The snow lies deep here at the Bar 7. Old man winter is a tyrant at the best of times, but now he’s thrown a late season temper tantrum and bullied a baby Spring into running for cover. New-born calves shiver, and the horses stand with hunched backs, their tails to the wind.
Sheltering in place. It’s the new catch-phrase we hope will work to save us from the grim reaper that pounces on the unwary. I trudge through the snow and plan for spring grass, a new pasture, and perhaps resurrecting the big John Deere tractor to cultivate a new hayfield. But how? We’ll need fuel. With our geriatric machinery, calls at the parts store are a near certainty. That means trips to town, thrown together with my fellow shelterers. Who knows what could happen?
The snow will go away, likely sooner than this pestilence that has the whole world hunkered in place. Governments use military terms to justify their misfired legislation. They compare it to World Wars. Central banks go nuclear. Money for everybody. We’d like to get some. The odds aren’t good. Meanwhile, we remain wary of our fellow man. We’d rather not be the recipient of the plague. Neither do we want to be responsible for conveying it to them? So we mostly follow the paranoid edicts of those who are supposed to be in the know. The situation is too serious to even chuckle, nevertheless, this time I think I’m a step ahead of the attempts to legislate give-aways and misery. Ranchers and writers are obvious introverts. We’ve been in isolation mode for longer than we can remember. This might be the first time in our lives it’s been socially acceptable to act normal.
I have great empathy for those of my fellow men who are city dwellers. At the ranch, we leave the house at will. Work, and exhilarating five mile walks happen almost daily. Mittens, and a warm parka are a bigger concern than meeting a carrier of the dreaded virus. I kick at a clump of fresh snow and realize that in spite of the finger-freezing temperatures, we’re incredibly blessed.
The President of the United States commented a few weeks ago that he hoped for everything to be more or less normal by Easter. We’re days away from that most important event on the Christian calendar. He’s given up on that prediction. So have we. Now, President Trump says, 250,000 Americans may die. That number seems pessimistic, at least we hope so. In Canada, we don’t know how many will die—or survive. Our Prime Minister fires off billions of borrowed dollars to every Tom, Dick, Harjit, and Ahmed in the nation, as if it was so much confetti, all to mitigate the effects of the virus. The Central Bank has followed the US Fed. Quantitative Easing forever. Will it work? Probably, but not the way they hoped. It won’t cure the virus, but there’s a good chance that it may push our economy and currency over a cliff from which we may not recover for decades. Many believe this cornucopia of government largesse will lead to runaway deflation, inflation, or some other dire financial malady. The long-term effects of that worry me more than the virus. In the meantime, we do our weekly grocery run and try to survive. During our forced confinement, I have an action-adventure book offer for no more than the price of a cup of coffee. More on that later.
The weather will warm, perhaps even tomorrow. My thoughts turn to Easter, but not the part about rabbits, colored eggs, or holiday dinners. Actually, we hope the makers of chocolate bunnies are now turning out hand cleanser—or toilet paper. We habitually attend an Easter Sunday church service, a moment in the calendar to focus on the Risen Savior, and life after death. Now, more than ever, we need a reminder of the uplifting hope for mankind. It’s unavailable, another victim of the dreaded plague.
In the meantime, we maintain our segregated existence. I’ve decided to put every one of my e-books on sale for $1.99, about the price of a cup of coffee from today, April 6th until the end of the month. We’re calling it, “The Cabin Fever Sale.” You can access any or all of them at the following e-book retailers.
Barnes & Noble
Stay safe, my friends. We’re in this together, and remember—this too shall pass!