Mountain Walks..

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A Virus Afraid of Cocktails

Mary and I took a two day break early this week, and the hotel featured the expected array of Covid safety platitudes posted everywhere, along with staff dedicated wholly to mask compliance.  Ponder this direction I was given by one employee:  “Sir, if you had a cocktail you could take the mask off, but since you don’t have a drink, I’ll need you to mask up.”

Making sense of Commie-virus public policy involves the recognition that our procedures, necessarily, have to bow to both science and commerce.  (No, the virus doesn’t care about your cocktail, but we need to let the peasant innkeepers make at least a little money during the crisis.) In a sane world, narrowly-educated technocrats like Dr. Fauci wouldn’t be narrowly educated.  They would understand that human beings are social animals and you can’t fight the plague by permanently isolating the flock from each other.  Even temporary isolation should be reserved for only the most extreme cases.  Covid wasn’t one of them.  The world is beginning to understand that we listened to the wrong experts.  The old fellow who asked me to mask up was just doing his job, and I couldn’t quite tell if he really thought his job was necessary or not, but I can tell you most of his younger colleagues were done with the whole charade.  The town’s convention business is down by 50% and many of the restaurants are only open 4 days a week.

“Is it getting busy?” I asked the taxi driver.
“How is business?” I asked our server.
“Is it picking up?” I asked the bartender.
“Not by a long shot.”

I have reason to believe Dr. Fauci, and his ilk don’t even know the science, but even if they do, we can only afford to listen to these macro-economic dimwits for so long.  Anyone who gets a degree in epidemiology from now, on, should be required to study the negative sociology of a declining economy.  Not everyone can isolate for 10 days at a time with full pay.  Not everyone can forget they let a public health zombie-clerk talk them out of holding their loved one’s hand as they died.

When we got back home, the InstaCart driver stood at a distance, down the driveway.
“You want me to wear a mask?” he asked.
“No, I don’t care.”
“Good.  I hate this damn thing.”

The Mountains

At the hotel gym, (which was empty), a sign read, “mask required.”  I tried to imagine 60 minutes on an elliptical machine, wearing a mask–to protect no one apparently; I then weighed the relative risk of dying by suffocation or by assault, since a brisk walk across this once festive resort town was beginning to look more and more dicey.  (If you encounter more than three people per block yelling at the sky and having withdrawal sweats, you think twice about the merits of exercise.)

So when I got home, I just risked our local mountain walk danger — black bear and mountain lion — and I pondered, yet again, developing the farm trails.  We have lots of them, but they need work.  You do get to see some spectacular views of Southern California peaks — Mt. Wilshire, San Jacinto, Santiago, Pisgah, and a few pretty little hills that are nameless.  The early morning light and the gloaming are even a challenge for a 100 megapixel camera, since the light has the wind wrapped up in it, and the wind is laced with burnt manzanita and sage and fermenting strawberries.  A mountain, after all,  is more than just shades of purple; it’s the sound of your boots in the gravel as you ponder it.

For those with a mind given to Him, you can find God out there in the solitude.  We love and we need the flock, of course, but when you’re alone, you don’t have to suffer the scratchy virtue-signaling of the plague-paralyzed.  There’s no cloying “we can do this together” chorus.  There’s no need to check your vax passport.  Up against the sky like that, on one of those trails, it’s just your own individual imperfection and God’s boundless perfection.  He’s laughing at the heathen.  He’s holding them in derision.  The Almighty — spread across the universe and holding every electron in place — turns all the little technocrats, and all their pointless burdens, into worms.

He is the Everlasting Old Normal.  Praise be..

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This post was written by Jim Riley


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