Day 73 at home. This is our new normal. There are things I like about home confinement and there are things I do not. I like sleeping late once in a while and staying up late binging on new steaming shows. I also like the quiet to write this blog and to work on the beginnings of a memoir. My husband and I are wonderful partners to each other in this difficult time. While I miss the occasional dinner out or dinner parties at home or running errands to different stores, I am happy to forgo that to be safe.
In order to keep happy and mentally stable, and avoid being in a dark anxious place, I have been watching less TV news and watching more streaming series and movies. I still read two newspapers every morning but find myself going more to sections like Technology and Arts while reading less about the virus and the insane actions of our country’s leadership.
As I look out at our country, I marvel at the rancor. How could face masks and voting by mail have become so divisive? How could a pandemic become a red and blue issue? An article in today’s New York Times, The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live, provides some insight into why red and blue America have such different responses. To date the virus has been worse in the costal (blue) cities and in minority (blue) communities. We also do not have a president who makes any attempt to bring the country together, preferring to stoke division, hatred, and chaos. We are living in strange and dangerous times.
I remember hearing older people say that given all the bad things happening in the world they were glad to be at the end of their lives. I feel that way a little bit. While I am certainly not at the end of my life, I do feel that it is my son who will have to live through the ramifications of this era more than I will. I worry for our country and the direction it is taking and I worry that America will no longer be the bastion of freedom in the world that it has aspired to be since it’s founding. America is becoming something else and what that will be is not clear yet.
As I continue to read about the novel coronavirus, I fear that the stupidity of so many in this country to rush back to their old lives will lead to a significant increase in illness and death. As someone with a chronic illness and over the age of sixty, I damn well plan to protect myself from the virus with gloves, mask, and distance. Why would I not wear a mask and gloves to go to the supermarket? Why would I take the risk?
My brother is planning to take his family from their home in the western part of the USA to my parents summer home in New England. I am not sure we can even get the house opened up in June, depending on when the stay at home orders begin to lift, but beyond that, I worry about the risk he is taking. I asked my brother if he was concerned about taking three planes to get to New England and he said no. I would be concerned getting in any plane at this point in time.
With a virus that spreads silently through asymptomatic carriers how can anyone feel safe on an airplane or in a restaurant? We still do not fully understand the infection risk of aerosolized breathing as a vehicle of virus transmission. There is so much we are still learning about this virus.
So for now, I am happy to stay separate and protect myself from the pandemic and to practice social isolation from the craziness I see in the country.