Life During A Pandemic

COVID 19. Coronavirus.

These words have completely changed our world.

Normal is not a thing anymore. Nothing about life right now is normal. The term “new normal” is thrown around in all aspects of life. I’m not sure normal, new or not, will ever be a thing again.

When the stay home orders and closures started in mid March, I tried to take it all in stride. I mean, yeah, I was concerned about the virus, and keeping it away from myself and my family. But, I figured this would be a pretty easy thing to ride out. It would only last a short time and then life would go on.

But the first time I went into the grocery store after people started panic buying, I was in shock. I was completely overwhelmed at how bare the grocery store shelves were. Not even just the toilet paper shelves. It was like someone had announced that all grocery stores would be closing forever and so people stocked up. On everything! All the things! Yes, I was able to get a lot of what I was looking for that day. But there were also plenty of things I couldn’t. And it’s not been any better in subsequent trips to the store. If people had just continued buying like they normally do, I think the stores would have been able to keep up.

After that shocking trip to the store, I’ll admit that I got scared. The number of cases here and around the country were going up fast. So many businesses were closed. Wearing a mask to get groceries became something I needed to think about, as well as wearing gloves. I didn’t even want to go to the store! We decided here at our house that I would be the only one to go into the grocery store or the pharmacy when needed. My husband is in the high risk group for this virus, so there was no chance we were letting him go into the store. I wore gloves only a couple of times. I started just being careful to not touch my face and sanitized my hands before and after a store trip. And I washed my hands after getting home and putting things away. But I did start wearing a mask. A very kind friend made masks for each of us here. I owe her breakfast when we can do that again. A debt I will gladly pay.

For a while, I was glued to social media. It seemed I couldn’t get enough info about this virus, the numbers, the stories, all of it. But, it took a short time to realize that all that info was creating anxiety. I worried about everything! I’d cry sometimes in the mornings, over coffee, before anyone else was up. They don’t know that. Tears would be long since dried up and I’d be going about my business in the house before anyone got out of bed. I had to stop reading the news on social media, or at least cut my scrolling time way back. And that definitely helped!

I started doing more of the things I love instead of spending time scrolling. Getting my camera out always puts a smile on my face. I’ve done lots of reading. I done lots of puzzle work online and have been working to finish a jigsaw puzzle I started a few months ago. I’ve spent more time outside, even on the chilly days. I’ve watched lots of Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. I even got myself an island! That’s right, I’m playing Animal Crossing and I’m loving it!

We’ve managed to avoid the virus here so far. But, I have extended family members who did test positive and they were pretty sick for a while. But they pulled through, thank goodness! My heart aches for all the families around the world who have lost a loved one. Worrying about family staying healthy has been a big deal for me. And not being able to see them has been one of the hardest things for me. We are expecting a grandchild in August. And not being able to see our son and his wife during this pregnancy has been the hardest thing for me. Yes, video chatting with them is awesome! Just seeing their faces and hearing their voices is fantastic. But, not being able to see them and hug them just really sucks! This is not how we planned on preparing for a grand child. We are even thinking about doing a virtual baby shower because so much is uncertain about the next few months. I hope so very much that things are better enough in August so that we can be there when this baby arrives.

As bad as things have been, there are some positive things as well. Nature isn’t closed. I love to be out in nature and take nature photos! So we have made regular trips to local parks on days when the weather cooperates. That’s good for all of us, fresh air and time away from the house. I like to call it therapy. We’ve tackled a couple of projects at home. Everyone pitches in when it’s cleaning day. We have a bidet now. We didn’t completely run out of toilet paper, but we came very close. We are saving gas. We are saving miles on our vehicles. We cook at home most nights, but also make a point to support local restaurants that offer delivery or pickup. And, as I said, we are all still healthy. Trying to focus on the positive things has helped me a lot!

One thing that has not changed is my commitment to workouts. That’s good for my emotional wellness as well as my physical health. Chris Freytag and GHUTV, plus all the trainers there have gone above and beyond to keep us motivated to keep working out. Look for a post about that in the future. I’ve even started doing some meditation. Meditation is brand new to me, something I started during this crazy time. It really helps!

There is so much uncertainty about the future. When will the stay home orders finally be lifted? When can we see family who don’t live in our house? When can we gather in small groups? Will we ever be comfortable in a restaurant again? Will we ever feel safe in large groups of people? Will social distancing become something we deal with all the time? Will masks remain a part of daily life? Will toilet paper become something we take for granted again? Will the grocery store shelves ever be full again? Will we learn anything from this situation?

What a year this has been already! I can only hope that things get better. I’d rather not go through all of this again.

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