by: GUEST BLOGGER Nick Lotito
NOTE: In his efforts to cope with sheltering in place, Nick Lotito has been submitting daily posts on Facebook. He dubbed these The Corona Monologues and was at CM 43 at last count. These are some excerpts which he authorized this Blog to reprint:
Waffle Houses are opening today, perhaps a vestige of the same old idiocy. Shouldn't we stay scattered, not smothered? By waffling, we run the risk of being fried. This is not over easy.
This reminds me very little of another random thought with a tenuous link to technology. I still write serious letters for work, but letters, in general, have been run out of town by emails. What effect will this have in years to come. I still have a box of love letters somewhere. Don't think I ever received a love email, certainly don't have any saved. What about songs? "Get me a ticket on an airplane....my baby she wrote me an email." And how do you give an email to a postman, let alone mark it "special d?" Love emails in the sand? C'mon. Letters also had principles, they weren't phishy. Of course, these posts are essentially bulk emails, so never mind.
While I admire all healthcare workers for what they are currently doing, this reminds me of the medical practitioner who had sex with a patient. Part of his conscience said, "don't be so hard on yourself. You're not the first doctor who had sex with a patient." Another part said, "You sick bastard, you're a veterinarian."
About a week or so ago, Meredith and I spoke w/ Bobby Lee Cook who is sheltering at his beautiful Italian style villa on the brow of the mountain in Cloudland, Ga, a sort of high brow response to covid. Cook is 93 and a legend in criminal defense. The show Matlock was inspired by his incredibly successful law practice. He remarked that this is the first time in his life he has felt "completely helpless." Long ago, he lied about his age to enter the Navy, and he then fought in the Pacific theater. He has been a man of action, used to attacking problems head on. Many of us, particularly, lawyers, are problem solvers. You assess the problem and take action. This "problem" is unlike others that lend themselves to that approach. It is invisible, potentially deadly and no one has an actual answer. Cook's comment of helplessness is profound in its simplicity, and it stuck with me. It helps explain some of the protests to sheltering. I think people feel an innate need to do something, and it is frustrating, not that I agree with their actions.
Moving from this serious vein, I am not sure it explains all protests. For example, plastic surgeons are rebelling. They claim the emphasis on flattening the curve is ruining their practices. Consumer product companies are suffering. With social distancing, sales of deodorant, perfume, cologne and similar products are non-essential services. Deodorant manufacturers, in particular, are up in arms over this. Contact tracing is vigorously opposed by drug dealers. It does appear that for every action, there indeed is an equal and opposite reaction after all.
With the blurring of time, I failed to focus on yesterday being Jackie Robinson Day. During a regular season, on April 15, all players wear #42. Vin Scully tells a story about the Dodgers playing in Cincinnati. Jackie received a death threat that he would be shot on the field if he played. He received a number of these. In a pregame meeting, Gene Hermanski, an outfielder said, "I got it! We can all wear #42." Of course, the numbers wouldn't hide skin color, but the thought resonates today. We're all in this together. We all may have some limits on whom we would take a bullet for, but our natural tendency, with notable exceptions, i.e., you know who [Hocus Potus], is to look out for one another. I have always found friends of mine have generally liked other friends when they happen to meet. I take comfort in this, knowing friends make life so much richer. Imagine how much more oppressive this would be w/o FB and Zoom. Meanwhile, Jackie played that day in Cincinnati. Hermanski's 1947 idea eventually took shape years later w/ all players wearing #42. Jackie was one of my heroes. He did more to advance civil rights than many appreciate. Today, he would encourage others to stay home. He stole it 20 times.