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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings Beyond the Bunker 4/18/21

Good morning friends,

You may note that the name is changed and the “clock” has been set back. 401 days after the publication of the original Musing from the Bunker. It seems appropriate that the days of living a “bunker mentality” are coming to an end—although the pandemic has yet to be beaten. Yet the musing project continues!

Some 40% of all Americans have received at least one vaccination and more than 25% are fully vaccinated. People have adjusted their lives and it seems we are emerged from our bunkers; although I expect repeated steps backward, booster shots, restrictions, and scares for months—if not years—to come. Some places, like Alabama and Wyoming, appear unconcerned with the idea of collective responsibility, prematurely abandoning any semblance of distancing and masking. As Simon and Garfunkel advised, “Slow down; you move too fast…” The lack of a sense of community or caring for our neighbors is mind-boggling and the price will be paid in lives and hospitalizations.

The fundamental lesson I have taken from the time in the bunker is that we are of two tribes—those who acknowledge that we all are part of a greater community and those who mistakenly believe that some bizarre view of individual rights trumps any sense of collective responsibility.

We once were taught about community, sacrifice, even patriotism, with images of family get-togethers, the paintings of Norman Rockwell, and community parades—all speaking of common purpose. But now we seem to care more that people can carry guns onto other people’s property and that people can elect actions that endanger the health of others—over the idea that we should help others and help keep them safe.

Over a year ago, we were forced by the pandemic to alter the way we think about the world, our work lives, our homes, and human companionship. We now face the beginning of the “after times.” How have we changed and how has the world changed?

How will we choose to look going forward? Will our minds drift back to what was? Will we blow out birthday candles? (probably not). Will we wear masks in airports and other crowded places (probably). Will we break the five-day work week and do some of our work at home? (probably). Will we hug a loved one? (most assuredly).

But more than the physical interactions that we will choose to avoid or partake in, I’m more concerned with the psychological and emotional changes. Will we value our days more? Will our appreciation of nature and the awareness of life be enhanced? Will we work a little less and will we work more efficiently? Will we long for quieter days and welcome periodic isolation in our own thoughts? No challenge in life is worth having suffered through if there isn’t a lesson to be taken from it. What lessons will we take with us as we journey forth?

What kind of people will we become and what messages will we want to convey to our children and future generations about this strange and challenging time? Pretty soon we will be back to the “good old days,” when deaths from mass shootings will again exceed those from a global pandemic. Now that’s something to think about.

Registration of private gun sales and restricting the sale of guns capable of firing rounds in quick succession saves lives. Wearing a mask saves lives. Caring about the environment saves lives. We really are in this together.

I’ll keep musing if you keep reading and contributing. It still will remain Saturday poetry and music. Sunday quotes and inspiration. Monday thinking out loud. And the rest of the time, books, movies, sports, and interactions with readers (and maybe even a day or two without musing)...

Warmly, Glenn

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