philosophymom (philosophymom) wrote,

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Twelve months later...

This week's Friday Five is a "taking stock of quarantine" question set. A year ago, I was one of the naive people, confident that the experts would have everything sorted in a few months. Twelve months down the road, I haven't lost my faith in expertise, but I have been reminded of how many other things (besides the hard work of smart people) are involved in solving problems.

I have not had a terrible quarantine.* Now, that's not to say that I've enjoyed it, but I must admit that COVID hasn't deprived me of too many desirable things that I wasn't already being deprived of. My social life and travel opportunities were already close to nil, and I hadn't sung in my beloved community chorus for some years. Okay, thanks to the virus I did have to give up attending concerts and plays, which stung hard (some of the tickets were already bought!); and the church music activities I normally supervise were radically curtailed. Also, my day job suddenly got three times harder to do, which is not what one expects more than 30 years into a career. On the other hand, my Sherlock Holmes pals embraced online meetings with gusto, so that remained a fun distraction. And, most importantly -- family being my main thing -- my closest family members were all in my bubble.

* Yes, my mom died this year, but I am not charging that to COVID.

But maybe I should just answer the questions.

1. In what ways has pandemic life been positive for you?
Things that went better for me than for many:
  • I stayed employed, and at the same rate of pay (okay, I even got cost-of-living bumps at two jobs).
  • I didn't get COVID-19, and neither did anyone close to me.
  • I wasn't isolated from close family.
"Silver lining"-type benefits:
  • During the work-from-home months, I saved a lot on both gasoline costs and wear & tear on the car.
  • Being out and about less, I ate a lot less processed food.
  • Number Three Son's graduation/departure from of my orbit was rendered more of a soft launch, and I think we both enjoyed all the extra time we spent together.
  • Working from home gave me a sufficiently flexible schedule that I could be on the regular roster of daytime babysitters for my grandson (both my son & DIL worked outside the home, so they still needed childcare). I will always be grateful for our Fridays.
Actual aspects of stay-at-home life that I found positive in and of themselves:
  • Ummm..... none. I am not a home-body, and enforced at-homeness doesn't suit me, especially given that I'm not retired and therefore still have to fulfill all my regular responsibilities from wherever I am. Ask me about it when I'm actually retired and time at home is truly leisure time.
2. Where (and how often) did you get your pandemic news this past year?
I.e., Where do I get my news in general?
  • NPR -- I actually listen to the radio, though they do put it all online as well
  • Late-night TV -- specifically, Colbert, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Sam Bee, and Trevor Noah
  • Facebook -- okay, not directly, but my feed was always full of links to relevant articles, and I used it as a portal to access the ones from reputable sources. Though I subscribe online to both the NYT and the Washington Post, I'm not in the habit of going straight to their sites to peruse headlines
I checked in with all of them daily.

3. Where did you find unexpected comfort in these crazy twelve months?
Unexpected comfort? I'd have to say that whatever comfort I received came from sources like family, food, music, TV, and maybe even God -- i.e., the usual suspects.

4. What are some little things you miss most about what used to be normal life?
I'm not sure what counts as a "little" thing, but I miss
  • Salad bars and hot food bars in grocery stores Wegman's
  • Being able to move around and write on the board in a classroom
  • Singing in the same room with other people
  • Pub trivia
  • Extended family birthday parties
  • Going to the movies
  • Eating in restaurants
  • Trying on clothes in a store (I am one of those people who has to try on in person)
  • Going to plays
  • Baseball games
  • My not-infrequent day trips to New York
I will happily wear a mask in public forever if I can have those other things back.

5. What do you think life will be like twelve months from now?
Fairly like what it was pre-COVID, but with more masks and (voluntarily) smaller crowds. This assumes (naively) that most people will be getting vaccinated, which I will certainly do as soon as I can manage to get an appointment.

Tags: covid, friday five, memes

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