Cautious optimism in lockdown

drawing of woman happy with a heartful of stars, family, tree and sun. On the right, hen sits on nest of eggs about to hatch.

Counting my blessings but not my chickens: cautious optimism in lockdown

Today’s cartoon shows pretty much my own state of mind: cautious optimism in lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has “cautious optimism” about our ability to stamp out Covid-19 in New Zealand. By contrast, in other countries’ news outlets I’m seeing prematurely excitable headlines like this:

  • How New Zealand kept the Covid-19 death toll at ONE
  • New Zealand Whacks Covid-19.

No no no. Of course the world is hungry for good news but calm down, people. Do you know the saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”? As children we saw broody hens sitting on eggs, and for all sorts of reasons, not all the eggs would hatch. Maybe none of them hatched, because they hadn’t even been fertilised.

Nobody knows what’s ahead in this Year of the Plague. We will do our best, and I’ll stick with cautious optimism in lockdown.

As an old person, one of my blessings is a kind of metabolic or chemo-electrical placidity. It’s not positive or negative. It takes a lot to get me agitated (although sometimes I scream at a news item of intense evil). It’s acceptance, realism, and bears a strange resemblance to happiness.

Stay safe in this strangest of holiday seasons.




13 thoughts on “Cautious optimism in lockdown

  1. I tend to have an incautious optimism nowadays. So long as I wake up, and can prove to myself that I have done so, it’s Que Sera all the way!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Even better. Go for it!

  2. Roadtirement says:

    “I see light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it is not a train coming at me.”

  3. Sadje says:

    You too, Rachel

  4. anne leueen says:

    Cautious optimism is a very Canadian phrase.We never like to go over the top with our optimism. I am cautiously optimistic about the pandemic.But that is mostly because I do not think I could bear the alternative.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I guess there are 50 shades of optimism.

  5. alison41 says:

    You too, Rachel. Keep the posts coming, they help!

  6. Damyanti Biswas says:

    Taking one day at a time…. Stay safe.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s all we can do — and control the little (?) that we can control.

  7. This arrived just as my beloved placidity was running almost on empty! I don’t think we’ve reached cautious optimism yet in the U. S., but in my city’s neighborhoods, there is so much good will and selfless caring that I can’t help but be optimistic just on that alone. The virus? I dunno. The people? Giving me hope.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That is indeed cautious optimism. And thanks for warning me that my default state of mind is likely to trotter, even sure to. The woman in the cartoon looks alarmingly smug.

  8. Rein Zeilstra says:

    There is really a good way to appreciate/ count your blessings: “name them one by one ….”= ‘intently identify’ those peak of AC sinewave occurrences in life. Possible result: thankfuness even in the face of conjoint times of despairing pessimism.

  9. Rein Zeilstra says:

    thankfulness (sorry).

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