Irises and Viruses

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Click here for her website:

Now, on to my blog:

IrisMother Nature has powers that people can only dream about. She may create exquisite beauty in the form of an iris or rain down havoc as the world’s creatures huddle in fear of the viruses she slings.

With all our war weapons, economic manipulations, and every other form of control that mankind has developed to hobble enemies, it pails by orders of magnitude to the sorcery Mother Nature can work. At times such as these as we face a threat to millions, we are humbled in the face of such dominion.

MN has currently unleashed the coronavirus to thin the herd. There are simply too many of us to be sustained by the earth’s resources. We humans are befouling nature, contributing to global warming, causing extinction of other species, blowing each other up, and generally striving to realize our collective demise.

Will we forget today’s lessons as soon as things are back to “normal”? Will we resume squabbling with each other? Or, can our current crisis teach us anything? If history is an example, the answer is likely “no.” If we look back on the great global tragedies of the centuries: wars, famine, natural disasters, and pandemics, we see that subsequent generations do forget, deny, or ignore.

Why are humans like that? Must the most twisted of us always rise to the top to lead us over the edge of the cliff? Is it in our nature to always devolve into a “Lord of the Flies” mentality?


Of course, today’s Covid 19 crisis could have been lessened to a significant degree by advanced planning, early action, and quick response. None of those things have happened to a sufficient enough degree to forestall the severity which is only increasing.

What can we do? Each of us is only one tiny cog in a sea of over seven billion of our kind. Are we completely powerless? No. We must do our part. Don’t go out and about other than for essential services. Partying with friends is not in that category. Stay at home even if you are bored, feel fine, figure it can’t happen to you, or are sure you won’t pass the virus along to others. You are not special, privileged or entitled to ignore the recommendation of experts on how we should proceed as a herd to defeat or at least lesson this viral infliction.

Think as the hunters and gatherers did when they lived off the land and made do with what they had. A few weeks ago, I read a story about a young mother who was panicky because her store had sold out of disposable diapers. Now is the time for adaptation and problem solving, folks, not whining. To that puzzled mother: rip up old sheets or towels and use them as diapers fastened with safety pins rather than peel and stick tabs. Then, rewash them just as your grandmother did before the invention of the disposable type–amazing!

Count yourself lucky to live in a first world country with resources to attack this crisis, and do your part to assist.


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Photo 1 credit: Visualhunt – Public Domain
Photo 2 credit: Photo credit: NIAID on VisualHunt / CC BY


Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging

2 responses to “Irises and Viruses

  1. May D. Chou

    Lee Gale,
    Your blog is interesting. You are dedicated. Thanks for sharing.
    May C.

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