We sit at home alone all day watching the thought machine - Sorry, I mean the TV.

It’s bad news, fearful and ever increasing danger out there, or so they continually say. Shelter in place they tell us. If you have to go out at all, then wear a mask and keep a safe distance from all others.

These are orders from our AUTHORITIES!

It reminds me of my first experience as a new recruit in the military... “Do as you’re ordered. Keep your mouth shut. Obey all orders. Do not question authority. You are but a lowly private. You have no rights, liberties or self-determinism. We know what is best for you and will guide you. Now repeat this over and over - One, two three, four. We love the Marine Corps.”

Oh sorry dear reader. It looks like I’m having another flashback!

So back here in our present day environment, things have not yet changed too drastically for myself and my fellow senior friends.

We were not really very active and engaged in the swing of things prior to this corona fiasco. We’ve been out of the loop, the mainstream of the work-a-day world since our  retirement. We’re no strangers to loneliness and isolation.

But we did so much love to visit with family, get out and about and socialize with our friends at the senior center when we could.

But now we’re back in the lockup, under house arrest, solitary confinement or whatever you wish to call it. If you’d like to know where we are, you can find us down on Lonely Street.

I have to question if all this is a real solution or remedy to the virus pandemic, or is it an new larger problem being created with more tragic consequences? Will it compound the mess we are already in?

As well as cutting and severing social interaction pretty near worldwide, so many former regular human activities have been chopped and curtailed. Sports, school, church services, tourism, political gatherings, theaters, bars, restaurants, you name it, all shut down!

Self proclaimed experts fill the airways with their advice for the public to hunker down, cease activities, travel and production. The media whole heartily echoes and constantly repeats this advice like a mantra.

Unemployment skyrockets. Business go bust. The Fed and the Treasury create trillions of new dollars of debt that can never be repaid. 

This awesome burden will be passed on to our kids and grandchildren, making them unwilling debt slaves. What a legacy for us to leave behind!

I’m thankful really that I’m in my latter years and live in a rural, peaceful desert town. I do not have a job that I just lost, mortgage, car payments and kids to feed. Instead of being at school they would be stuck at home and may be asking “Daddy, what’s going on? Why can’t we go out to play?”

I still keep in touch with my old friends on the phone. They seem a bit sad, fearful and lonely. I help them check their mail and buy groceries. I try to reassure them that the senior center should open up again soon.

But how soon will that be? 

The borders are still closed. Airline flights have decreased about ninety five percent! Power and regular utilities still function and there is still food to be had at the market,  for now. 

Please forgive me but all this reminds me of a joke I once heard. A Jewish mother had two chickens. One of them happened to get sick. So, as a solution, she killed the healthy one to make chicken soup for the sick chicken.

It appears to me that our society, the world at large in fact, is doing something similar. Our global, national and local leaders seem to be on a tremendous self-destructive drive to totally wreck our economy and our way of life in an attempt to reduce the spread of the corona virus. 

So what do you think dear reader? Is there hope off there somewhere in the horizon? Is there an end in sight to these lonely isolation blues?

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com