The Subconscious Gets Its Say

All of us on this unchartered journey reach a point of our own place and choosing where everything that’s happened, everything that’s about to happen, hits in a deeply profound way. Sure we’ve all be following the drama for months now; slowing doing things to prepare, like building a stockpile of critical supplies and spending extra time reaching out to family and friends. But for the most part, as God allows, we been successfully diverting our minds to other avenues or found ways to successfully exploit denial. I’ve stayed preoccupied with my math, with keeping the kids distracted, and with maintaining a sense of perspective and humor.

At the same time I’ve closely kept tabs on rapidly changing national and international events. The full impact of what’s about to hit us though, didn’t really compile until last night after reading President Trump’s projection that 250,000 Americans would die in the next two weeks. In the context of the news we’ve been inundated with for weeks now, this was not that shocking or really even news. We’ve watched folks in China, Italy, and New York, confront the consequences of COVID but felt we were okay in our tiny little specks of earth, that a hundred cases in our state and no cases in our county meant the grim reaper was somehow passing us over. That Horton heard our worry and carried us to someplace save (if you remember your Dr. Suess).

For me, the impact of what’s about to happen and what the implications and consequences will be still has not penetrated in a profound way; at least not consciously. I have been blessed with a strong logical mind that quickly calculates, makes rational decisions, and calmly prepares for future situations. Last night however, my subconscious got it’s say. It began much as I would expect, with an analysis of exponential growth and how we get from 3,000 dead thus far in America to 250,000 dead in two weeks.

That lead my subconscious to a happy moment in graduate school when I first studied how gypsy moths follow exponential reproduction patterns every few years when they grow from a few pestering bugs on our screen door to demonic swarms demanding to be let in. I wasn’t really recycling the mathematics of exponentially exploding moth populations though, I was remembering the girl I’d met at a coffee shop around that time and the brief moments we shared. But those pleasant thoughts could not be sustained and before long I was back in math breaking down the President’s projections and their implication for 320 million Americans, 2 million New Mexicans, to 20 thousands Los Alamosians. That’s when things grew nightmarish, because that’s when my subconscious confronted what my conscious had so successfully avoided; namely, the fact that very soon someone I know is going to die. . . and it could be me.

Understandably after such a depressing discovery, sleep was no longer viable so I got up in the darkness of my predawn morning and decided to blog about food rather than obsess about doom. Maybe later I’ll get back to exponential growth and what it means for our country, our state, and our community, but for now I’m content to let my conscious brain be distracted and my subconscious brain be silenced.