Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Covid B Gone

Terry here. The question this week is: How has your life, and way of living in general, changed since “Lockdown Life” began a year ago? Are there parts of your life that have changed for the better? Anything that will stick, even when life gets back to “normal”? 

 I loved my life before Covid. I loved hunkering down in my office and writing all day, then cooking at the end of the day and reading or watching TV. I loved getting lots of exercise—going to the gym to take my step class; taking walks, or spending a half hour on the elliptical trainer or the stationary bike. I loved having dinner parties or parties in general. And I loved going out sometimes in the evenings—to the theater, musical events, to friends’ houses, or to dinner. I also loved traveling, pretty much anywhere. 

                                            Zion National Park

I liked the experience of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling new things. I liked hearing foreign languages being spoken. I liked navigating the oddities of cultural differences (and that includes in other states). And I absolutely loved getting together with other writers. At SinC or MWA meetings, with my two writing groups, or at conferences. 

                                            Conference delight

 Since Covid shut us down, I still hunker down in my office and write, cook at the end of the day, read, and watch TV. I still got lots of exercise, but without the gym and all the people I had come to enjoy in step class (Mary, Carol, the other Terry, Shango, to mention a few). But the rest of it is gone. Gone. 

 I suppose I should feel grateful that I had a good life before shutdown, and that I have a husband and close friends that I trust to mingle with—in the backyard. I’m grateful that I have a backyard and live where I can take nice walks. But I’ve become acutely aware of the passage of time, of the days, months, weeks, in which I don’t get to do many of the things I love. 

I hope nothing of these changes stick when life gets back to normal. I’ve been living an attenuated life and I don’t like it. I’ve had some distanced dinner parties with 2-4 friends in the backyard, bundled up and still cold, trying to laugh and enjoy it. 

                                            A cold Thanksgiving meal.

I’ve taken masked and distanced walks with friends whom I trust to be careful not to get exposed to the virus. 

 I resent the hell out of people who refuse to take the virus seriously and who proclaim that they refuse to “live in fear.” I think if they had taken it seriously and been careful, the virus would have taken fewer lives and would have been tamed faster. And I wonder, in my country, when looking out for the health and welfare of others by simply wearing a mask and keeping distance, came to be translated as “living in fear.” I wonder if they ever give a thought to 500,000 people who have died, and whom they refuse to honor by inconveniencing themselves. That’s one thing that may stick—my realization that there are some profoundly self-absorbed people in the world. 

 As for the second part of the question, no, absolutely nothing in my life has changed for the better. Some things are different. I know now that Zoom meetings can be used in place of in-person meetings. And that means that sometimes people who wouldn’t be able to be with each other in person might be able to see each other and talk. But Zoom will never take the place of being together in a room, laughing, hugging, mingling. 

And there are a few things I’ve become more appreciative of—my husband’s sense of humor for sure. My home, my health. The only thing that will “stick” is my understanding of how cruelly capricious life can be…but I already knew that. I won’t miss being unable to forget it for hours or days at a time, though. If life ever does get back to what we carelessly called “normal.” 


 Update: Monday morning the 7 Criminal Minds Team got the terrible news that one of our members, Paul D. Marks died. Our thoughts are with his family. We will publish a tribute to Paul when we’ve had a chance to reflect. 

 Meanwhile, those of you who have read and enjoyed his books, please consider that he has the following available for Anthony consideration: 

 The Blues Don’t Care, a paperback original, Down and Out Books An anthology Paul co-edited WITH Andrew MacAleer, COAST TO COAST, plus a story in it - "Nowhere Man". Down and Out Books

1 comment:

Susan C Shea said...

Soon, soon, soon...?