Fear and Hope in an Age of Disease Excerpts

Here are portions of the April 4 podcast episode. You can hear me read the whole essay through the link. It is outdated already, I wrote it barely three weeks ago. But part of this whole podcast diary thing is to keep a record and I’m willing to say things have changed, even while looking back at what I thought before. That’s part of the process. I’m done with stories that are told from the end point, where everything is wrapped up and has nice conclusions. I’m fascinated by the process, by other people’s processes. That shows how we grow and change and that gives me hope.

If this is too heavy for you, for now, check out our hard rock video (though I have heard it made people cry – different kind of cry) or the episode offering tips on how to wipe your butt without toilet paper.

…What concerns me is the power of corporate fear in the West, specifically in my native country, the USA, the way fear drives people into isolation, ethnocentrism, and self-centered hoarding. The way fear erases empathy and skews common sense.

What concerns me are the answers to these questions: What are we afraid of? What does fear do to relationships? What are we going to do with our fear?

We already live in an age of suspicion, prejudice, and isolation, fueled by anxiety and misplaced faith in the fragile façade that we are, or should be, invincible.

In the West, we worship the god of safety but this god can make no promises. This is a god crafted out of our own delusions. Delusions that we are stronger alone, that we are not interconnected and interdependent, that health corresponds to morality or superiority, that we are in control, and ultimately, that we will get out of this whole thing alive and unharmed if we only prepare well enough.

These delusions reveal an underlying ambition of making ourselves into God. Or, if we can’t be God ourselves, we demand our politicians play the role. Then we are free to abdicate responsibility for our own choices, our own cruelty, our own neglect of the refugee and the homeless, our own rampaging of the planet, our greed and selfishness.

What our human made systems have to offer will not save us. Build the walls. Close the borders. Shut your doors. Buy all the toilet paper and canned beans. Be afraid. Don’t concern yourself with your diabetic neighbor, your friend who needs chemo medications, your coworker with high blood pressure. Save yourself. And if you can’t, find someone to blame…


…You probably know what the flu feels like, maybe you even know what COVID-19 feels like. Do you know what fear feels like? Have you ever taken note of how your body responds in moments of fear? Pay attention.

Fear is a tunnel that grows increasingly narrow the longer I remain inside. Vision constricts until I can only see what is directly in front of me, no peripheral sight. My body constricts, too, pulls in on itself as if it were trying to physically avoid contact with fear. Sounds blend into a cacophony and it is difficult to discern specific voices or words. I experience what I anticipate because that is all I can absorb.

Fear is a dull ache in my lower back, as though my kidneys are slowly expanding and putting increasing pressure on my skin. It is marbles, the big glossy shooters my kids collected in elementary school, lodged above my clavicle. Fear is a long, lumpy worm, wriggling in my stomach and disturbing the contents of my lunch…


In some ways, fear is like hope. Experienced in the body, resting upon uncertainty, looking to the future with anticipation.

How else is fear like hope? Have a listen to Episode 19: Fear and Hope in an Age of Disease.

We’re Not Gonna Get It. The Lyrics.

Just in case you want to sing along with our version of Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It, here are the lyrics.

Also, the original music video is totally worth watching. We didn’t master the makeup but I think we did the hair pretty well.

Here is the Joneses’ version and down below I’ll paste the original Twisted Sister version.

We’re Not Gonna Get It (by the Joneses, aka Twisted Sister in a Time of Coronavirus)

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

We’ve got hand sanitizer

We wash for 20 seconds

This is our life. We’re stuck at home.

 

I’ll do the online school, fine

Don’t judge my video game time

Where are my friends? I’m all alone

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

Oh I’m so bored and antsy

There’s no point in dressing fancy

The school is shut, no work to do.

 

My life is stuck with these two

Pray that I will make it through

We’ve got TP and we’ve got canned food

 

 

Corona

Corona

 

We’re stuck (in Djibouti!)

We’re home (alone)

With luck (yeah)

We’re healthy (for now!)

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

Insha allah!

 

(music)

 

Corona

Corona

 

We’re stuck (in Djibouti!)

We’re home (alone)

With luck (yeah)

We’re healthy (for now!)

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

Just you try to infect us

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

Come on! You’re all coughing and sick

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

 

We’re not gonna get it

No! We ain’t gonna get it

We’re not gonna get COVID19

 

Don’t try to cough on me…

(we hope!)

 

 

And the original.

Global Trellis Cultural Challenge

Check this out! An upcoming challenge and conversation with yours truly, in April:

No matter where you are in the world these days Covid-19 has changed how you interact with a culture you love. Maybe you are currently displaced or maybe you are isolated.

You might find yourself wondering, “How do I connect with the culture?”

Enter the Global Trellis Culture Challenge. Because no matter where you are, you are somewhere. You are still engaged with a culture that is beautiful and messy. You are still able to learn. You can take breaks from the weight of this time, as you learn more about a place you love. This challenge is for you, right where you are.

The challenge includes three activities, with the freedom to participate in all or just some of each activity.

—The Culture Challenge Checklist contains ten ways to connect with the culture . . . and most can be done at home. (God knew!)

— Participate in a discussion with Rachel Pieh Jones (hey that’s me!) on culture

— Two Facebook Live parties with prizes

 

Are you up for the challenge and the ways God uses it to keep you culturally connected?

 

Join today.

 

11 Ways to Wipe Your Dji-Booty Sans TP

I’m having fun with my silly, short, sometimes serious podcast episodes. They are all less than 10:00 so you can totally binge listen while doing push-ups and sit-ups or making a sandwich or eating donuts.

In Episode 11 I shared vital tips for facing the (apparent) toilet paper shortage.

11 other ways to wipe your dji-booty without toilet paper.

Some feedback I heard was to double down on the warning to not use poison ivy, or poison oak for that matter. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Seriously. Don’t.

Also, it is not recommended to use sticks or stones. I’m not sure why a person would be so intent on wiping their butt that they would choose to use a STICK, but there you have it. You did not hear that suggestion from me.

If you take a dump and the only thing in your vicinity is a stick (meaning, no left hand, no t-shirt, no stick of grass or non-poisonous leaf), let me humbly suggest you just LEAVE it on your butt. A poop streak does not seem to be your most dire issue at that point.

You can listen to all 11 suggestions at the Djibouti Jones COVID19 Diaries podcast, available at iTunes (why not subscribe? leave a review? a star, or five stars?), Anchor, Google Play, Spotify…all the places basically.

What’s your go-to wipe technique if the paper is gone?

By |March 29th, 2020|Categories: Podcast|Tags: , |2 Comments

Djibouti Jones COVID19 Diary, Episodes 1-6

What is happening in Djibouti in regards to the COVID19 pandemic?

I decided to process it out loud, every day, just a a brief glimpse.

Have a listen. Enjoy.

March 17. Connected.

March 18. It Is Here.

March 19. We Know How to Take Care of Each Other.

March 20. What is Hoarding? Plus, a Car Accident.

March 21. Do We Stay or Do We Go?

March 22. COVID19 Has Left Djibouti. Plus, a Special Guest.

Available for now on Spotify and Anchor. Coming soon to iTunes and Google Play.