Out for a walk
Kevin O’ Brien Editor The Tribune-Phonograph
Well, it’s been another wild week here on Earth, as we continue to deal with what I am calling “COVID craziness.” It’s not an official disease at this point, but I hope the American Medical Association will one day designate it as such. It has clearly defined symptoms, like increased irritability over issues such as whether or not to wear or facemask in public or not. There’s also a four-fold spike in election-related anxiety, accompanied by bouts of confusion and delusional thinking. Underlying all of these symptoms is a sense of restlessness and impatience that manifests itself in bizarre behavior, like driving around aimlessly in your car just so you can get out of the house.
It’s hard to explain exactly how chaotic things have been here at the TP Printing Company. Preparing for election coverage is stressful in a normal year, but all the flip-flopping on Monday literally kept me up at night. I kept thinking I was going to get another news alert on my phone, informing us all in Wisconsin that we were going to vote with help from a massive flock of well-trained carrier pigeons.
Local government is still steaming right along, though, and I’ve yet to decide which is my favorite means of attending a meeting remotely. My preference right now is Zoom, just because I like to see all of the people I’m used to seeing at normal in-person meetings. Plus, if you get enough people online at once, it’s like watching a weird parody of the famous “Brady Bunch” opener.
GoToMeeting, on the other hand, leaves you with nothing but disembodied voices coming from a single speaker. It can be like trying to follow a conversation in the middle of an underground cave. Still, I applaud all of our local municipal officials for making the best of a horrible situation and using technology to keep the public engaged and informed. It’s not as easy as you might think.
Amid all of this insanity, it’s easy to forget that it’s Holy Week, with Easter coming up on Sunday. I know some people have been pleading for a reprieve to the safer-at-home orders for this sacred holiday, but unfortunately, I think that would be way too risky. Giving up the usual frills of Easter weekend — egg hunts, ham dinners with extended families, decked-out church services — is actually in keeping with the theme of sacrifice at the heart of the Christian holiday. If Jesus could spend 40 days in the desert with no food or water, I think we can give up our buffet dinners for one year.
In fact, if you’re a person of faith, now is a good time to stay at home and pray for a world desperately in need of God’s help. Over a million people have been infected with a virus that has killed thousands. Let’s do our part to stem the tide.