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Life goes on. My younger sister told me recently that she is making more money now than she was before the pandemic. It is because she is considered an essential worker and was also being paid hazard pay, but I'm not sure if she still is? Other than wearing a mask to work every day her life hasn't really changed that much other than larger paychecks.

Our preacher called me about a month ago to see how I was doing and we talked and he said it was amazing how unaffected I was by the whole corvid 19 pandemic thing. My life hasn't really changed that much other than not going to church {grin}. We were never really going out to eat people anyway. I like to cook and since the pandemic started we haven't eaten out once. I still like to eat so I get excited when I find something delicious that is on sale. That gets my attention real quick. When I find a big bargain then I get excited.

When I grocery shop I wear a mask, which my older sister made for me, and even though I feel ridiculous wearing it I wear it because I guess it makes my sisters happy and now I think it's mandatory, although to be honest I don't watch the news and don't really keep up with all that. I like to play along like I'm part of what's going on around me. I have a difficult time understanding why people care so much though? {smile}

I'm not a political kind of guy. I don't follow politics and the only time I hear about it is when other people bring it up or the TV is on and my wife is watching the news or something? I'll be honest at this stage of my life I'm a whole lot more interested in what happens on the other side than I am on what happens here.

Physically, not much has changed for me. As a grocery store worker, I'm fortunate and grateful to have a steady job, and while it was unnerving to realize that I could die by going to work, that feeling went away after a few weeks (it's still baffling how people literally went insane trying to get toilet paper).

Emotionally, things have been rough. Like you, Michael, I've become more cynical and less trusting of my fellow Americans after seeing so many refusing to wear masks or follow common-sense safety procedures to try and slow the spread of the virus. In my opinion, we need to all be coming together to fight a common enemy and adopt a cooperative mindset instead of saying, 'F*** you, I do what I want, and I want to get haircuts and party!" And that's before even getting into politics; like you, I'm trying to avoid it, as there are days where it just drags my spirit down and makes me wish I could hibernate until all this is over.

Spiritually, though, this year has been a wreck. I can't remember the NDE, but I remember how God once asked an experiencer, after feeling His love for her, if she could love others the same way. I've tried to see this pandemic as an opportunity to do so, but as someone who's on the center-left of the political spectrum, it's been excruciatingly difficult to feel tolerant or accepting towards people to the far right (and I don't mean moderates; I mean QAnon believers, people cheering at unmarked federal agents putting protesters in unmarked vans, any personality on Fox News, and especially evangelicals.). Loving your neighbor is easy in practice, but hard to do when - in your opinion - they're embracing fascism with open arms. It's so much easier (and emotionally satisfying) to be angry, frustrated, and even hateful, but for everyone's sake we must try.

"We were never really going out to eat people anyway." Arthur Reichert

Me either...they're a rare delicacy and not always on the menu anyway. Lol!

(Yes, I realize that was typo or omission of a word or two, but I have to say it gave me a hardy belly laugh. Thank you!)

Michael, I liked your candid post. I've been thinking a lot lately of the very things you wrote about. I think I commented before that I am a bit of a recluse. Fortunately my life hasn't been turned on its head. This whole pandemic thing has opened my eyes to how good I really have it. I live on a modest income but I own my own home, live close to the places where I usually shop and have family nearby. My husband made his transition three years ago and I adjusted to this solitary life quite well I think, so the C19 boogeyman hasn't affected me much.

But like you, I've noticed there's a change in the air when I go out. Sometimes you can detect the angst in the eyes of those people peering out above their masked faces. It must be terrible to be frightened by this unknown spectre that's intruded upon their lives. Then I have to stop and realize I don't know what their situation is. This new world might have created a future for them that they never anticipated. It could spell disaster for them, so who am I to judge.

My 93-year-old mother lives alone in her home about a minute's walk from mine. When I asked her if she was at all frightened by any of this, she said "Nope. We'll muddle through this one, too."
I'm gonna take her at her word.

"Another positive change is that I found myself going back to paranormal literature and either reading new books or rereading old ones. I really hadn't done much of this in the last few years, and I feel that it does help to "raise my vibrations" and put me in a more upbeat frame of mind"

Same here. For example, I just finished re-reading Michael Tymn's "Dead Men Talking" the other day and I got a lot more out of it than I did the first time through. I really thought about some of the ramifications. Very uplifting.

"Finally, I think – probably like many other people – I now have a renewed appreciation for some of the simpler things in life...."

Absolutely true for me too. Just one example - our local grocery store used to have a decent butcher section, but since the virus, the prices have doubled and the best cuts of meat are like eating an old shoe. I asked a friend who has lived his entire life in the city 30 miles North of my place, and who likes to cook, where quality meat can be found and he recommended a butcher shop that supplies to all of the best restaurants. So my wife and I took a drive up there and found the shop clean, friendly and stocked with some excellent product at reasonable prices. We're planning another trip up there tomorrow. We're both really looking forward to it. I used to hate shopping. Now it's fun. I'm also getting into cooking. Thinking about different recipes, etc. I've lost a lot of weight by not eating out all of the time.

We also grew a garden that is much larger than any we've ever attempted before. We've got beats, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, peas, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, onions, garlic all kind of herbs. Every evening we go out and pick what is ready and incorporate it into the meal. Delicious! We're already making plans for an even bigger and improved garden for next Spring. I'm actually looking forward to it. I would have never been excited about gardening in the past.

I used to be in a big hurry to get out of the house, go play music with friends and/open mics, meet new people, have some drinks - now I'm pretty happy to just go for a quiet walk and stay at home relating to my wife. Our relationship has always been good, but I find it even deeper and more meaningful now that we spend more time together talking about everything and how we feel about it, each other and what we will do in the future.

Work hasn't really changed for me because I've been working from home for the most part for a few years. I haven't traveled on business since February. It's all video conferencing now, but I prefer that to the trains, planes and hotels.

Generally, I find myself appreciating my own little paradise on my quiet little horse farm with my wife and our gardens. I tune into the "news" less and less these days. As you say, it's a low vibrational sphere and I can feel myself being sucked into that muck. I can't resist sometimes, but I'm getting increasingly better at doing so.

My attitude toward the destruction of the country waxes and wanes. Over all, if the worst happens and there is some kind of civil war or fascist govt take-over and it comes to my home, I'm ready to fight and die - I will not surrender or appease. There is a certain deep peace that comes with that decision and it relates back to re-reading "Dead Men Talking". Otherwise, monkey brained fools gonna do what monkey brained fools do.

Finally, I've also gotten back into meditation practices which have contributed to my sense of living a deeper richer life apart from society, but closer to the soul.

In conclusion, covid has been an instigator or inspiration for developing a simpler more spiritual life-style and outlook and has been a good thing for my wife and I. The inconveniences have been minor once I get past my emotional response to the idiocy of the panic and all of the political opportunism.

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