Putting my toe in the water

It’s been 3 months since I’ve been anywhere but my own house and on the streets of my own neighborhood. My entertainment has been walking Dora, attending Zoom meetings, talking on the phone with friends, learning to use this confounded new computer, and cleaning house.

Twice, my son and his significant other have been over for dinner. The first time, Mother’s Day, he brought lunch. They ate at the table on the patio while I sat just inside the kitchen door, so we could see and hear each other, but there was no touching or even sharing beverages and silverware. They brought their own. It was lovely that they took such care, but oh so awkward. Then last week, I made dinner for them, and this time, we all sat outside, but again, we were careful not to touch or be in the kitchen at the same time. It is our habit for me to do the cooking, and then Steve serves up the plates, and of course, there was lots of hand-washing. My friend Dan comes over on some Saturdays to help me with outside chores, and my friend Valerie comes to help with computer stuff, but we sit in the garage with masks on and with both doors open.

Oh yes, I did have company 3 times, the plumber, the washer repair man, and the cable guy. Until recently, I’ve been fine with all this, even proud of my diligence, but you know what? Pandemic fatigue has finally crept into my attitude. I no longer wear a mask when I’m walking around the neighborhood, but I do wear a cap, which I whip off and use to cover my nose and mouth when passing someone who is standing too close to the sidewalk for my comfort. I cancelled my haircut, because I just wasn’t ready. However, my hair was hanging down in my face and over my ears, so I had to do something. No, I didn’t cut it myself, but I did find a beautician who came to my house yesterday and cut my hair in my front yard.

I long to be with friends, have people over for dinner, and go out for a meal, but I’m just not ready to put my toe in the water. I’m afraid that it will look like gentle waves, and then the undertow will carry me away to the depths of the ocean. I pray to God that the people who are splashing around gleefully are not swept away into the depths of the virus. It’s so easy to get cocky.

Yes, I too am sick of only communicating to a screen, and yes, I long to be touched. And yes, I’m missing my granddaughter’s graduation, which makes me so sad. And I’m mad that there will be no arts festivals or state fairs or concerts in the park. And we’ve postponed the Hen Hike to the spring, for the first time in 20 years. I’m going to miss hiking in the fall. I can’t ride my tandem bike all summer,. I used to laugh and say “I can’t ride, because I can’t be 6 feet away from my captain,” but it isn’t funny anymore.

But enough of my whining. People are very sick. People are dying. Loved ones are grieving. People, Covid 19 is not over. Calm down. Be wary of wading in the waters of open bars and restaurants and especially crowds of 15,000 people packed into a stadium for a political speech. The rip tide of Covid 19 could carry you away and many of those you love. Swim at your own risk.

Mary Hiland

Author of

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir

And

Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life

Available at www.dldbooks.com/maryhiland

www.seeingitmyway.com

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