Commentary: Get ready for the long haul – and hunker down

Commentary: Get ready for the long haul – and hunker down

Ian Haysom, a veteran journalist and writer, is a news consultant for CHEK. His coronavirus diary will appear here regularly.

We’re gonna need a bigger jigsaw.

So now we know that this particular coronavirus is going to disrupt our lives for a lot longer. We’re in a marathon, not a gentle jog.

Dr. Bonnie Henry now says we could still be here, in splendid self-isolation, until the summer, and Prime Minister Trudeau told us today it could take “weeks, even months”  before things get back to normal.

OK, we can do that, we think, we can hang on for a lot longer and then Dr. Henry adds, oh yes, by the way, we’d better be prepared for a second assault in September. What?

So like a marathon, we’re going to have to train for this. Get used to Not Going Out.  Get used to cutting our own hair, and our ears off. Get used to trolling the Internet for something, anything to amuse us.

And while we’re on that point, here are three such online diversions. All worth your time.

First, the Marsh family from Kent in England gives a living room performance of One Day More from Les Miserables, with changed lyrics. I hated this family at first, high-achieving nerds, too perfect by half, and by the end I loved them:

Then, a superb piece of light opera from Allyson McHardy on the Pacific Opera site. Since they can’t mount an opera right now, the opera company is carrying a weekly Acoustic Afternoon. And the Toronto opera singer does an amazing version of Blow The Wind Southerly. She’s funny and fantastic.

And then there’s one of my anti-heroes, Larry David, in his Curb Your Enthusiasm curmudgeon persona, in a public service announcement for the state of California, saying why would you go outside when you can just stay home and watch TV/ Nothing good ever comes from going outside, he says, as you’d know if you watch his show:

If we are in this for the long haul, then it’s good that arts groups and musicians and even amateur artists are putting more of their work online. There’s a whole bunch of it out there now much of it good, some of it awful.

For instance, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, one of the geniuses of rock music, who wrote God Only Knows and Good Vibrations, two of the most iconic pop songs of all time, is a lousy singer if his most recent attempt is anything to go by. But we’ll forgive him anything. Just watch his old stuff.

Better still, check out the memorable BBC Music video of God Only Knows, try and recognize all the stars, watch a tiger leap on Wilson’s grand piano, and feel chills run down your spine:

All of this distracts us from thinking about where all this will lead us. This insidious little virus has driven us into our homes, closed stores and restaurants, shut down airlines and schools and factories, put millions out of work, all but destroyed the world economic system and stopped me from hugging my grandkids.

And still, I can’t get my head around the fact that despite all the world’s expertise and talent, though we’ve cured polio and gone to the moon, though we’re the smartest, most advanced people in the history of humankind, a virus can bring the world to its knees, and all we can do is stand two metres apart from one another and keep our fingers crossed.

This virus has humbled all of us. We are more vulnerable, less omnipotent, a lot less clever than we thought we were.

Well, most of us accept we’re not so smart. But there are Covidiots out there who think they are omnipotent. Yesterday I was walking on Island View Beach, keeping a big distance from all about me.

Suddenly, on a pathway, a middle-aged woman started walking directly towards me. I started walking to the side, away from her, and she said, “No need, the virus won’t hurt us, we’ll all be fine.”

And then she marched straight on, muttering something about everything being overblown. I dived towards some bushes. I certainly didn’t want her spittle anywhere close. For all the press conferences, all the pleas and cajoling and evidence, there are still some who can’t, or won’t, listen.

Yes, it’s going to be a long haul. Chin up. My new mantra. Unless you’re passing a Covidiot. Then keep your head down and your face turned away.

Read the previous diaries here:

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 18, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 19, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 20, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 22, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 23, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 24, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 25, 2020

Commentary: The Coronavirus Diaries March 26, 2020

Commentary: Living in a bubble world

Commentary: Living in a virus virtual world

Commentary: No April Fools. That’s no joke

Ian HaysomIan Haysom

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