Here in the third year of the pandemic, and as the danger starts to fade the memories still remain indelibly etched in my consciousness.
The memories are of the long-term effects, the lasting effects and damages that cannot be repaired.
The first wave of the pandemic took out so many friends and so quickly that the shock and the pain was mind numbing.
Yes, some of them were just people I knew from interacting on Facebook, sharing spiritual observations and positive optimistic thoughts, and others were political allies helping with the Bernie Sanders campaign. One week we would be interacting and within a week or 10 days later I was hearing from their daughters and sons that they had passed away.
Being shut in an isolated was not much of an issue for me. It gave me a chance to work on my inner self, to develop more of an appreciation of nature. In fact, one of the most wonderful times was when everything shut down and it was quiet and the relentless pollution and destruction of the earths environment was temporary put on pause.
I hoped that mankind would take notice of this and start to institute new patterns, changes of habit, reforms and redirection of energy but the profit motive soon drowned all of that out.
Then there was the insanity of the anti-maskers and the conspiracy theories which abounded, many of them directly traceable to Russian bots and right wing fringe groups intent on a divide and conquer strategy ripping America apart, ripping families apart and creating an atmosphere of constant strife.
To me, the development of the vaccine in such a short space of time was a minor miracle but almost as soon as it was available the science was ridiculed. It was attacked, it was devalued, it was inflated to be much more than it was. It was just a tool to help us try to stay on top of the constantly mutating virus which seems to be always one step ahead. So many pseudoscientists and ignoramuses came out of the woodwork with their own special theories and interpretations about the vaccine, about the virus and where it came from. There was so much dogma from people who couldn’t even pass, a high school chemistry class, propping themselves up as experts, not only on vaccines but even on the efficacy of masking.
Some of them repeating the same theories, almost word for word, the same disinformation repeated over and over again until it was imagined to be true, to be the one saving grace and truth that would free us from the so-called tyranny of the scientists, of the government, of any attempts to control us, Not realizing that these very disinformation sources were another form of control even more malignant than fully understood. And it was in this veritable shit storm of disinformation and in this wave of chaos many more thousands died.
I realize some things about myself professionally. It all started during the production of my last CD. I’m a live performer. There’s no way getting around that. My impact to a live audience is what makes them buy my CDs. And me being able to feel the room, feed off of the energy of the audience or feed into their energy is what makes my job so successful and such a pleasure. It’s not that I’m such a great producer recording engineer. In fact once in the recording studio it’s a challenge to sing to an empty room with the same animation, ease and passion that comes from entertaining a live audience.
I've had to take some time off from production and recording. The pandemic took away a major source of my income, working several nights a week, and in the process, selling CDs to customers and fans because now I could no longer interact with them face-to-face. It forced me to reevaluate everything, not just in light of financial loss and gain but in light of a sense of meaning and purpose. I had to take some time to enjoy nature.
Photography has helped me enjoy nature more and relieve some of the stress that comes from such isolation. And it is also another art form which I may in someway use to improve the lives of people as they take pleasure in some of the images that I am creating.
It would be nice if I could find a way to make some money out of it but in the meantime it’s very rewarding to me personally. Also my absence from studio recording has given me time to reevaluate and come up with new tactics for self improvement as a musician.