Friday, January 08, 2021

Unsafe

It's been a difficult few days. 

Yesterday - all day - felt like the morning after the night before, except that the night before was spent not having fun, but watching CNN Live to see what was unfolding in Washington. I am not surprised at the mob storming the Capitol after being incited to do just that; what amazes me is that the police were not more in evidence, and that that there were so few arrests. And yes, I am contrasting it, like so many others, with what happened with the Black Lives Matter demo. Yesterday we a professor from Yale said on Channel 4 News that Trumpism is ALL about race. It made me think.

Dave is constantly surprised by what Trump does, even though he has read all these books:



I have not read them, but know their contents, thanks to Dave. I refer you to a previous post - here.

But what I really want to write about is not about America making itself great again. 

I have been trying to watch a film on Netflix called Wild Rose. It's a fine film. It's about a young Glaswegian woman just released from prison who wants to go to Nashville and be a country singer. She is very talented. But she has two young children, no partner, and not much money. She has not been a good mother but is now trying to rectify that. 

I empathise with her because I know how hard it is to succeed creatively and get people to notice you, even without encumbrances. But I cannot get through the film: every time a new challenge or obstacle occurs and life is getting sticky for her, I have to stop watching, because I'm too upset. It's pretty pathetic. 

I turned to Casablanca, an old favourite of mine, but then I found myself crying when all the French in Rick's cafe got up to sing the Marseillaise. I have never cried at Casablanca before.

This made me think. I've decided that the reason that I am so emotional is because I don't feel safe. And I don't feel safe because I have zero faith in the way the government is 'handling' the pandemic. There's all the stuff you already know and I'm not going to rehearse it here, but now there's the vaccination programme to worry about. I should get mine in February and was initially very happy, but now I am worrying about whether it will it be worth anything if the manufacturer's recommendations are ignored.  (And why are not all health workers being vaccinated before me? And teachers and other key workers?)

I don't feel safe, deep down, because this government - which is supposed to run the country as if ordinary people matter - actually behave like neglectful, feckless, incompetent parents. If they were parents they would have their children taken away.

I'm lucky because it's the first time in my life that I don't feel safe. Millions of black people in America, and over here, have always lived with that feeling.


3 comments:

Lois said...

I think you've made a very good point about our government behaving like incompetent parents! Also, the quote from the American Professor that Trumpism is about race is thought provoking. I'd be interested to know how your family in Boulder are reacting to events in their country.

Kristine said...

Hi Sue, Sending you best wishes for a better, happier year in 2021. Thanks for sharing your story of Dave and the Padlock - made me smile. I think there might be a little bit of Dave in me, as recently I wouldn't give up trying to retrieve a cleaning brush from the pipes underneath the kitchen sink recently... long story.
I can understand how you are feeling unduly emotional recently. I think it's more to do with not being in control of your life in the current situation. There are so many things you want/need to be able to do and you can't, and the toll of this is building up to the point of helplessness and for a strong person like yourself this is very hard to bear. There isn't anything I can offer to make this better, just concentrate on the things that do give you pleasure, talk to your kids more often than usual, and turn off the news of all the horror that is happening such as in the US. Make more of your gorgeous quilts to take to the Boulder family when you can visit - being creative always takes you away from unpleasant things. I'm building up a collection of knitted hats and mittens and socks for my Copenhagen family....
We are pretty lucky here in Australia. The govt. locks down an area - mostly suburbs within a city - once there are more than about 10 cases there, testing is ramped up, state borders close to 'hot' interstate travelers for a few weeks, and of course travelers from oversea (of which there are very few - no flights) have to go into compulsory hotel quarantine for 14 days. Most of our current cases are from returning travelers/residents in quarantine. Life is pretty normal for us here, although I do have to wear a mask/have temp. taken to visit my 99 yr old Mum in her retirement home. And we all have to sanitize, and tap the QR code for contact tracing when visiting restaurants etc.
Keep writing your blog - I'm sure it's helpful for you to set down in writing how you are feeling - we are all there for you and totally understand how you are feeling.
Love and best wishes,
Kristine

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Kristine, Thank you for your understanding and sympathy. It's wonderful to have friends on the other side of the world who I have never met who are so supportive.
Hi Lois, my American family share my horror at events there.