A Dream In The Time of the Novel Coronavirus, And a Day at the Foodbank

In this dream, I am traveling with other people. It seems like a family situation of some kind.  We are tourists. For some reason, I don’t know why, I get the sense that we are  somewhere in South America.  There was nothing specific that I can point to in this regard.  (You know, this type of stuff can happen in dreams!)

There seems to be this butterfly that has been with us like a pet during the trip.  It is big and beautiful.  It is inclined to stay with us.   In my dream, I try to make sure that the pet butterfly does not get lost.  At some critical moment, I cover it with my hand to make sure it does not fly away.  When I lift my hand, it has stopped moving.  Before my eyes, what was a butterfly earlier in the dream turns into something hard.  Some parental figure appears and removes the “dead butterfly” (At this point in the dream, I am a child.)  The butterfly leaves a mark on the hard surface.  The surface looks like wood.

And then I am awake.  I look at the clock on the shelf in front of me.  It is around 4:45 am.  I go back to sleep for another couple of hours.  It was still dark when I woke up.

I went out to the food bank to do some volunteer work  yesterday.  This was my first time after coming back from India.  I had been staying away for a while to make sure I did not make people sick from anything I had caught during my travels.

I was wondering what changes I would encounter after being away for nearly two months.  A group of  volunteers was already at work packing food for the needy by the time I arrived.  It was the same process that we had been following before I left for India.  There were about 250 customers (families) to be taken care of that day.  Additional safely measures were in place because of the coronavirus to try to protect everybody, but, because of the nature of the work, you cannot feel that you are completely risk free in such a environment.   You are working as a team.   You are all picking fresh food off the same pallets, you are all necessarily in contact with material that has passed through or has been touched by a few hands.  And it is impractical to sanitize between every single action that you take, and after every single contact with something that somebody else handled.  Gloves only last that long, and they need to be changed frequently to maintain a sanitary situation.  They also tear.  And there is other work that needs to be done that changes the nature of the risk – moving pallets of food around on pallet jacks, delivering food to clients who have come to the distribution center, getting rid of  stuff in the recycling and garbage dumpsters, etc..  This is the reality.

I suspect that places like this, places that are going to help to keep the neediest people going in  a time of their greatest need, are the ones that going to be ignored when people talk about the “stimulus”.  We are going to have to do whatever we can under the circumstances to keep helping people.  That is worth it for me.

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Kuriacose Joseph

I am an engineer by training. I am exploring new horizons after having spent many years in the Industry. My interests are varied and I tend to write about what is on my mind at any particular moment in time.

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