I’m having trouble writing. The enormity of what has happened already—the suffering, the number of deaths, the needlessness of so much of it—and what is still looming ahead—more suffering, more deaths, more isolation, the prediction in today’s testimony from Dr. Rick Bright that America is facing its “darkest winter in modern history”—how to write in the face of all that has been and all that is to come?

CDC releases scaled-back guidance on reopening after White House blocked earlier release—Politico

May 14, 2020

Having trouble
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

The headlines are unbearable:

With Millions Out of Work, the Trump Administration Pushes to Limit Food Stamps. That one is from Time.

From NPR: Heavily Armed Protestors Gather Again at Michigan Capitol to Decry Stay-At-Home Order.

In The Independent: Vice Chair of Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission has been successfully sued four times for voter suppression

Then there’s the environment. In The New York Times: E.P.A. Opts Against Limits on Water Contaminant Tied to Fetal Damage

How about this one, from Yahoo! Finance: US death toll would have been halved had it acted 4 days sooner, study says

And then, from Ezra Klein in Vox, there’s: We don’t have a president, or a plan.

“Over the past two months, the US should have built the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine infrastructure necessary to safely end lockdown and transition back to normalcy — as many of its peer countries did. Instead, Trump has substituted showmanship for action, playing the president on TV but refusing to do the actual job. He has both dominated the airwaves and abdicated his duties. As a result, America’s progress against the coronavirus has stalled, even as the lockdown has driven the economy into crisis.”

All my life, when confronting particularly egregious behaviors, when faced with the horrible blatancy of an unspeakable act, I have become mute, almost dizzy with the tsunami of feeling that drowns coherent thought. I might rage and cry, but words fail me. They feel so inadequate. There should be, the part of my mind that is still able to think says, no need to explain this. It is so obvious. Not being able to summon words is a particularly painful place for a writer to be.

I try to show up here, on the blog, at least every couple of weeks. It seems right to add my voice to those who are open and generous enough to share their hearts and minds and words with all of us. So, here I am. When I started this blog, one woman wrote to say she thought it was a fine idea but “even the word Corona is troubling.” She suggested calling it a Virtual Hug Group. For me, the avoidance of speaking difficult words—when I can find them—is more troubling and the idea of a “virtual hug group” initially made me laugh.

But the fact is, I do feel virtually hugged by all of you who are on this journey with me. I’m not going to change the name, but it feels important to acknowledge that. There’s nothing to do but put one foot in front of the other. I’m grateful to be doing it with whoever is reading these words.


  1. Ruth, I so appreciate your candor. It *is* obvious. And the words do *not* begin to express our collective feelings of outrage, fear, helplessness, incredulity, horror, despair, and grief. Words alone can’t, but they are so necessary to connect us, so we *don’t* feel so alone and helpless. At the same time as feeling all of the above darker sentiments, I also am made more aware, and feel bolstered by and some hope from responses by intelligent, sane people witnessing & letting us know what is going on. Thank you for sharing those, and for creating, being at the helm, and showing up at this valuable meeting place.

    Sending you a virtual hug.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you,Ruth, for expressing the angst I’ve been feeling since this all began. The question before me each day is, “How can I be my best self in these times?”

    I need help finding answers, so I turn to Eckhart Tolle, and others who say that life’s challenges can be the impetus for our growth. How I’d love to be so spiritual as to welcome the opportunity! Rather, I’m longing for human contact once again, and for this nightmare to be over.

    Your blog is a source of comfort, in that I feel less alone. Thank you for that! And along with you, I’m doing my best to put one foot in front of the other on this journey we’re all sharing.

    Sending you and everyone my love…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel it too, with you. At times the strangeness of it all feels too much to bear. Then I go on with my day pretending everything will be ok.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you. I upset and distraught by the effort not to wish dire consequences on the perpetrator in chief. Shabbos is coming. I appreciate your words for company on this perilous journey.


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