Well, this is not getting much better. I just spent Sunday waiting for the little alien to burst from my stomach just like in the movie. Could have been stress or the bad decision to lead a wine tour on Saturday or something I ate or COVID exposure or who knows. Better now though, thanks for caring.


Things do seem to be kinda, maybe, sorta moving in the right direction. Schools decided to prioritize people over profits, masks are no longer a political issue for the dumb, vaccines are looking promising and a certain madman continues to implode (I’m talking about Kanye of course).


Sure there are remaining problems like how the heck am I going to coach golf and tennis simultaneously in the spring and how am I going to produce and implement a rigorous academic curriculum, which is equal for all students? But I’ll figure it out, that’s why they pay me the big bucks.


Or, most likely, I won’t, but I will do the best I am capable of doing. It will not be the same as learning in the classroom because there’s no way to do that without a classroom but it will provide “the most rigorous and inspiring alternative school multiple subject virtual curriculum available in a time of crisis”. Because that’s all I can do.


Sam and I ride to Larson park a couple of times per week so I can hit tennis balls against the wall and he can sniff the world (he’s a dog if you didn’t figure that one out yet). Last week the courts were completely filled with paddle ballers and tennis players and there was a group of 10 doing yoga in the shade. All masked up when around others and socially distanced, making the best of it.


By now we know what works and what doesn’t. Outdoors, masks, meditation, exercise, testing, love-all good. Indoors, bars, no masks, bad leadership, hate-all bad. In theory, all we have to do is survive for a few more months until the vaccine is ready but in reality, this prediction is hopeful as nothing is guaranteed.


Also, in theory we go back to normal and COVID-19 becomes another strain of the flu. In reality there will be a substantial hangover. People can now be evicted, unemployment benefits are decreasing, and I predict a financially gruesome August. We aren’t able to fly to other countries (is it irony or tragedy or both that Americans cannot go to Mexico right now?). It will take time to get back up to speed which is where you come in.


Solutions are sometimes tough especially when we’ve been lying on the couch for five months covered in Cheeto dust (don’t judge me). Start slow, a walk here, a new recipe there, and a much-needed connection with an old friend. But plan some solutions because you will one day start interacting with people again and you are out of practice.


Then there’s the whole change the world thing which BLM has done an amazing job of jumpstarting. The election in November should reset our path to one of unity and caring and empathy. The lid will be put back on the sewer, the flaming excrement bag on the doorstep of America will be extinguished and we can start evolving once again.


Or not, because everything is still tenuous. We are in no way out of the woods and the vaccine is in no way guaranteed but I for one am feeling hopeful and will spread my pathological optimism to all eight of my devoted viral followers until I can no longer do so (“Till the Alien Bursts”, the title of my new book). Baseball and basketball are back, Sonoma restaurants are having a go of it on sidewalks and in the plaza, and people are creating innovative solutions.


The virtual film festival is happening at the end of the week, SIFF 2020 was staying positive until the end, hoping for change, waiting, rescheduling, hoping some more. But there is simply no way to safely gather in a theatre environment right now. I sent an email to Kevin asking if he wants me to spell out “ATHOMAWOOD” to replace “SONOMAWOOD” this year, he replied that while it would be funny, this might not be the best time. I also have no labor force (students) to help with the letters and have you seen the renovations at the high school? I’m staying far away until absolutely necessary.


The good news? The end of the madness is near, we are resilient and Sonoma is still as beautiful as ever. Just ask the people on my wine bus who were from Arizona and Florida and Texas.


All we can do is keep calm and try to keep the aliens at bay.



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