Today I sit down to write with a distaste for anything quarantine or virus related. I’m reminded of Bocaccio’s Decameron in which a group of people take refuge from the plague in a countryside palace, and to pass time they indulge in story telling. None of the stories mention a thing about the plague, the point is escaping from it (in the body and in the mind).

Once you have accepted your fate, there is no point in wrestling the calamity anymore. It is best to put it in the background. This makes people nervous and they will tell you it’s a mistake, but when you boil down their argument it is reduced to an ego driven I-need-to-save-the-world complex. Since we feel useless we feel anxious, and to combat the anxiousness we seek for ways to help, but this rarely turns out as expected.

You have surely been in a rush expecting guests. The first guest arrives and asks “How do I help?” and you lose your concentration to assign a task, “can you chop some carrots?”, “of course, where’s the knife?”, you motion towards the drawer. “Oh, do you have a chopping board?”, and so on. The guest feels useful but it would have been more efficient to do it yourself.

When you remove the ego help becomes effortless. The guest might be sipping on a glass of wine while you are chopping the carrots. You cut yourself and the guest springs forward with a napkin to contain the bleed. There is no “I want to feel helpful” behind the action.

It was done because it was necessary.