Monday, March 16, 2020
Coronavirus or Covid-19, your choice. There's even something about SARS in there if you want. I'm guessing we're all at least sort of informed on the subject here, even if the details can get a little debatable as we dig down. No one is too put out about the names. There are bigger fish to fry.
On Sunday I went to work at the library. I wasn't sure whether I was willing or not because I genuinely believe the libraries should close. All of them. Everywhere. They are wonderful, wonderful places and also festering pools of disease spreading like few other places anywhere.
The first thing I did upon arriving at a workplace that had taken nearly no action whatsoever was to close every other public computer to create social distancing. All around me co-workers said "Oh, I heard maybe we were going to do that."
I guess maybe we were I found out later. It was in some vague multi-day discussion phase when I expedited the process.
Then I washed my hands.
I sanitized them.
Then I put on blue gloves.
Then I just refused to touch anything on principle for awhile.
They say if you don't look a little crazy now you probably aren't being careful enough.
I don't know who said that. It might just be the voices in my head... whispering...
The library is crowded today. People ask "Will the library be open this week? Do you have any plans to close?"
I say "We have no plans to close. None of the information I have received suggests anything about closing. Nevertheless I personally expect that we'll close sometime in the middle of the week."
"Oh." They respond.
My sense of fatalistic doom hasn't been the best thing for me in my life, but all of the sudden lately it's getting things eerily right.
The thing I didn't anticipate so well is how I feel about the library patrons. In my storied career I have managed to hold a kind of love for them somewhere deep in my, well, if not heart, maybe elbow or something. And that love gives me the strength to carry on, a warmth to keep me going and give my best.
But today I am so disappointed in them. "Why are you here?" I want to ask. "This is not really a good idea." I want to say.
But I can't.
So I say it to myself.
I'll be staying home now for a bit.