I learned a few days back that I had been exposed to the dreaded Covid. After months of being exceedingly careful I had gone back to work. Our union lays down very strict protocols…across the board Covid tests at regular intervals, crucial practices of equipment sterilization, separations of workers into isolation pods, etc., so my partner and I agreed it would be safe for me to proceed. To my knowledge these protocols were more than less followed but in that small percentage of less, the damned bug managed to breach our protective walls and two weeks in, some company member test results came back with the dreaded positive. Our project was immediately shut down and after virtual adieus, we all scattered to our respective homes to quarantine in hopes our ensuing tests ran negative. According to CDC guidelines, five days to go before I’m totally in the clear.
As I sit and wait, I’ve been thinking about that word “exposed.” Good heavens, what we all have been exposed to in this year of 2020! A pandemic, rampant untruths spewing from a seemingly ever growing number of yahoos, virile divisiveness, free flowing tragedies in race relations, raging wildfires, continuing alarm from scientists on climate change. We know now that our attention has been monetized by selling it to online advertisers which in turn makes it harder for us to connect to the truth, harder to connect to the authentic in the virtual or actual town square.
What is that collective trauma to society I wonder, from such exposures? What are the components of our collective response? Depression and anxiety are among them we are told in the news. I’m sure though that resilience is as well. Thank heavens there are those who fill the black holes of life with willful optimism.
In the quiet and solitude of quarantine, exposures of a different sort have presented themselves. Dawn is one. I usually wake up in the dark, in time to see it give way to the light. Zoom parties reaffirm a treasure trove of friends. One on one zooms with my partner and immediate family members move life forward on deep reassuring levels. A text from my son sparks tears of gratitude. The unessentials fall away to make increased room for the essentials. I know in those moments of deep quiet, when the world drops away and the fertile void comes into view, we can expose ourselves to the good, to the true..to the infinite paradise within. Wishing you and yours, a very happy exposure.