Making It In The Covid Era

We’re making what we can out of what we have to work with. How about you?

April 14, 2020

Hi! How y’all doin’?

My fifth week of being in medical isolation (isolation from everyone as ordered by a doctor) is winding down, with week 6 on the way. I’m going to need to create a new coloring page for my window! This one is almost filled in.

When I walked in here and closed the door, shutting Mark, our dogs and everyone else on the other side, they thought I might be in here for two weeks. Then two weeks became four, and now it’s open-ended. It’s required some adjustment. I’m sure your life has, too.

I was just talking to someone about how everything has changed. Grocery shopping. No more “Oh, we’re out of X, I’ll just dash down to the store…” No, Mark and I order our groceries two weeks in advance (“What do you think you’ll want for lunch in two weeks?”) and play the food lottery (“Did we get popcorn this time?”). For my friend, going to the store requires that she suit up in a home-grown hazmat suit and line up outside the store to be let in by the bouncers as if she’s trying to get into an exclusive night club. The whole trip she has to worry about people who won’t maintain proper distancing. By the time she gets home, she’s done. It’s exhausting.

Of course, it’s worse for grocery store employees. People who just don’t seem capable of understanding what’s going on are angry and confused, and take it out on the grocery store employees, most of whom are doing their best in a difficult time and hoping not to get sick. Our local grocery store is really doing a good job of contact-free pick up, although the manager of a local Target went off on Mark, somehow thinking Mark would put the staff at risk sitting in his car, masked and gloved, with the windows rolled up, while someone put our order in the trunk of our car.

It’s a surreal time to be alive, ain’t it?

Meantime, although kids who went on Spring Break to party, then got sick, seem not to have talked to their friends, who think the “right to party” the Beastie Boys sang about is actually in the Constitution. They just had to shut down a club open in defiance of shelter-in-place orders. Did those kids have direct word from God that they and everyone they knew was immune? Are they just as dumb as a bag of hair? No idea.

We are for sure seeing who is a team player and who, definitely, is not. Everyone on Team Survival is hanging in there, doing what they can, staying home if they possibly can, physical distancing… and it’s working. Where people are doing that, they’re flattening the curve.

It’s clearly up to us to save each other. God knows the feds aren’t going to, not with Dear Donny at the helm. The thing he’s working hardest at right now is attempting to shift blame. He’s never worked so hard in his life. He wants the states to be responsible for themselves without looking to the federal government for help. Wait — isn’t that why we have a federal government? Our President-at-the-moment is, sadly, about as useful in a crisis as tits on a bicycle.

So we stand together by standing apart. We wash our hands like it’s our holy calling, figure out what meals we can make out of what’s in the cupboard and whatever we were lucky enough to get from the grocery store, don’t go out or gather unless we must, wear our home-made masks when we do, and send this thing back to whatever suburb of hell it came from. When there’s a vaccine, we line up (is anyone still an anti-vaxxer now?), and stick out our arms, our butts, whatever’s required.

And years from now, we sit down kids who weren’t yet born when this happened, and we bore them silly with our survival tales of how we got through the Great Pandemic of 2020. We will have earned that right. Most of us, anyway.

If your story is how you ignored it all and went on partying, please keep quiet. These are impressionable children, and you shouldn’t help make them stupid.

Hang in there, y’all!

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