I’ll Tell You This For Free

What’s this pandemic been like for you? I think all of us are having our own, private pandemics.

Some of us are health workers who’ve been on the front lines, all day, every day, for months. When we leave work after our 12-hour shifts, and stop at the grocery store on the way home, assholes without masks see our uniforms and yell at us.

Some of us are parents, trying to work from home, to manage distance/home-school learning, and to bring in groceries, while figuring out how to balance our child’s need for social interaction with our need to keep that child safe from a scary virus that can leave even young people with heart problems, respiratory issues, and other problems — assuming it doesn’t kill them. We try to organize “pods” that will allow us to stay safe and still have human contact. Maybe they work. Maybe they don’t. Welcome to the pandemic.

I’m a retired woman with some co-morbidities who’s been staying home, alone, for six months now. INTJ that I am, this is getting increasingly painful. I go for a daily walk and stop, way more than six feet away and wearing a mask, to exchange a few words with my neighbors. And once every ten days or so, I go for a short drive in the lovely Shenandoah Valley countryside, just to remind myself that there’s a world out there. I Zoom with other local activists, and I text with my G/Son, and now I’ve learned to do magic with other Pagans via Zoom. I’m luckier than many, and I’m still hurting.

Mrs.Whatsit works from home and spars outside, wearing masks, in the DC heat and humidity, with her boxing coach. Women are fierce.

One of my friends up here is organizing her father’s funeral, leaning on a political leader to show up for a fundraiser, and watching her daughter go for a biopsy. Because breast fucking cancer never gives anyone a break. And because women are fierce.

Another friend is about to start a very rigorous self-quarantine so that she can be there when her daughter-in-law gives birth. I’m knitting a pink cap for her. Because women do what we’ve always done — we show up for each other.

I want “this” to end as much as I’ve ever wanted anything. I have fantasy conversations in my head. “OK, hair appointment first, then see family, no see family, hair be damned, and then go out to eat. No, OK, first hair cut, then mani/pedi, then oysters and an ice-cold martini at the club with Greenman, then . . . . No, OK, first family, then DC Witches, then someplace that makes almost brittle thin-crust pizza and serves good red wine, then . . . . OK, first I talk Greenman into a long ride through the misty Autumn leaves and dinner at a roadside place in the mountains, and then a hair cut, and then a trip to several art galleries, and then a drive through Georgetown at night, and then . . . .” What’s on your list?

A vaccine that would let me back out into the world would make me so happy I could hardly stand it.

But I’ll tell you this for free. I won’t be having any untested Trump-announced vaccine just before the election.

Photo of Autumn blooms in Appalachia by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

5 responses to “I’ll Tell You This For Free

  1. Greenman concurs! 🙂

  2. I posted today also about isolation vs connectedness through the virus…and I’ve also used it in a church newsletter which was pretty well received. I’m grateful for the interactions I do have these days, being in a cardiac rehab program two days a week. It’s very good for me.

  3. ‘Normal’ is gone, forever, for all of us … the trick now is, how do we live well, going forward.

  4. In one way it was a sad thing when I left dc. I miss all the people and companionship that I had. But I also realized that health wise I could no longer do the house that I had lived in for 13 years. I left dc faster than I thought I would. I was glad that I did. My daughter came down with cancer shortly after we moved. I was able to be here with my grandchild when I was needed. But now this pandemic had keep me from seeing her for 4 months and she only lived 4 blocks away. So many people have been separated from their families. If only we had learned of this virus earlier then there would be far fewer deaths. Our pandemic here in Massachusetts was 2nd only to New York. Because of our mask wearing and social distancing we are lower in numbers. But I will be one to say I will not be getting an untested vaccine just because our supposed president releases it for political purposes

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