Lynne P Hollingsworth Fine Art
“Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing.” Marc Chagall 


(posted on 13 Jul 2020)



   And where is that? Where is that for you? 

   It feels to me as though we all woke up one day in either a sci-fi movie or a nightmare. I recall looking with disbelief and horror at the news reports spreading red all over the world map as a new virus spread all over the WORLD! Wait, WHAT?  I kept thinking and saying “This is surreal” and I know I was not the only one doing so.

    “This cannot be happening!” But it was. It is still happening. We are at war with a potentially deadly enemy that we cannot see. Yet we try to protect ourselves from this enemy as the medical community, the epidemiological specialists, the world leaders and first-line responders report what is happening now as well as what newly revealed information has been discovered and verified about this life-threatening disease that has suddenly taken over the world. 

   At the same time, political interests muddy the informational waters with their own agendas. There are completely divergent opinions being spread everywhere. There are conspiracy theories running rampant on social media. There are those who adamantly state that there IS no virus, that it simply does not exist, that it is a step toward the ever-ominous NEW WORLD ORDER, which is heading our way, or is here already as some say, with Biblical proportions, and the accompanying Biblical prophesies. 

   Then there are those who are rebelling against what they perceive as a threat to their freedoms under the Constitution of the United States. Those who ascribe to this underhanded and continuous threat, refuse with a passion to take any of certain recommended precautions, such as wearing a mask to lower the possibility of viral spread, or social distancing to protect others if you are carrying the virus asymptomatically. “NO!”  A rabid shout rings across the land to the media. “You can’t MAKE me”! It sounds rather like what you would hear on a playground levelled against a perceived bully or rival.

   Then there is present the invincibility we all felt when we were younger. We all know what it is like to be young and feel invincible. The first words spoken more often than not in the face of tragedy is something akin to “I never thought it would happen to ME! I mean, know it happens, but not HERE!”  We feel as though we are watching a movie about somewhere else. But it is here. And we are here, in the midst of it.

   We have lived in this twilight zone for months now. We have watched the statistics of case numbers, hospitalization and death. They seem to become numbers only, changing daily, and we can far too easily forget that the numbers represent real PEOPLE, with families and friends and lives they lived before COVID. We are glad when the death toll seems to go down numerically. Have we forgotten that ONE DEATH is too many? What percentage of your family are you willing to sacrifice?  We certainly remember when it is our own; our mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter.

    One university student wrote an op-ed in a newspaper saying she had experienced her friends’ attitudes that their Bud Light, or their party, was more important than the life of their grandparent!  She is a student with immune deficiency and has chosen to stay home to be safe and to help her family be safe.  But we see the reports broadcast of the parties at beaches, in the absence of social distancing, let alone face coverings, despite these recommendations coming from CDC and the WHO and many medical specialists worldwide. 

    And it is not just the younger population who defy suggestions meant for the betterment and safety of society as a whole; I am reading many outcries from many ages and sectors about the abuse being inflicted to our right to freedom inherent in these suggestions should they become, dare we say, RULES? 

   I will say here that I simply do not understand that point of view.  As we are learning that the simple act of wearing a mask CAN reduce viral spread from one individual to another, especially when BOTH are wearing masks, I hear this outrage and denial and complete refusal to comply to what is perceived as “Big Brother” mostly from Americans, and I simply do not understand the validity of their claims. The information has been reduced to cartoon form to illustrate the principle, and still the masses cry ‘NO’!
There appears to be a complete disregard of anyone but SELF, without empathy for another, respect for another, or indeed a concern for another. It is the ME as the centre of the universe ideation on steroids!

   So, here we are. And were IS that?

   I am Canadian and I am glad to be. I am happy to wear a mask when I leave the house (which is pretty much never) to help lower the spread of this killer. My husband is the one taking the responsibility of going out when we need to pick up prescriptions or food and he takes all the precautions, despite his witnessing of many individuals who forego any of them. Our response here in Canada is much better than in the US. Time will tell how well we did in the long run. 

  We are both of an age that is listed as more vulnerable to this virus, and more likely to die from complications.  That adds a whole new impetus to the mix.  My husband has asthma so is even more susceptible according to the growing collection of knowledge concerning this virus. And here I am, at home.  

   Where are you on this continuum? Are you doing all that you can to starve this virus? To help your family, friends, neighbours? I don’t see why we wouldn’t join together against this insidious enemy, an enemy that is killing people and leaving families devastated.  Never before have I lived through anything like this. I was born after WWII and experienced a peaceful life growing up.  This is the first war in which I have fought. I have never been asked to change my lifestyle to protect society as a whole, or to change my habits to protect an individual, but I have not and would not hesitate to do so. Can you imagine if people failed to join together against the real threat of invasion in WWII? Refused to comply with blackout rules or rationing? It is unthinkable.

  I have a theory.  Sometimes fear is paralysing.  And sometimes fear makes us rebel, under the banner “this is not happening; it can’t be happening”.  People flaunt their actions in the face of the enemy.  They take a stand to be unshackled, to be what they call ‘free’, to be authors of their own lives. And they will be. Sadly, they may be authors of the deaths of others, or the illnesses, or the losses, but no matter it seems, as long as they are unified together in denial. 

   I won’t go into the political parade of ignorance, lies, denial, and false information being distributed daily by leaders of the western world, because that is a swamp I choose not to revisit. Yet, I am witnessing a general wave of outrageous suspension of reasoning and common sense in our world today. 

   Lastly, I want to ask the question: “how are you FEELING? Coping?”

   It is a big question with great variability in responses, I am sure.  As an artist, I feel empty sometimes, as if there is nothing more I can give.  Then something happens and I HAVE to paint. (I will cover that more in my next blog entry)  I often feel lost, blinded by the grief of the tragedies, the stories, the pain and loss. Then I rally and remember that I can only do what I can do.  I feel isolated but then again, we have always been private people and have always protected that privacy.  I feel weary, fatigued and just want to crawl into bed and sleep.  Sometimes that is what I do.  Each day, I have to figure out why I am getting out of bed, what I can do to make my darling's life better today, is there a friend who needs to hear from me? I have to overcome the ennui and the feeling of sadness, and well, get on with it. But always being kind to myself and realizing that I can do only so much.  

   We all have to heal, to adapt, to find a way to move forward safely.  I pray that you find your way in this mire of disturbing reality.