Time flies…has it been a month already since we’ve been sheltering in place? Can this really be my fourth blog on this topic? Time has become less important, yet the days speed without being as productive as I would like to be. Many of us struggle to even remember what day it is. It feels like Groundhog Day, getting up to the same ‘stay at home’ routine every day, usually going nowhere. “Staying Alive…I’m going nowhere, somebody help me now.”
Cabin fever is setting in a bit. I get out about once a week for medical and all my errands in one trip. I’ve had many different emotions this week including sadness and anger. Friends have even yelled at me on the phone perhaps taking out their own frustrations. Some ladies on a zoom call this week said their emotions were like roller-coaster, and I identify with that too. One moment I am laughing at a funny joke online, the next moment I hear a story of a worker dying of the virus and I burst into tears. Definitely, as the numbers rise for those with the virus and who have died from it, as well as confinement getting old, it is getting harder to stay positive especially without an end date in sight. One can’t not wonder if we will personally be one of those stats?!
Many nights I hear my neighbors howling at 8 p.m. in appreciation for the work that the front-line workers are doing, putting their lives on the line to save others during the pandemic. And the post office, grocery workers, and restaurants that remain open for our use deserve our praise. I try to support them by ordering at least once a week. Yet some stores and some people are not taking it as seriously as others. Each store does their own thing and some workers are not being protected. It really should be a national mandate in my estimation! And I am tired of the crazy drivers thinking it’s a free for all speeding and running lights! Even the news brought that up today..it puts police and the public at risk.
Today, I was out for a walk as I do when its nice out to get the mail; I saw maybe a dozen people walking, pushing a baby stroller, driving delivery vans, or working on cars. I think I was the only one with a mask on! I kept my distance as I do when I go to a store (about once a week). I call it my ‘grocery store dance’…you go down one aisle and see someone coming and dodge them and head for another aisle. Never have I tried so hard to stay away from people and few can hear my voice under my mask if I do speak. One special treat on my short walks on nice days, I find little stones that someone has painted around the complex with words…courage, love and you rock! I want to make some of those too, but masks come first.
I am not bored, yet I find my motivation is lacking! I have no deadlines which is part of it, other than self-imposed ones. I also can’t help but wonder if I should accomplish more goals just in case I get the virus and never finish the things I wanted to get done in my life. I keep myself busy with chores, hobbies and a lot of phone calls to friends and family. My grandson scared me by calling late the other night and saying “I have corona”. At first, I thought it was a joke, but he was serious and coughing. However, his parents aren’t convinced that it is covid, but maybe just the flu. They won’t test in Arizona unless you are over 65 years old. He had a temperature and missed online school last week and still has a cough. I had something similar in January. Perhaps it was the covid back then. My chiropractor’s office is getting kits where we can find out if we already had it. I also worry about my sisters, one just had cancer surgery and starts chemo this month. She is at risk but I know she is tired of being cooped up too and her diet is very restricted right now so she goes in search of foods she can eat when she should order in or have her son do it for her .
And some of the time I feel angry! Angry at the ineptitude of our orange leader and the crazy things he says and does, or doesn’t do, or didn’t do to prepare our nation. He has no empathy at all during this heart-wrenching time and it’s all about him and his numbers and treating our country like a business (which he has bankrupted many times). If we are truly supposed to be the greatest nation (a misnomer and lie) then we should have been better prepared, should be testing everyone, and should have ramped up medical supplies and hospitals earlier in the year. A true leader would wear a mask at briefings to display the importance and offer up his hotels for hospital or homeless use during this time.
During this crisis, we’ve exposed many of America’s structural vulnerabilities …medical, elections without paper, prisons system and immigration to name a few. Suddenly, Medicare for all seems like a good idea to those who poo pooed it before (I’ve always been a proponent). Unfortunately, the poor and minorities who live in closer quarters, who may not have health insurance, and who live in food deserts, have really been hurt by this pandemic. We need a New Caring Deal and leaders like FDR to help us during this time..can we channel him? The bill that passed giving most Americans $1200 is a start, but some of us don’t really need it, and many desperately need much more income than that as it won’t even cover a month’s rent for most people. We don’t know how long this situation will last, but it is so sad to see the deaths, and the lines of people in food banks. I hope everyone will give to many of the agencies who need help in order to help those who need it the most.
And tomorrow is Easter. A time when our family generally gets together for a nice spring meal, so this will be my first solo Easter in my life and that feels odd. I will try to make some deviled eggs, and maybe order something or make it somewhat festive, but it will not be the same! I put some eggs and Easter animals in my window for kids to seek out on their walks. Whatever you celebrate this weekend, try to enjoy it in your own spiritual tradition. Stay well and help as you can! Howl!