Thursday, March 19, 2020

Oh 2020....

Seriously. We had such hope for you.  I mean.... 2020. The future. The greatest year. So much hope and promise, amirite?

January took about a year in my world.  Ian was having challenging stuff  with the walls burning, and the month just wouldn't end.

February was decent in my world.  Ian was here for most of it and we saw Katherine and Nicholas, and then Jonathon in the UK, and it was just nice and peaceful.

March started and you know the rest, not just for my world but all of our worlds. Ian went back and things continued to blow up -literally- over there and at the same time blow up -in a different sense- everywhere else.

It's been a long, long year.  And we're only in March.  Everyone is being impacted differently.

Jonathon is doing his classes on-line.  The UK is one of the few places that hasn't closed all their universities.  He's living in his dorm and doing his work. It helps that spring break starts next week so a lot of the kids were already going home this week, and they'll all be gone for the next month on break.  That may have played a role in why the school didn't just close up.

Nicholas's training in Norway has been canceled? Delayed? Who knows.  But rather than being out of the country for 6 months, he's now essentially confined to base, if not to barracks, in NC.  He is not happy.

Rebecca's school has moved all classes on-line which is rather hard for an arts school where most of the majors are hands-on, workshop, and program related.  The dorms closed, but she only has 2 classes left and she lives off-campus, so she's hunkered in Savannah.  But the worst kick in the teeth for her.... her college graduation/commencement has been canceled. There's no way to not make that hurt.

Katherine works in a service industry and she's sick. She called her doctor to request testing, they couldn't help her.  She called the MD Health office, they couldn't help her.  Everyone told her to go to the ER. So she did, and they put her in isolation while they ran tests and checked her lungs, because yes, she is really sick.  She came back positive for RSV, and there the tests stopped. They didn't test her for COVID.  She picked up prescriptions and is staying home.  As we learn more about how the 20-45 range is a nice big chunk of those falling ill, it totally makes sense not to test someone for the pandemic virus who's sick in your waiting room /sarcasm.

I am still going in to work. I take the Metro there and back but there are so few people now that it's easy to not touch anything and sit 6 feet away from folks, and I sit 6 feet away from my nearest co-worker in the office too.  But hey, the 3rd floor in my building was shut down today due to a positive COVID result in one of the offices there, so yeah, don't touch the elevator buttons.

The bright side, if you can call it that, is that today with the gorgeous weather I walked around downtown and had some time with Ian showing him the cherry blossoms and the empty sidewalks. There were plenty of people still out but nothing close to normal.  People walking dogs, people kicking balls on the grass, and yes, some tourists. I stayed away from most of them as I passed the Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, Jefferson, and MLK memorials, and the Washington monument. There were people about, but not that many.

I needed that walk for my soul.  Taking the metro in each day with people who all seem a little dejected.  Sitting at the office where most people work with headphones on. Coming home where now the loudest things outside are the helicopters flying by and the sirens, and the loudest thing inside is the cat.  Watching TV (please, someone give me a recommendation).  Just being alone a lot.  I needed something warm and pretty and not so lonesome, and walking around this city while talking with Ian did me some good.

Take care of yourselves.

Remember that feeling on 9/11 when all the planes were being told to land and we held our breathes as a nation for hours as we watched the blips disappear from the radar screens? And then the silence.  And then the days and days of "what the hell." We all knew we'd had a major hit to our sense of security and felt the sudden loss of life. For myself, this has had a similar feeling but I didn't really recognize it until today because it's been so sloooooooow, so protracted. Yes, while it feels like things are changing hour to hour, the changes have been smaller pieces of a much bigger picture.  Life came to a screeching halt in 2001, this has been more subtle. It's a like an interminably slow squeeze, and it's no wonder that people feel like the world is closing in on them, even if they didn't realize at first that it was.

The last major flu in 1918 didn't have a lot what we have today to the extent that we have it today.  Clean water in our homes, indoor plumbing, stockpiles of tissues and wipes, a doctor on every corner, lots of hospitals, gloves and masks, stocked grocery stores, trash pick-up, mail delivery, home entertainment, and more that all of that, science, risk awareness, and global communication. We have the ability to social distance and self-quarantine that folks in the last flu didn't, and the means to do it safely and dare I say, happily, so it's on us to take those steps. We have 100-years-of progress-advantages, use them.

So yeah, take care of yourselves. Breathe. Eat well. Go outside! If the weather cooperates, open the doors and windows and let the outside in. Talk to people, a lot, over some digital form of communication. Read that book.  If you have a book inside you, write it. Sing on your balcony. Walk the dog. Play with your family and enjoy this time. All that good stuff.  Seems like every museum has free virtual tours and every restaurant delivers. So watch some Kennedy Center or Met Opera streams while you learn how to bake bread or make ice cream. Support the arts, today and always, and recognize how important all genres of the arts world affect our lives and feed our minds, bodies, and souls.

2020 has been anything but predictable. People, there are still 8 1/2 more months to go in this year.... which according to my internal calendar means we'll be in 2020 for roughly 12.48 more years. Just please, don't let my hope that all this will ease soon be met with a stab in the back, or a punch in the gut, or a blindside, OK 2020? We'd all just like to make it through in one piece. I want my kids safe and healthy. And I want my husband home and healthy.  Is that too much to ask?

Just please, no blindsides.

Oh, and if everyone who wants to get tested could get tested, that would be great too.

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