Idling in a quadruple line of automobiles stretching far as the eye could see, I watched the nurse who would give me my first Covid vaccine. We shared more than a moment in time.
She had a wavy gray bob and a twinkle in her faded blues. Her warmness made me want to reach through the car window and squeeze her. I was running a serious hug deficient.
“I’m flashing the sugar cube vaccine, you?” I said.
We reminded each other of a summer some sixty years ago when swimming was prohibited. In a final analysis, water was determined to be a primary spreader of polio, the virus that infected the spinal cords of adults and children around the world resulting in thousands of deaths and crippled lives. The vaccine injection seeped into my arm.
“We took ours on Sunday after church,” she said.
“Same.” I nodded.
As I drove the interstate toward home, I thought however things change, they remain the same and my interpretation was anything but that of a deep state cynic. Specifically it came by way of the naturey/nuturey leanings of a grateful human. My assurance rides on the coattails of people over time who chose to spend their allotment in partnership seeking better health for the citizens of the world.
This tribal concoction of cooperation has always been rooted in humanity. Tears come to my eyes because where would we be without it? Mr. Rodgers said, “Look for the helpers.”
For example in the 1930s when my parents were born, life expectancy was fifty-sixish. Mind blowing strides have been made since then due to these sort of people who constantly refill the planet. You know the awakened sort with a head-down empathic drive toward altruism. Somewhere along the way I wanted to get in line with those guys.
Why aren’t we all in the helper line? Who do I see about that? For instance, it took 20 years to develop the polio vaccine, but medical genius completed the task and eventually were victorious with the last official case recorded in 1979. Team!
Often the history of a bigger picture is forgotten. And so it is with the more efficient delivery system which is owed in part by teamwork through the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. It was launched by Congress and the president (Dwight Eisenhower) as a mandate to span the country with a super highway of 41,000 miles which ultimately launched endless opportunity as well as a Covid Vaccine for all.
What a fertile universe for those who work together.
My woolgathering is interrupted by the small self. Riding along post shot, I feel a bit punk, but no matter, a hot epsom bath is on the agenda and all will be well soon. In the past the act of soaking has quieted my mind.
Still after the pipe bursting debacle in Texas, I turn toward somber thoughts that my grandparents shared about warming bathwater on the stove. With a quick search on the computer, I see that the electric water heater was not invented until 1889 and yet today many still go without.
There is a movie playing in the heart and head of persons older than we. The episodes survived by elders we encounter make for a catalog of dangers and yet a deep sense of reverence for potential teamwork remains in their conversations. Back in line with the helpers.
A recent heads up began again when Quinn and family living in Jackson, Mississippi committed to drinking water via containers purchased like canned goods. Water from the tap is suddenly not trusted. Folks are wrestling with endangered water sources in Miami and Cape Town, Atlanta, Mexico City, Cairo, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Jakarta, Phoenix, Beijing, Bangalore, El Paso, Melbourne and London…..
It is our nature to huddle and solve. Can we pitch in as a “helper” and lower defense mechanisms in the name of a higher intelligence? I like the odds of the helper line.
When pondering such stuff, doubt can creep in. It’s then more than ever that I chose the loving universe line because life can’t thrive any other way. Anyway, me thinks our small selves have been sidelined this past year to recognize our true dependency one to another. We are bigger than the pomposity that often embeds itself into government, religion, school and neighborhood.
Shall we begin with the reconstructed hot bath? Since learning that the average bathtub-full is 70 gallons in a world where 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water, I’ll take my epson salt by the glass, not by bathtub soak.