in at least part of the week. That’s not so bad. If I’m basically the only on in the office, it’s hard to see from whom I could catch the virus, and to whom I could give it. Also, my training, combined with my already socially withdrawn character, make me somewhat less vulnerable to contagion than many others.
Speaking of the latter, I apologize for the gloomy character of last week’s blog post. I suppose it can be forgiven—at least I hope so—given the state of things, but still, it’s nicer to try to keep at least a little lighthearted, even in dark times. And, let’s face it, taking the universe as a whole, at least since the universe was more than three hundred thousand years old, it’s always been “dark times”.
Get it? If not, don’t feel bad. It’s not really funny, and not very clever.
Anyway, I did a little “audio blog” yesterday that I’ll be posting on Iterations of Zero, soon, about patriotism, the pledge, the national anthem, the flag, and an aside on seeing a virus as an alien invasion. It’s more fun than it may sound, and it’s less than ten minutes long—I even do a tiny bit of singing—so when I post it, I invite you to take a listen.
Of course, despite everything, Unanimity continues to draw closer to release—a story about a contagion of an entirely different, and more terrifying, kind than any we’ve seen before. I feel bad that it’s not already available, because I think it would be quite a nice book to read while stuck inside over the course of a social distancing protocol. It’s long, at the very least. Well, what can you do?
If you wish, you can certainly feel free to get copies of Mark Red, Son of Man, or especially The Chasm and the Collision, to help you pass your time. They, and all my many short stories, are available for Kindle, so you don’t have to leave the house to get and read them! I’ve even got audio of me reading several short stories and part of CatC on my YouTube channel, and you don’t even need to pay for that (except with advertising or with your YouTube premium subscription…none of that money goes to me, though). Obviously, of course, there are a squillion other books out there to enjoy when stuck at home. Number one on my list of recommendations would almost certainly be The Lord of the Rings, for those of you who haven’t already read it, or haven’t reread it recently. I’m probably going to be picking it up again, myself. But really, the number of possible books is functionally unlimited**. Indulge yourselves in what you enjoy when it comes to books, including nonfiction. Why not? Written language is the lifeblood of civilization. Let’s keep it flowing in abundance!
With that, I’ll bid you farewell for the moment. Do take sensible precautions, look after your elderly and infirm friends and relatives, and look out for each other. The great strength of humanity is our ability to work together in complex and coordinated ways to do more and better than any collection of people could do each on their own (a process which relies powerfully on symbolic language). And one of the great motivators of that strength is our ability to care about our fellow humans. Remember, every other person out there is so much more like you than they are like any other kind of creature in the universe (and vice versa) as to be nearly indistinguishable for any other type of creature. So be sympathetic and be caring and be careful. The world is full of sharp corners.
*April Fools’ Day?
**Further recommendations are available upon request