It’s been just over two weeks since our daughter called us – I should say lectured us – about taking the virus threat more seriously. Since then, we’ve stayed inside except to walk the dog and to quickly run essential errands.
It’s a strange feeling. I’m retired so I don’t really HAVE to be anywhere. Through the wonders of Medicare, I have a free gym membership which I was enjoying several times a week. I play golf. I have several volunteer activities and I was finding my retirement days were busy and full.
Until it all shut down.
Somehow just knowing I can’t go anywhere makes me more than a little crazy. I see the startling pictures of empty freeways. But where would I go? The first three weeks of March in Southern California have been cold and rainy at times, making our isolation seem a little bit grimmer. While walking the dog, I have found people on the street are actually friendlier than usual. While we keep our required 6-foot distance, you’re more likely to get a greeting than not, in sort of a common celebration of the brief respite from our house arrest.
My wife and I have taken this opportunity to super-clean the house, working on a specific section for two hours a day. She FaceTimes every day with the grandchildren, and now that all her art shows are cancelled, she’s stared sewing face masks. I’ve never washed my hands so often. But in so many ways, I know I’m blessed. I feel sorry for the people who have lost their livelihood, who have been laid off or have seen their life’s work destroyed in a matter of days.
We’ve seen ignorance, denial and incompetence with some of our leaders, not really a surprise. Others have emerged as informative and comforting voices in this time of crisis. We will overcome this, and we will rebuild our lives and our economy. But the end isn’t in sight yet. Stay well, stay strong and stay committed to doing what is right.