I think everyone is doing a lot of thinking about what they were doing a year ago today. I know I am.
I just looked at my dining room table and remembered my grandsons being here at the beginning of the pandemic. So many thoughts whirred through my head—how scared we were—how unbelievable it all was—how I was always trying to figure out what to make for dinner for college-aged kids—how we couldn’t find toilet paper or hand sanitizer or masks.
I remember getting my neighbor masks for her and her husband. I left them out on the bench by our front door. She’d wanted to pay me for them, and I’d said, “Don’t even worry about it.” When she picked up the masks, she left me a spray can of Lysol. I was so grateful, I got tears in my eyes.
That established a pattern of neighbors helping neighbors through the months. We kept in touch by phone, email or text. If someone needed something, we all pitched in to help—even if it wasn’t in person.
This was about the time I started using Shipt. I didn’t go to a grocery story for months. I did have to go to Costco myself because I needed to have my Shingles shot booster. I was so nervous!
This is also when we became addicted to Netflix and Prime Video. Through the grapevine or our kids, we’d hear about a great series. My husband is a binge watcher while I like to space things out. He went ahead in “Yellowstone” and I felt like he’d cheated on me!
Eventually, we had our first socially distanced cocktail hour with our neighbors. It was the first of many.
I haven’t written in my blog for a while. I had a writing project to finish and then other projects to work on. My mind was taken up by working out how we can help the 600 furloughed people on the resort property we live on in Hawaii. When the hotel and the rest of the facilities closed, people became unemployed. Most still are. I’m on a board that normally works to help the employees with medical needs and by giving scholarships. Since March, we’ve twice given out gift cards to Target, Costco and grocery stores to our employees.
We came to Hawaii on December 8, planning on returning to California on April 20. Because of Covid-19, we are still here.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. It is a beautiful place to ride out the pandemic. We are fairly safe here although today 55 new cases were reported–the most ever. I know that might not seem like many compared to the surges in other places. But, we are a small place with minimum medical facilities. People are not good about social distancing–maybe people are complacent because they think they are safe in the islands. Some believe it’s nothing more than the flu. Some believe it could never happen to them so they have family gatherings and parties.
If I ever get down about not seeing my kids and grandkids and our dog, I tell myself to get over it. We are so fortunate that I can only be grateful. (I tell myself five things I am grateful for every night. It helps me fall asleep–sometimes.)
My husband and I are staying close to home. I don’t cook every night–maybe four times a week. He’s a grazer and doesn’t want to have to sit down to a meal–and I don’t want to set the table every night either! When our grandkids were here for seven weeks, we did sit down together for dinner every night–it was a ritual we needed.
My relationship with my husband is different now. We spend much of the day in the same space, which can lead to getting on each other’s nerves. The television is a bone of contention–he plays his war movies way too loud. I’m jumpy enough without hearing shooting and shouting all day long. He gets annoyed when I ask him to turn it down or play the sound through his hearing aids. Isn’t that what they are for? On the other hand, we watch more television together than we ever have. We enjoy that time very much–enjoy each other during that time.
When I look at pictures of the Corona Virus from under a microscope, I’m struck by how pretty it looks. How can something so virulent look so nice?