Blowin’ In The Wind

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It’s like quicksand. You can’t see how deep it is, and it looks so normal, you have trouble believing there’s any danger at all. But once you’ve stepped in it, the more you squirm, the deeper you sink. And buying tons of toilet paper will not wipe it away.

I had this feeling once before. Vietnam seemed so far away. I didn’t fit the demographic: upper-middle-class white college student. Plus, I was the only child of a mother who’d survived breast cancer. Oh, and I had flat feet. They weren’t going to get me.

I sunk into the quicksand gradually. I graduated from college and lost my deferment. I was ordered by my draft board to take a physical so I joined the Army Reserves. They activated my unit, so I sold myself a stateside assignment with the Army Logistics Management Center producing the Army Logistician magazine. Then, I got my orders for ‘Nam, my assignment to edit the daily World News Roundup at Army Headquarters Long Binh. I was sinking in the quicksand but holding onto a branch for dear life.

And I made it home alive and well. Some might argue about the well part.

I’m in quicksand right now. The difference now is that we’re ALL in it. And it certainly doesn’t matter that I’m a white middle-class only child. Black, white, brown or yellow, Democrat, Republican, Muslim, Christian, blah, blah, blah. This disease is an equalizer, an equal opportunity destroyer.

But is it? This is a lottery, but we can influence our chances of winning. The smarter among us will grab for that branch, and the ones who survive are the ones who can adapt. My stepson says the only ones that will survive the apocalypse are the cockroaches. Maybe. But I see a clear delineation between those who are adapting and those who are filling the liquor stores, gun shops, pot dispensaries, and spring break beaches.

All the old rules are out the window. Bob Dylan is an adapter. “Blowin’ in The Wind” was a clarion call to my generation: “How many times can a man turn his head/And pretend that he just doesn’t see – the answer/The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind/The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

The coronavirus is blowin’ in the wind, and those who survive and thrive are those who do not pretend that we just don’t see.

How many ears must one person have
Before he can hear people cry?
And how many deaths will it take ’till he knows
That too many people have died?

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