Not about coronavirus. Except also that.

Kenny Rogers died the other night, and there was something very strange about the coverage. Or rather, not the coverage itself, but the way I heard it. It was strange to hear the story…because it wasn’t about the coronavirus. Last week I hit “next” over and over again on my morning news app, trying to find something that wasn’t about the pandemic, and finally gave up when a promising lead about zoos turned out to be dealing with animals when their keepers are quarantined.


The Descent of ManSo I was determined to blog this week…these weeks…about something other than this virus. Luckily I have a stock of travel tidbits to pull from, and will return to those after this post, but last night I finished The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, about masculinity in the modern age, and it tempted me to say a word on the topic.


Except the reason I was reading in the predawn hours was that economic fears resulting from the virus had me sleepless. (Funny how one bug can wipe out all four legs of one’s financial seat.) My partner in quarantine was laying there beside me, also sleepless with stress, and it was immediately apparent to me that she didn’t really need to hear about my worries, she has her own.


So I got up and made her a cup of tea. Then washed the slow cooker that was “soaking” in the sink (after we were both too tired for that daunting last dish before bed). She still has a job, albeit for a non-profit (a sector whose title must surely derive from an assessment of the wages) so I’m tapping this out in the kitchen while she’s on a call in the front room. Once we’re both done I’ll look for some other way to ease at least her day, if not her worries. Then I’ll clean something. The blinds are overdue.


The face of a man, entering this country, ready for this moment. Kinda.

And there it is. The answer to both my own “WTF do I do now?” angst, and a piece of the answer to “What is it to be a man now?” It’s caretaking. Caring for others, long a stereotypically feminine trait, is what’s going to get my manly ass through this morning. I wish it was pure and old-school heroic moneymaking, but at the moment…I’m hosed. So I’ll caretake her and anyone else as best I can, while watching for a chance to get dollars. How 21st century manly of me.


There you go. Everything’s not just coronavirus after all.