Dear Covid 19,
I see you. The way you hang in the air like a storm cloud, just waiting for someone to walk through your invisible mist. I see how you race to snatch the breath out of their lungs before they even know you are there. You are a brutal bully. Always looking for a victim for your tactics; you never ask for consent. You push yourself into the bodies of others indiscriminately. It is always a set up with you, starting with inhaling and moving to a violent smothering. Then you just walk away, with a smirk, leaving permanently damaged lungs or a body for the morgue. On to the next victim. You can be bold in your serial attacks. You violate so fast, that no one can arrest you.
I see your strategy to remove the wise among us. Those who have lived through The Great Depression and World War. Those who know how to overcome adversity and tormentors like you. You have locked our guides and survivors away, so they are silent. The ones who are the most valuable in the kind of crisis you have created, are the ones who are ‘going to die anyway,’ so they are discounted rather than consulted. You are shrewd in your cunning choice of victims. No one would suspect your plan was so well thought out, it seems so random.
I see your invisible cloud resting over more than just weak bodies. I see you standing on the corner like a peddler of stolen goods. You open your coat to offer fear for the taking. You are a smooth-talking dealer, and you know once our minds are hooked, we will be addicted.
“Fear of death, not your thing? Maybe terror of drowning would be a better fit for you? Or the dread of dying alone? How about fear of government? Or maybe disgust of the president? Or the same coin different side…distain for philanthropists? A little mistrust? I have some paranoia available at a good price. No? If you would rather, I have multiple conspiracies to fill your need for suspicion. I am also running a special, this year only, on panic attacks and anxiety. Please don’t walk away from me. I know I have something special just for you. We just have to find the right fit, horror, alarm, trepidation, apprehension, unease, foreboding, dread, dismay…I have them all. Just name it and I will make sure you get the purest and highest quality at a cheap price.”
You are quite the hawker, Covid. No doubt about it. Your idea of a cheap price is our sanity. Your cost is our peace of mind. You know now that we have started, the cravings will keep us coming back. We are feasting on drama and frenzy. You use our blindness to your advantage and our denial to reel us in, to the other side of your coat.
“Oh, not into fear, huh? I see, I see. More of a superiority kind, are you? I have plenty of that. Maybe some smugness or judgement? Those are going fast, since they are my top sellers, but if you just sprinkle a small amount you can make it last. It is guaranteed to help you judge those who fear differently than you. No? My self-line is also a hit, self-importance, self-centeredness, self-absorption, self-admiration…they are a package deal. A little narcissism never hurt anybody, right? What’s a little conceit among friends? Of course, I sell egocentrism and delusion as a set, so you can not only believe the world revolves around you, but you can be certain of you are right about it. I can throw in some arrogance with that, if you like? Wait, don’t go. You are the picky one, aren’t you? In my top pocket, closest to my heart, I keep my most superior product. (pun intended) It is the pièce de la résistance. My favorite. Pride. It is a premium blend of all the others and it packs a powerful punch. And just between you and me, if you mix it with some of the fears, you will get a high that will blow your mind. The best part is that it comes with a side of deception, so you will never suspect you are tainted. Kind of like the virus. See what I did there? You can only see other fanatics but not yourself, therefore, you can go about your life, unexamined, because you don’t have a problem.”
Covid, I see you. Your pitch is working. You are a pusher to rival the carnies of yesteryear. Your voice rings out on every corner, in every city, sharing your wares with the world. We are paying a high price for your parcels of pride and a fortune for your fear. You poison the mind even more quickly than you corrupt the body, because screens transmit the contagion faster than breathing. We are memorized in milliseconds. Our eyes glaze over with your infection and we lose all common sense. You are not fooling me, Covid. We think the disease is a respiratory one, but that is only one portion of your plan. The mental illness you bring is far more widespread and just as deadly.
I recognize your voice and it is NOT the voice of my shepherd. You still are trying to usurp his authority by stealing the crown. Corona. How clever. You have not changed since you were thrown down from heaven. You are so obvious. Changing your name doesn’t fool me. I will not purchase from you, nor will I follow. I will plug my ears to your pitch. I will wait for the one my soul loves to rescue me from you, the devourer. Meanwhile, as I wait, I will watch. I will pray. I will bow down. I will sound the alarm and put out a warning. I will not fall for your trick, Covid. I know who you really are behind the disguise. I SEE you.