As of now, I am sitting across from you with my coffee beside me. I can hear the sound of rainfall against the skylight above my head. I am in my loft (of course) and looking out my window at the slick wet streets.
The sky is gray and the trees are exceptionally green for some reason. My road is always quiet. I suppose this is why I moved here to begin with. I suppose I’ve been practicing social distancing since before it was cool. This is why I moved here.
I moved here for the quiet. I moved here because of a vision I had for myself after reading something written by Fulghum.
As for now, I suppose no one thought any of this would go on for as long as it has. I’m not sure what we thought back in March when the shutdown began. I suppose most of us thought this would only be for a few weeks or maybe a month, at the most. And here we are, 156 days later and the answers are still unclear.
156 days is a little more than 22 weeks, which means we’ve been living this way for more than 5 months now, and the road ahead is still unclear.
I was one of those so-called “essential” workers, which means I have been coming to and from the city during the worst times.
I was careful, of course, and I’m still careful now. I washed my hands, which, in fairness is something I am extremely surprised that we have to remind people to do. Again, this another thing I’ve been doing since before it was cool.
I stay distant from people and I’ve been mindful of my civic responsibility. And what I mean is, I wear a mask whether I like it or not. I am not someone that sees masks as a political choice. Instead, I wear a mask because I’m not a scientist. I don’t know much about viruses. I don’t care to discuss which side is right or wrong. I just want my city back.
I’m not sure how politics have become the new religion nor does it make sense to me that politicians have replaced the advice of doctors.
The struggle we face is more than just a viral problem. We have financial concerns. We have social dilemmas. Depression is affecting people. Overdoses are hitting record numbers. Suicide is at a high and domestic violence is surging as well. Mental illness is proving itself to become painfully real.
There are plenty of messages and videos emphasizing the importance of self-care. There are articles and news clips and professional resources which discuss what to do, especially now during the pandemic. The truth is we all know what to do. Everyone knows to keep safe.
The problem is not the fact that people do not understand between right and wrong. More than anything, the problem is all of us have been locked down for a long time. Most people are fed up, which is leading to the signs of what we see now.
We have all been separated from our social understanding. Our routines have changed. Our usual circle of influence is now reduced to video chats. Meetings have changed to Zoom meetings online, which to be honest about this — the cool thing about Zoom meetings is you don’t even have to wear pants — just throw on a shirt and no one would ever know…
Work has changed. Stores are closed. Businesses have folded. Mortgage companies are giving forbearance plans that began with three months, then six, and it seems that plans are about to extend even further.
No one thought the virus would go on for this long. No one thought this would cripple us the way it has. In fairness, we are living at a wartime capacity. What’s next? Will they cancel Halloween?
As it is, kids already missed out on their usual rites of passage. I’m not sure how long it will be until we come to at least a hint of normalcy.
Or maybe this is normal. Maybe this little reflection and me, my cup of coffee and the sound of the rain crashing upon my rooftop is as normal as could be.
Maybe there is no “new normal.” Maybe there’s just you and me and too much time to think. Maybe we need to get out more. Maybe we need a show or listen to music somewhere.
I was thinking of the outdoor theater at Eisenhower Park near my old home. I was thinking about the big shell and the concerts that played here. I was thinking of late summers and the grassy hill by the theater covered with people sitting on blankets and listening to the band.
Of course we’re upset. Of course, we’re uptight. Look at what’s been going on over the last 156 days.
Here’s something to think about. There were reports of actual UFO videos. This was all over the news and nobody even cared. We were so gassed up about the pandemic that no one paid attention to anything else.
For now though, I am going to finish my coffee. I’m heading out to one of my groups. It looks like it will rain all day but what’s the difference? Most places are still closed.
Sounds like a good day to watch old movies and order in some Chinese food. A little mu-shu chicken goes great on days like today. I’d offer you some but hey, social distancing rules apply.
Stay safe out there, folks.