The end is the beginning is the end

So much has happened in such a short time. Or is it a long time? I’ve lost track. What’s time?

This corona-world is a bit like Waiting for Godot. We’re waiting, but we’re not sure for what. They say things will never be the same. But we can’t go on. Not like this, and not as we did before.

“This is not even the beginning of the end; rather, this is the end of the beginning,” the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research says.

Waves up, waves down. Graphs everywhere. Flatten the curve! No: there’s a new word for flatten. Does anyone remember?

PPE, zoonotic, apex: all these new words.

Saturday was Saturday, but today’s Thursday, right? This COVID-19 journey feels like travelling on a high-speed Japanese train. So fast, so blurry.

If you don’t keep a diary, you’ll forget. January: a Canadian is stuck in the locked-down city of Wuhan. (Lockdown? Wuhan? Whaa?) February: Canadians are stuck on a cruise ship. But look, now, today: Canada’s come home. It’s all happening on our doorstep.

Yayoi Kusama room at the AGO

My personal photo from Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (AGO, 2018).

The virus marches across countries. It flies across the globe. Wait, it’s just hitting Russia now. Did corona miss Russia on the first pass? Did someone lie? Who’s telling the truth?

A CBC reporter discusses reading during the pandemic. “Curl up with a book,” he advises. Is it possible to read on a roller coaster? Won’t that make you throw up?

We close borders, but this virus knows no borders. It also doesn’t care about politics, religion or race. But it sure shows us how those things matter.

Forty per cent of new patients admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital are Hispanic, says Dr. Daniel Horn, the hospital’s director of Population Health, during a Boston Globe webinar. “Social distancing is a privilege.”

Almost 50 per cent of all COVID-19-related deaths in Canada have occurred in seniors’ homes. “That is absolutely a key feature of this epidemic,” says the country’s chief public health officer, Theresa Tam.

We’re told to keep active and take in the fresh air. But our streets are empty, save for the homeless. They can’t #StayHome.

I read The Atlantic. “‘Everyone wants to know when this will end,” says Devi Sridhar, a public health expert at the University of Edinburgh. “That’s not the right question. The right question is how do we continue?’”

Pivoting (another new word!) seems to be one of the answers. Upend how you’ve been doing things. Go Alice-like into the looking glass. Zoom! Stand on your head!

“There will be a profound re-evaluation of virtually everything,” Prof. Keiji Fukuda, director of the School of Public Health at Hong Kong University, says during an interview.

“The nature of nature is to be unstable and change,” says Dr. James Maskalyk, just home from an ER shift at St. Mike’s Hospital. His Facebook Live talk is intimate and very public. And then he invites us to meditate.

More from that same Atlantic article: “Over the coming months, we need “to normalize COVID in the public psyche,” says Harvard’s Stephen Kissler. “We need to “reinforce that this will be a part of our day-to-day lives.”


“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Winston Churchill, 1942.

Endings. Beginnings.


[More photos from the Yayoi Kusama show – just for a little more joy. ❤️]

5 thoughts on “The end is the beginning is the end

  1. Sounds as though you are in the real world, not the imaginary one that most people, especially politicians inhabit or at least prefer. You are in a very select group of Realists —-eg Chomsky, Gates, Fauci— Too bad the rest of the unthinking crowd are not paying attention. In our brave new world of global misinformation technology people know everything instantly and understand nothing…… Plagues have come and gone throughout human history, leaving millions maimed or dead. The current plague is our grim reminder of Mother Nature’s power to save the Planet….from us. Cheers and wash your hands frequently Malcolm the Misanthrope

  2. I have come to use ‘decrease the slope’ instead of ‘flattening the curve’ just to be different. Thanks for the new post Mara Gulens.

    Dave Bowes

  3. Mara just love it, so well written! ❤️
    It’s as if we’ve moved from the 3rd dimension to the 5th with stealth speed … Or, some type of brand new dimension unknown to our limiting brains. The Feild of All Possibilities is open now. Where we go depends on how we choose. Collectively, we can change the direction… but it depends on our individual thoughts and goals.
    … am getting a IgG test this week. If I have antibodies to this thing, it may give me some peace of mind at least, if not anything else.

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