Joe Hudson

Joe Hudson

I was on the front porch when you drove by and I waved, a good day for old guys to be ambulatory and breathe fresh air.

The sun shines, the day is glorious, and the simple life of living quarantined in Townhouse Bunker 1021 continues and I think this may go on longer than we realize. Phase 1 of getting back to normal begins and many people remain inside, observing what happens to the first wave of people to venture forth, after all, there may be Murder Hornets out there.

A delicious supper in Bunker 1021 last night, stuffed chicken breast with steamed asparagus, carefully prepared by chef Louise, done to perfection, and later we sat and talked about our grandchildren and the future. We felt it will be some time before people will want to crowd together without concern. We now realize how blessed we were before COVID-19, to do the simple things — attend church, dine in a restaurant, chat with a store clerk, gather for a birthday party, hug a friend or shake hands — things that will no doubt be done with caution and forethought for many days to come.

During our isolation, conversation has become the center of the day.

Louise and I have long talks, and recently she recalled her early days of being a public-school teacher, seeing a class of kids for the first time, kickball games on the playground, and the sense of pride and professional accomplishment. She feels lucky about it all, to have other teachers as friends (they Zoom once a week), and to occasionally meet former students, now grown, and they tell her about their own kids. Few people get to see their life’s work stand before them and verbally express gratitude and love.

We both agree that my mind has not yet turned to sawdust — I can still find my car keys. Half the population is below average and after five weeks of quarantine isolation, I’m pretty sure I’m way below the line, about equal to a bed post, but nevertheless, I’m holding my own.

I have no complaints, my prostate works, and life is good but I agree with Solomon that knowledge can lead to unhappiness. Just watch the good knowledgeable doctors at the White House and state briefings, they look miserable and tired.

By contrast, Washington officials continue to happily shoot the money cannon, state governors rule with a rod of iron, and it all makes for plenty of photo opportunities. These people are not biology majors.

But I was raised on a farm, I find hope in the fact that seasons and circumstances change.

I remember, at the age of 11, attending the 1964 World’s Fair in New York with my grandmother and uncle. While walking through Times Square, crowded with people shoulder to shoulder, I became separated from our group and I wanted to panic.

But farming acquaints you with manure and isolation, and teaches you to stay calm and think, so I stopped walking and though afraid, I waited where I’d lost sight of our group. After some time, I glimpsed my uncle, carefully retracing his steps through the crowd until he reached me. Crisis over, we hugged each other.

Calm thinking is the best way to deal with a pandemic.

The virus and lockdown have bothered some people, but not me. Here in bunker 1021 we have no complaints, but we do have tasty leftovers and a blueberry pie.

If you feel a bump up in your spirits tomorrow morning about seven o’clock, enjoy, that’s me praying for you. No worries. We’ll catch up on each other soon.

Readers can write to Joe at and Facebook (View from the Hudson). He is author of “Big Decisions are Best Made with Hot Dogs.”

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