Riverside Park is my go-to place normally but has been an essential destination over the past year. Spring has sprung a little later this year than usual, but, like everything else, even the seasons are teaching patience. Photo by Andrew Altenburg, 2021.
I posted this last spring/summer and, yes, actually received criticism from a couple of childhood friends on the Facebook who completely missed the point of the meme and, instead, chose to use it as an excuse to criticize New York's handling of the pandemic - and it was done in such a way that made it sound as though I'm supposed to be personally responsible for everything that goes on in the state in which I live. I had had it with the primary person who made a choice to do this and so, I did, yes, unfortunately, unfriend him. And while not a close friend by any definition, I'd known this person since first grade.
Over the past year it's been difficult (to say the least) to see people that I've known my whole life call Corona a hoax and, out of their fear of getting sick and dying, deny the reality of what we went/are still going through.
I used to have that same thought that all of us do about our fellow human beings - that, in a pinch, we'd all pull together. Well, the pinch happened and only some of us pulled together. The rest, a sizeable amount by any count, chose to do things like try to run down doctors and nurses (the video of this still haunts me - how are people really this cruel?) and cough on people who asked them to wear a mask .... so, no in a pinch we didn't all pull together. And if that doesn't depress you, I don't know what will.
I'd like to have a happy wrap up to this thought, but I don't. But what I will say is this: for those of you who follow the teaching of Jesus, loving your neighbor is a pretty important part of his message - and if you were one of those over the last year that lashed out at others, coughed on them, tried to run them down, etc... how is that loving your neighbor? (spoiler: it's not).
Welcome all to the dance craze that's sweeping the Universe - THE BEDDY! If you're not all caught up on the "Legion of Bugs" storyline - check out the full story (so far!) by clicking on the gallery to the right! Enjoy!.... and DO THE BEDDY! Video creation by Elliot Pantuso.
This morning I am obsessing about my one year anniversary of the "two week" lockdown which I started on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. News that Texas and Mississippi are lifting restrictions despite a lag in vaccinations and the presence of variants certainly hasn't helped my mood at all.
But I also have to remember that even if it's not mandated, people are still allowed to wear masks to protect themselves (at least they can for now... is a 'no masks allowed' mandate coming?? in a country where people actually wanted to run down doctors and nurses for telling people to take care of their health, yeah, I expect that). I don't understand why politicians want to kill their constituents, but hey, this is why I'm an event planner/cartoonist and not a politician. Perhaps there is some secret agenda that makes this somehow a good thing. Ok I don't really believe that, of course.
The Twitterverse has reported that the state budget is dependent on sales tax and as long as sales are down, so is the budget. So it's just another version of "Let's kill grandma to get the economy moving because figuring out how to both keep people alive AND sorting out the economy is too much work and might interfere with my trip to Cancun". I should add here, that I really don't think that TX Gov Abbot is sitting at his desk cackling like my super villain Mighty Ant, but it's hard to make sense of it. I get that people are tired. I sure am. Who isn't? Naturally, if we had all just worn masks last March and April, this would be over by now. But God forbid anyone takes a minute to contribute to the common good. Sheesh.
I used to wonder why people became hermits in cabins in the woods. I wonder no longer.
Speaking of corona, my best pal recommended the site TurboVax as the place to find vaccinations in NYC. I've been on it this morning and constantly refreshing the page as though I am trying to get ComicCon or Star Wars tickets. At this point, the site is listing options in mid April for a location in Brooklyn open to Brooklyn residents only. So, I am becoming resigned to have to wait until May since it sounds like we all might be able to get vaccinated by then.
Why this wasn't rolled out at the end of 2020 is a mystery to me. I guess it's part of the death culture in this country - people would rather actually die than take a few precautions. But as a gay man who lived through AIDS and saw first hand how irresponsible people were with safer sex in the late 90s when I was producing fundraisers, I know first hand how defiant people can be about things that will actually keep them alive if it poses the slightest inconvenience. This should be a surprise, but, sadly, it isn't. Again - I understand fully why people cut themselves off from society. It's not that they hate other people, but it physically hurts to see so much stupidity.
It's Wednesday, March 3, 2021 and in 6 days I will have been working from home for a year. Can you blame me for being crabby??