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Re-create!



"....'cause you know sometimes words have two meanings." --You know the group, and you know the song. But just in case not, that line comes from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," composed by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.


I love words with two (or more!) meanings. They're the kind of words clever comics use to come up with funny jokes (and some bad ones); they're the kind of words that subversives use to criticize tyrannical governments; they're the kind of words that groups like the Everly Brothers use to plead their case, namely: "If I said you have a beautiful body would you hold it against me?"


And today's title double-entendre is a powerful one: "Re-create" could mean to "create anew" and also to play, as in "recreation." As I write this entry, Italy has just locked down their whole country and panic continues to spread as fast or faster than the Corona virus itself. With events and therefore flights being cancelled left and right, and kids home-schooling by fiat and not by choice, nerves may start to fray, if they haven't already.


Which reminds me of my friend Dave Robertson's favorite jokes, to wit: A rope walks into a bar and asks for a beer. Bartender says, "We don't serve your kind." The rope steps outside, twists himself all up and unravels his ends, and goes back in. He orders a beer and bartender says, "Hey, wait a second. Aren't you a rope?" The rope says, "Nope. I'm a frayed knot." (For anyone slow on the uptake, the rope's response is pronounced, "I'm afraid not.")


Having just finished a call with a few dozen ACCJ members, a call led by the SME Advisory Council, it's pretty clear that we all have way more questions than answers about how to handle the COVID-19 situation. While again, like last blog, none of us knows anyone infected by the virus, we all are now very much affected by the fear of the virus. When whole countries go on "lockdown," it's a serious issue. My question, echoing one on the call, is, "Is this virus going to go away or is this the new normal?"


I don't remember what, if anything, changed so that SARS or N1H1 or MERS or Bird Flu are not also causing this kind of reaction anymore. Vaccines were made, I hear, but do any of us take them? I haven't. So is the panic really due to the fact that we don't have a vaccine yet? What we need is effective treatment, and with the mortality rate where it is, it seems that we do have that already. And the fact that the vast majority of people who catch the virus will have minor or "no" symptoms is cause for both concern (because they could still infect vulnerable hosts) but also cause for "business as usual." We're not going to be testing everyone, are we?


Meanwhile, I'm going to do what I can to 1) stay healthy, the best defense against the virus, and 2) re-create! Gold's gym in Tokyo is still open, I'm working on some new songs, with a new recording software, getting outside, and still attending meetings, just no big ones. And following Bobby McFerrin's advice too, enjoying "Simple Pleasures," like words with two (or more!) meanings.


I feel for those already hit harder by the virus and the scare, and truly hope, as we all do, that Corona is back to being just the beer we order with lime. As that wise Persian fable reportedly first said, "This too shall pass."

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