greum maol stevenson

Pandemic

Last week, one in 40 people in Scotland had Covid. This week, one in 30 have it. When the Scottish government decided to surrender to the virus by lifting mask requirements (though, bizarrely, still asking people to continue to wear them), we were assured that for fully-vaccinated people there was little to fear. But the following excerpt from an email is typical of what I hear from those infected:

“Having spent the 2+ years of the pandemic NOT catching Covid, I finally tested positive at the beginning of this week. Wouldn't you just know! They say that the effects are now quite mild if you've had the vaccines. Don't believe them. I felt like death warmed up for several days, a combination of the worst cold you ever had and the worst flu.”

With so many people infected, there are few masks to be seen in Glasgow, even in crowded supermarkets. We are more welcoming of a debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, virus than the Home Office is of refugees.

May all who are sick, in body, mind or spirit, be well.

#PlagueDiary #MagicalThinking #ScottishGovernment #Pandemic #PostPandemic #LivingWithCovid #Covid19

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City Cave Zen Sangha

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“Medicine and sickness heal each other. The whole world is medicine.” — The Blue Cliff Record, Case 87

There is a parable that is fitting for these times. I do not know its origin — I have heard different versions, some attributing it to the Zen or Taoist traditions, but I have not been able to find its source, and I do not think it matters. Here is the version I am thinking of:

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hospital window — outside, waving and smiling, tears falling on frost


Also published on Buddhistdoor Teahouse

#haiku #poetry #impermanence #loneliness #pandemic #covid19

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City Cave Zen Sangha

Profile at Scottish Book Trust

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Discarded face mask on the ground

Throughout the pandemic, it has been common to see disposable masks littering the streets of Glasgow, but in the last few weeks it has become almost as common to find reusable masks in the same state.

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If you are a virus in Scotland, things have been tough since the start of this year, with lockdown making it harder for you to kill people. But tomorrow your life will get easier. Lockdown is ending, Scotland is moving to Level 3. Here are all the ways you can find victims starting tomorrow:

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“You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way.”—Marlo Stanfield, The Wire

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Laura Henderson Photo: Cube Housing Association

Dear Landlords,

I remarked today to a fellow tenant (or “customer,” as you call us) that communicating with Cube is a bit like praying. But then I corrected myself, because when praying we do not know for certain that no one is listening or that our supplications will be ignored — which we can be certain of when communicating with you.

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A week after I posted this, the stairwells and lifts in the high flats on Wyndford Road are no less manky. I sent the link to Laura Henderson, Cube's Managing Director, right after I posted it, but I have had no reply from her, or anyone else at Cube. I did not expect one, but I hoped to be wrong.

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