There is Nothing New Under the Sun. So... what about COVID

Hello. I greet you without any physical approach whatsoever. With this COVID-19 situation, people don't really greet each other at all in public places. Eye contact is fleeting and hesitant. The only interaction is a team-work effort to keep away and make space. Friends who see each other give a brief acknowledgement and say "Stay safe!" It's hard to give this COVID environment a one-word description. "Strange" is close, but anything associated with "strange" before is different from the "strange" that COVID-19 has brought us. The world has seen a lot, but this seems new. There are bits and pieces from history that can be sort-of related to now, like the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, maybe World War II, but all of those were longer in time, less abstract, and definitely more American feeling. American as in patriotic. This... this is different. This is a world on hold. Never has the world been on hold; the major population voluntarily frozen, in place, waiting. In a movie about surfing, an expert surfer said to his pupil, "One thing you gotta know: Fear and panic are two separate emotions. Fear is healthy, panic is deadly." But his pupil responded, "If you're scared to death, how do you not panic?" The surf expert answered, "By identifying the fear, and what it is that you're afraid of." With the COVID-19 upthrust, there is probably panic in more people than the virus has physically affected. Panic, because in a hasty attempt to identify their fear and where it is coming from, they found something hard to identify. Something that seemed new under the sun. But is it? Those who are not panicking must have identified the source of fear. They must have recognized COVID-19 as something simple. Something that is not new under the sun. Something more or less as a part of a cycle that is unmeasurably old. And so it must be. Older than the sun.

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