Whose voice are you hearing? What message is reaching you?

                       

I ran early this morning as I usually do but I ran hard today. I ran defiantly right down the middle of my road. A conservative defiance as there was not a single car nor pick-up truck     challenging me or my determined spirit this morning. While I live somewhat remotely there is usually and normally work traffic enough for me to stay on the side of the road at 7 am on a weekday. The quiet is comforting as I listened to the sound of the river rushing and the occasional bird singing even a Dove cooing this very early spring morning. Yet this morning I found the quiet deafening …cars should be speeding by and pick-up trucks should be on the road.

There is a constant and ever-present feeling of anxiety that I cannot shake no matter how many miles I run, how hard I run them or how many walks I take my dog on. I was even a little overzealous with the shower squidgy this morning as I cleaned the glass after my shower. Pent up anger, worry, or a hangover from another sleepless night?  

Come 2 am each morning I am revisiting the worries of the day and anticipating tomorrows. Yesterday started with a cancellation of the dog food order I placed online a week ago. I have had the great fortune to own the most wonderful, kind, loving and devoted rescue dog for thirteen years. He has never let me down, so I am not about to let him down! I imagine the dog food company has the product but maybe with businesses shutting down it was a matter of the ability to complete the order. Who knows but my dog needs to eat too? I will figure it out, groceries are not so easy to get, but I will make sure he is ok. I understand this is not the biggest problem, but it does illustrate how everything is trickling down. I did secure a small bag from the veterinary office as they too are waiting for delivery and just don’t know when they will be restocked. Again, we just don’t know when…

Curbside everything yesterday…groceries, prescriptions and even dog food! Hand sanitizer strategically located in my car console where a take-out coffee once would have been placed. So many email and social media pleas for financial assistance from the many wonderful businesses that I have come to frequent and love. The faces of the proprietors and their small staff are all familiar and my community family. I have daily conversations and interactions with most and even have had the great pleasure of meeting family members. The luxury of living in a small and close community is you do come to know most people but there is also a responsibility to said community. Virtually each and every business is vital to our community.  They support our daily needs so we must support them in return. I am more than happy to do so and will continue to do so yet another and additional form of anxiety develops when the ask is financially great.  It is not just a matter of want by local small business owners but a genuine ask…we all will do our best to ensure these gems which are the backbone of our community can reopen their doors when this is all behind us. 

The daily medical news like my community has dire wants and needs. Our first responders, medical personnel and hospitals are not getting the assistance they need, nor the supplies required to protect them so they can stay healthy, keep their families healthy and save our fellow Americans lives by doing what they are trained to do. Trickle-down effect. I hear the urgency in the local mayors’ and governors’ voices. The message seems clear to me that the federal government must respond to their pleas immediately. This is not the time that free enterprise is sufficient. It is inhumane that people are dying because hospitals are not getting supplies and ventilators. It is intrinsically wrong.  Free enterprise during this pandemic is counterintuitive for securing supplies and ventilators. This is a national emergency with American lives on the line. The administration OUR Federal Government must act. Churches may be filled this Easter as Trump wants but in what capacity? 

I am hearing and choosing to hear the scientists, the medical community, and the governors in the hardest hit areas. We must listen to the professionals and the people on the front line. We must help them and protect them so they can protect us…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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