Someone’s work at the convention center is closed. He’s at home now and the auguries portend no soon end to his or anyone else plight. He’s going to try on-line delivery groceries to cut down or perhaps discontinue our need to set foot at Uncle Albertsons. Back in my bachelor I did this sort of shopping. I recall it was called “Pea pod” and I found it a marvelous thing. Maneuvering a car in Chicago traffic was a tedious time-consuming endeavor. Whenever I remembered something I wanted I would add it to the list and eventually I press the ‘send’ key and hey presto! some nice person delivered it all to my doorstep. If Someone’s present efforts succeed we will have eliminated another reason to go outdoors.


I’ve already begun to wonder how much of all of our retreats will reverse when the coast is clear. After weeks – months? – of working at home/not going out/ordering things in (food and everything else) will we all throw it off and return to an gregarious business-as-usual existence or do we continue to stay put at home?

There is a Japanese word for this sort of people: Hikikomori. They are the ones who have withdrawn from society to seek extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. They don’t go out. They work and eat and do everything at home. All is brought to them (but company) through the means of their computers and phones. They are usually teen-types and younger men who have grown up with technology and without lessons in social skills. Perhaps they have severe social anxiety or depression or agoraphobia. No one really knows for sure why they are this way; they aren’t the types who respond when sociologists reach out to them.

In the olden days these sorts were hermits or mystics. They withdrew from society to focus on the numinous and grow in wisdom. I don’t think today’s stay-at-home types (voluntary or involuntary) are seeking enlightenment. Rather we are binge-watching reruns and eating comfort food.

I mustn’t let germs or government gel with my proclivity and desire to crawl into a hole and shut off the world. Somehow I need to stay in touch with others and keep my composure so when I emerge from this biological retreat I shell return to a salubrious and wholesome social well-being.