Being stuck really sucks.
As I sit here writing this on Friday, I’ve been stuck here in my home since my hair-raising trek back from the office Monday afternoon.
My little Prius is great on gas, but it’s not ideal for driving on snow and ice. I made an escape attempt this morning, but I only got a few feet before my car bogged down in the driveway.
Times like this make me wish I owned something with four-wheel drive – or that I didn’t live so far out in the sticks.
As it stands, I’m running low on food and bottled water. The tap water where I live is drinkable (in the strictly technical sense of the word), but I try to avoid actually putting it inside my body whenever possible.
But I guess I’ve got little cause to complain. The electricity’s still on here, and I’m staying warm.
And that’s far better than a lot of people are doing in other parts of the country – particularly down in Texas.
According to the news on TV – which I’ve watched far too much of in the past few days – they’re having quite the crisis down there.
It just goes to show that there are forces in this world that are bigger and stronger than we are, and nature can still mess us up in a big, nasty way from time to time – in spite of all our vaunted technology and brain power.
But it’s not just the weather that can mess us up. For about a year now, this nation and the whole world have been beat down by a little microscopic organism named COVID-19.
And while we may be on our way to whipping this thing (God willing), there’s no denying that it has had its way with us so far.
In addition to nearly half a million deaths nationally and scores of lives lost here locally, the pandemic has invaded and altered nearly every aspect of life here in America.
And (to get back to the original theme of this particular column) COVID has had us stuck in many ways for nearly a year.
We all (myself included) are looking forward to a time when we don’t have to worry about things like masks or social distancing or how many cases are popping up in the community or unintentionally making someone we love sick.
But in the meantime, it seems (at least to me) like everything is in a holding pattern – like NASCAR drivers, geared down and holding their spots while the caution flag is out.
I know I’ve put off things I had intended to do before COVID fell on us – waiting for better days, I suppose – and, too often, I’ve used the virus as a kind of mental excuse for inactivity and a lack of motivation.
But there’s another part of me that’s biting at the bit and hungry for unconfined freedom of movement and free interaction with my fellow humans without underlying fear.
We may be kind of stuck now, but when the green flag finally comes out, I think we’re going to put the pedal to the metal.