In these turbulent weeks, it is getting more and more important to cultivate a solitary home life. This does not come easy for me. Granted, that I am usually working at home anyway, but staying put would prove intolerable, were it not for the thrice a day visits to café, restaurant and falafel haunt. All of these will have to go, I am afraid, since the number of infected by Corona is approaching the tens of thousand in Stockholm. Gradually, I am adapting to a new life style, with preparing meals at home – that is, putting deep freeze dishes into my newly bought microwave oven and capsules of ground into my new Nespresso machine – and planning for three hiking outings a day to alleviate the plight.
This morning, I am sitting, as now is the norm, at my kitchen table at 7 am, enjoying my cup of Nespresso, when it dawns on me that this new life may not be so bad after all. It certainly helps that the view presenting itself in front of me, with Hammarby Lake spreading out its serene calm, and the ferry boats cruising slowly to and fro the quays, invites me to contemplate life and inner self.
Permit me to let you in on a secret of mine. I am a habitual foreboder. Foreboding rarely fails me, when a major calamity appears on the horizon, and often even before its first symptoms arise. It usually takes the form of diffuse worries that entice me to envisage all kinds of scenario for bad things to evolve. For instance, this happened to me in 2006, in good time to become worried about the Great Recession, and again in 2017 (Long day's journey into night). Ever since that last foreboding I have been worrying about all kinds of crisis scenario to evolve, especially since I could not visualise the precise fuse to get the carnage going.
Thus, when I first heard about the plague erupting in China, my mind was well prepared to take in the calamitous news. Ever since end January, this has led me into a substantive depression, rendering me completely unable to do serious work, just leaning back on my couch and playing out in my mind one terrible scenario after another. How could I possible invent such scenarios in advance, you may well ask. This is easy. I have a reasonably good grasp of history, from my study days, and can sample freely from this immense well of facts and stories. While pondering the present situation, the Great Plague came to mind and I envisaged billions dying, civilisation coming to an abrupt standstill and convalescing only after a decade or two of painful reconstruction.
Now, the plague is upon us. To my great relief, it will not be as severe by far. There will be only millions of dead, maybe tens of million globally, and this will affect mainly the elderly, thus rendering recovery a rash affair. So, paradoxically, I feel rather relieved and rejuvenated; this decease will be dealt with by humanity with relative ease. It just forces me to forego visits to eateries, a small price to pay for trying to evade the otherwise inevitable.
Having thus gained a healthy perspective on the present situation, let's get back to my kitchen table, watching the ferries dancing their merry dance, and leaning back on my chair in all serenity. Why not take a glance at this small video of mine, which allows you to share my morning view?
As an aside, in these days of self-induced isolation, it would be a great consolation to hear from you, Dear Readers. I would be immensely pleased to get your comments on this blog, where you can tell us how you are coping with the situation. Google is a bit finicky, so you can send my any possible comments by e-mail. I will make haste to put them in here, either in your name, or as Anonymous, whatever you would prefer. Thank you kindly in advance for taking the trouble.