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Les Bloch: It's A Weird World

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In our new weird world, if a lot of things just don’t seem to make any sense, it's because they don’t. Les Bloch has this Perspective.

The elderly woman shopper drops a quarter. It rolls to your feet. You smile, but she can’t tell — a mask covers your mouth. A mental struggle begins, to fight every instinct ingrained into your DNA. Instead of picking up the quarter and handing it back, you walk away.

Welcome to the cognitive dissonance of living in COVID America 2020. We feel guilty. The Greatest Generation went through an economic depression and World War II. Wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart shouldn’t be a big deal. But we have to fight all our instincts and grapple with historic ironies. Our president, the most anti-environmental leader in recent history, presides over a nation whose situation has provided the cleanest air in decades. The least Zen ruler presides over us fortunate monks.

Because we love our grandchildren, we don’t hug them. Toilet paper is the new gold. Yeast is like salt to a settler. A Republican White House and Senate passes the most socialistic stimulus bill ever. Total strangers strike up conversations with other strangers. Wearing a mask in public no longer makes you a germophobe. Shutting yourself in no longer makes you a shut-in. The UPS driver is a hero. The plastic surgeon is going broke. Animals roam the streets throughout the world. Gas prices are low but no one is buying or driving. Non-alcoholics are drinking daily.

The tiniest of biological machines has brought the largest of industrial machines to a halt. We all want to work but can’t. A well-meaning environmentalist flies in an empty jet and leap-frogs her carbon footprint beyond that of the most ardent NASCAR fan.


We wonder why we feel so weird inside. It’s the only way to feel. We will slowly awake from our coma, a coma of introspection and clarity. And then we will start the machine again, half-awake, and dream of the time before.

With a Perspective, I’m Les Bloch.

Les Bloch is a musician, author and construction manager in the East Bay.

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