Hunkered Down in the SCV

| Opinion | March 26, 2020

by Harry Parmenter
A beautiful day here in the SCV. Took a nice, long bike ride, and there were more people out strolling then I’ve ever seen in my ‘hood, as I walk year-round day and night and rarely see other pedestrians. Today about half the people returned my greeting as I pedaled by on the other side of the road, social D-ing; others ignored me. The FEAR.

The Sand Canyon Country Club golf course had dozens of cars in the parking lot; folks still enjoying sunshine, fresh air and the satisfying thwack of club sending ball into orbit. Golf is an essential activity, per California lockdown regulations. The batting cage didn’t make the cut.

It’s a strange thing, this hunkering down business, especially with no clue of duration or outcome. What will be worse, the virus toll or the psychological one? Ours is not to wonder why, just deflect the rising cabin fever and avoid the rising CoV fever.

An unexpected sideshow here has been the Canyon Country Curse of the Septic Tank, which affects many homes in this tract, including ours. Heavy rain, deep intrusive roots underground wreaking havoc and $550 a pop to pump when the plumbing backs up, which can be more than once in periods of heavy rain. Thank God it’s only the two of us left here, not the six children from two prior marriages we united under this roof for years.

It’s hard to watch or read the news, which is usually bad in the best of times, but now, forget it. What’s accurate, what isn’t, who do you believe, who do you trust? Market crash, a tidal wave of pink slips, school’s out for summer in March. I had naively hoped when it became clear we were facing a national crisis that the country would pull together and unite as united states should. Foolish me; the impeachment fiasco pivoted to ex-Clinton and Warren campaign honchos forming a group to pro-actively attack every move the administration makes handling this unprecedented pandemic. Deposing the President in November clearly trumps working as one to defeat CoV19.


WWII Americans dropped everything and went to work in factories and military complexes coast to coast manufacturing munitions, ammo and ordnance to fuel the war effort that helped save the world from madmen. If today’s domestic populace faced that threat we’d lose and “me” before “we” would win.
Outside my window a crow and squirrel forage separately for food. Moments later a cat scurries furtively across the front lawn, no doubt on a similar mission. Animal instinct to survive. We must follow our own to weather this panic. Be cool. Be careful. Help others when you can. Stay connected to family and friends; moral support spreads just like a virus, but with positive mental health benefits.

This too shall pass and then we’ll have to rebuild our economy, battle a potential depression and regroup emotionally from the collective fallout. Everything will change, just like it did when this began. Hunker down in the bunker and remember, to quote Cervantes, “Where there is music there can be no evil,” so turn it UP! It’s a prescription that’s easy to fill and makes you forget the FEAR, if only for a while. Roll on…

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