At first it seemed quaint — being sheltered in place — waiting for the Coronavirus to strike the USA! Daughter Linda was in the hospital with appendicitis, but needed to be shipped out to make room for Coronavirus victims, hoping she would be OK until hospital space became available. Elective surgery or retail to go became commonplace. And families found themselves working at home, wondering how to handle various school email accounts, internet access, video meet-ups. Especially hard if you have different aged kids. Many parents just gave up, feeling very guilty, At least families saved money on gas as cars remained parked most days on both sides of the street.
Young parents with little children had moved into my block — some who preferred working at home. It was interesting to see how their back yards particularly, would change as they perhaps first built a tree house, then a swing or two added and as the summer wended on, a huge plastic swimming pool. Neighbors with kids would share backyards while sipping a drink or two on a front porch. By contrast, a total of 56,597 people had been tested for COVID-19 in April. But these creative parents used the healthy air to invigorate their activities in the months to come, some including us older folks as we’d bring a chair and a glass of wine street side for an hour of gossip. Both Linda and my neighbor Laurel finally had their surgeries in June.
It’s the kind of day that invited me out for a quick brisk walk – enjoying the gentle wind caressing my face as I headed for a part of the neighborhood I’d not visited for a very long time, reminding me of windy walks on a Greek Island or that interesting rock of Gibraltar on a similar fall season. As a child I’d have make believe travels as I rode my bike, pretending it was Elizabeth Taylor’s horse in Blue Velvet or Judy Garland hunting for the Wizard of Oz. It was MGM movies that convinced me I wanted to live a life of adventure and wonder. And so I did. Yet I am enjoying my quiet life when resisting turning on the evening political news. Though it is exhilarating for us who believe in acceptance of the winning presidential candidate, losing re-election was horrifying for the man terrified of losing. Living in a country divided into red and blue states is not an enjoyable experience. And the Coronavirus surge bringing us COVID hell does not help. What is certain is we got here from people giving the virus to each other. On the streets where I live, when out walking one person steps on the street leaving the other to remain on the sidewalk. Easy to do in a neighborhood as friendly as ours.
A war goes on whether or not we ignore it, between the democratic President Elect and the loser, President Trump, republican, who refuses to see himself as “a loser”, a word he has used frequently in reference to others — but never himself. Each side has thousands of supporters, each seeing their candidate as the ‘winner’. The President is convinced ballots must have been miscounted. Thus he has his lawyers and supporters involved in miscounting them all! In the meantime, the Covid surge overwhelms hospitals across America forcing many governors to issue a stay-at-home advisory.
These pleasant walks in a delightful neighborhood may be few and far between. Living such restrictive lives in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused hundreds of thousands of U.S. deaths, with a President continuing to throw rallies with thousands of citizens crowded together, few wearing masks, encourages many to gravitate back to old habits of excessive partying at home and the many public places still open. The mounting deaths occurring at hospitals across the nation are still ignored by many. But what about Thanksgiving?