Parts of Pandemic Prevail

Parts of Pandemic Prevail

And this is a good thing in many ways. I have just begun to put my toe in the waters of modifying my pandemic behaviors.

I still wear a mask when around other people, which is rare, mostly in doctors’ offices, PT, and other medical facilities. But since I’ve been fully vaccinated, and many others have as well, I’m feeling a little more freedom. I no longer sit in the back seat of my friend’s car with my mask on. What a relief to be sitting up front like an adult. I’ve actually been to a restaurant twice since a year ago March. Until now, the only restaurant visits have been in a drive-through venue. All of my leisure activities have been outside, walking in my neighborhood or at a metro park with my friend Dan.

But here’s the part I like. It was because of the pandemic that I asked Dan to take us to a park to walk, because Dora was so bored, and so was I. We have been visiting all 19 metro parks, repeating our favorites, once a week. Afterward, we go to a drive-through restaurant for lunch, so that means at least one meal a week that I don’t have to prepare or plan for. The masks come down while we’re outside, but the fun continues.

I’m not a movie buff, but I love classical music concerts and musicals. I’ve attended more this past year than usual, because I watch them on Zoom. The tickets are much less expensive than theater tickets, and I have the best seat in the house. I wear my wireless headset, and the music is as alive as if I were right there on stage.

One night last year, ProMusica presented a concert in drive-in movie style. We put our chairs in front of our parked car and enjoyed the music outside and with plenty of distance from other music-lovers. I hope they do that again, but now they are presenting special programming for Zoom performances, and aside from having to enjoy them alone, I can hear the music better that way.

Grocery-shopping is a real challenge for my non technical brain, as I have to fill out an order form on line. It’s not easy, especially when the “dictate” function doesn’t understand what I said, but the flip side of this task is that I often stumble on to products I had never heard of. It’s been fun to try new treats that a human shopper might not mention as we fly by with our cart. There is the positive side, but I’ll be so glad to go to the store myself with a friend again.

My church and Sunday School are now both on Zoom and in person for those who feel a closer relationship to God if they worship in His house. They keep urging me to join them, and I keep saying no. What they don’t understand is that it’s not that I don’t have to get dressed in street clothes or to get a ride, although to tell the truth, that’s part of it. It’s just off-putting to sit 6 feet away from everybody and not shake hands or tell who’s speaking to me behind that mask.

Perhaps the part that I hope never goes away is the ACB Community Calls. These are Zoom meetings, seminars, and conversations for fun with other blind folks around the world. We talk about everything from guide dogs to reminiscing about our childhoods. We are making the best of the pandemic. I’m dipping in my toe, but I’m not jumping in and making a big splash.

Mary Hiland

Author of

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


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

Available at


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