One of the things I love most about tea is how it brings people together and creates community. The only other beverage I’m aware of that does it remotely as well is alcohol.
Alcohol, of course, has the potentially dangerous side effect of lowering inhibitions and causing inebriation. Tea does not. On the contrary, setting aside the idea of being “tea drunk” (still not the same as being actually drunk), tea leaves you feeling alert and invigorated. Tea with friends is always a win.
It’s a shame the real power of “social distancing” (keeping a 1-2 meter gap between yourself and others) to combat Coronavirus is interrupting the similarly powerful benefit of sharing tea and creating community.
Of course, I didn’t let a silly thing like logic and reason get in the way of having tea with friends one last time before I leave San Francisco.
Oh, yes, I haven’t mentioned I’m leaving San Francisco and headed south to Los Angeles. I’ll talk more about that later, but it’s worth mentioning in this context because LA is the epicenter for the outbreak in California. Just today, the entire county of Los Angeles went on lockdown.
I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t concern me, but I’m also not making a run for all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer I can find. Maybe it’s the arrogance of my youth–I’m not exactly a teenager, but even in my mid-30s I’m not a target for a lethal case of Coronavirus.
Or maybe I just wanted to see my good friends and share excellent tea before it became much more difficult to do so. The heart wants what it wants.
It was a wonderful session, as always, but this was a particularly wonderful session. Perhaps all of us were extra happy to see one another after days now going on weeks in quarantine. The energy was vibrant and the qi was flowing powerfully through every cup we brewed.
Amidst the paranoia, panic, and the steady drumbeat of fear blasting out from 24-hour news networks, it was a poignant reminder that we can still take time out and be human.
Yes, the threat of this global pandemic is real. Yes, there are real lives being lost, damaged, and forever altered by it. We should do our best to take it seriously, but also remember to be human. Don’t hoard supplies you don’t need. Don’t propagate lies, myths, or propaganda about the pandemic. Be prepared, but do not panic.
And for the sake of all that is good, have some tea. If it’s safe, have it with friends. We need the peaceful clarity provided by the essence of the Camellia now more than ever.
To that end, if anyone’s at home longing for some companionship over tea, let me know. I’m happy to get on Houseparty (mobile app), Discord, Google Hangout, whatever. Just drop me a note on the blog, via email, or on social media and we’ll work out the timing.
Here’s to your health, safety, and happy drinking.