Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pandemica Pros and Cons

I'm having trouble coming to terms with my freedom.  A part of me wants to extend my term of imprisonment.  I'm going to miss Pandemica... at least, some parts of it.

A second dose of the Moderna vaccine will be shot into my arm on Saturday.  After I recover and wait 14 days, it's unlikely that the disease will hospitalize me.  This is different from my original hypothesis, the one that went once I'm inoculated, I'll be safe.  Safety is relative when it comes to COVID 19, it seems.  

I might get sick, but I won't take up a hospital bed.  That's good news, except for the parts where I think about my friends who are long haulers, who never went to the ER, who were never admitted to clinical care, but who are gasping while walking up the stairs months after they were "over it".  

I'll be wearing a mask forever, I think.  Scarred lungs are not the gift I want to give my aging body.  

I'll visit with vaccinated friends, inside, hugging and sharing food and drink and mask-less conversations that I can actually hear.  (Don't get me started on masks and hearing aids.... wearing them, conversing behind them,  hanging on to them when they fly across the car.)  I'll dine al fresco with Lady Jane. I'll play mahjong with Scarlet at her dining room table.  I'll drive aimlessly around town practicing left turns and parallel parking with Mr. 15 and his learner's permit (windows open; he had the disease and is - theoretically - unable to pass it on). 

I'll go into Whole Foods and pick my own produce.  

That needs to stand alone as a statement of all I've missed.  As Not-Kathy says, How do those shoppers know exactly which tomato I  don't  want?  I have spent a year with bruised bananas, squashed grapes, and melons that didn't ripen even after a month on the counter.  I want apricots and plums and peaches.  I want sweet corn and baking potatoes of just the right size.  I want to be tempted by ugli fruit and pears from Chile.  After not hugging my grandchildren, not picking my own fruit has been the worst part of pandemica.

I've missed my Prince kindergardeners and gardeners and teachers.  I've missed my servers at Ghini's and Sylvia, the cashier at Barnes and Noble who moved there after Linens and Things closed and who always shares San Francisco stories.  I've missed the french fries at Wildflower and hot pizza anywhere.  

I won't miss making 3 meals a day for 2 people, each of whom used to be able to take care of most breakfasts and lunches on our own.  I won't miss mopping my own floors (okay, I'm a princess.... I can take the abuse.... I can't stand doing the floors).  

While I have enjoyed the on-line Pilates classes the studio has provided, I will be very glad to get back into the welcoming embrace of those who know how to push me harder, how to align my body just so, and who have the fancy pieces of equipment that I just didn't replicate at home.  A towel, a mat, a magic circle,

and a roller have kept me going for the past year, but working on the reformer and the cadillac

and the pedi-pull
with trained instructors enhances my performance.  Plus, I miss my friends, those who sweat beside me, groan with me, and laugh about it afterwards.  It's easier to quit a taped lesson than it is to walk out of a session in the studio.  Believe me.  I've turned off or fast forwarded through more of the video classes than I ought to admit.

But there's been a serenity to this time that I will miss.  Once I got used to it, I found a rhythm that was soothing and amusing.  The 23 book series I read last March got me over the beginning.  I hid within the world Dana Stabenow created, and I was fine.  I emerged for meals, but otherwise I was in Alaska.  

Once I faced the situation squarely, I ordered cleaning supplies and ebooks and started puttering in the garden.  We ate when we felt like it and went outside when it suited us.  My garden was pruned to within an inch of its life. I got dirty i the middle of the day and didn't have to shower and go meet someone... I could rest my achy hip and go back out to dig.  

Without structure, days of the week became irrelevant.  We marked the passage of time by FaceTiming with FlapJilly and Giblet while they ate their dinner.  We watched the 2 year old develop language and emotional maturity.  We stood in awe as FlapJilly blossomed into a girl who reads chapter books and is tall enough to turn on the kitchen faucet without a step stool. That happened before our very eyes, every single day.

Little Cuter gets to unload her day to her parents.  Grandkids get to play silly hiding games behind their hands.  Grandparents get to wallow in the everyday life of those who live far far away from us.  This is a tradition that, I hope, does not end with the acquisition of vaccines.

I hope I remember how it felt to have unlimited stretches of time, with no required activities.  

I want to retain the (relative) lack of clutter that staring at the same spaces every single day forced me to notice and remove.  

I want to snuggle into a chair for 5 hours of reading without any sense that there is something else I ought to be doing.

I want to remain mindful of the quiet spaces, to revel in them rather than look to fill them.

I want to take time every morning to watch the birds in the rosemary and every afternoon to watch the bees replace them.

There's a lot to look forward to doing and seeing and feeling.  It can't come soon enough.  I just want to remember to hang on to the parts of Pandemica that enriched my life.   


  1. Yes, yes and yes!! Excellent post!

    1. It's funny that I am missing something that annoyed me for a whole year!


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