Adjusting to the New Normal

Coping with Coronavirus

I refuse to call it COVID-19. Makes it sound like an asthmatic vacuum cleaner, as in “Honey, the COVID-19 finally gave up the ghost.”

You’ve doubtless received dozens of emails from corporations informing you that they are temporarily closing their stores or having their people work from home. That’s a good thing, it’s a tribal call to duty to alter our habits, to stop socializing in groups much larger than our immediate family, to stay home unless it is a matter of acquiring food or necessary supplies.

Toilet paper has taken on a whole new gravitas. Who knew the fastest-growing currency in this new world would be toilet paper futures, or more accurately, toilet paper right now. Everyone is a little shell shocked, trying to take in a world where so much has changed so fast, presumably temporarily. 1,000 point swings on the Dow? Two weeks ago it stopped traffic in Times Square. Today, one barely lifts one’s head from lunch.

Among all this noise, fear and psychic clutter, like noise on the radar screen of life, there are green shoots. Small acts of kindness as we see our neighbors knocking on an elderly neighbor’s door to inquire if they’re ok? Might they need us to go to the store for them since they shouldn’t be out? And our family pets and children take on special significance when our beings are threatened. We think “It’s not likely that I’ll go or my kids, but what if?” And so, we hold them closer even if only metaphorically.

My son is being tested for the corona virus and we await with that special anxiousness that only parents know. Whoever said “There are no atheists in foxholes” should have added “There are no atheists among parents when awaiting a life-threatening diagnosis for their child.” You pray and you don’t mess around with it. You pray hard and you pray desperately.

So, what’s the solution?  Accepting that there is no fix-it-now “solution”.  Time and good health practices, a lot of kindness and caring for the well-being of others and taking care of oneself. This last is too easily overlooked but try to find things that make you happy and DO them. Personally, I love to listen to music on great sounding systems; it takes me places and connects for me in a deep way. I suspect, if you’re reading this, it does for you too. Music on its own is wonderful, the universal translator language. But on a first-rate system. Oh my, it elevates to its own rarefied art form.

Tonight, I look forward to putting on a CD of Edgar Myer playing the Bach Concertos (see link and photo of the CD at the end of this piece). I will play it on my modest home system (we are blessed with several large reference systems at REL). My system features a pair of the legendary Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage backed by a single No.25 being fed by my 25-year-old Copland Integrated itself fed by a Primare CD player of similar vintage. The system simply makes music beautifully and lately, for all the loud rock I love and live with, Bach soothes the soul.

And I find working on, putting the finishing touches on our newest designs soothes the soul too in a deeply satisfying way. Grounds me, keeps me remembering that there will come a time when this, too, shall pass and leave the vast majority of us alive, appreciative of this fact. And needing our next evolution of the special joy that only great work, done with gratitude and attention to detail on the part of many spread round the world can bring. It’s what we do here, it’s why we go to work. So tonight, enjoy your life, hold those close to you closer, put on a vinyl record or a CD (please, when it matters most, don’t stream. Quality matters at such times) and share some fun, first with yourself and then with your family.

If you enjoyed this, please go to our Facebook page and share what you played during this time and on what system. Send pictures too, no matter how basic your system may be. Share the love.

Click here for more info and to purchase a CD of Edgar Myers playing the Bach Concertos.

March 21, 2020 - Posted in: News