When the virus first arrived, I must admit that I was concerned. I am a senior and have been diagnosed with COPD, so there are a couple of strikes against me to be sure. As the pandemic gradually took hold, and we were asked to quarantine inside our homes, I wondered how I would manage this new reality.
Living alone had prepared me well for the “no contact” rule, but how would I get groceries and pet food and the one prescription that I take? Not to worry! My daughter insisted on getting these things for me, but she lives about a 45 minute drive away, so deliveries had to be co-ordinated. She would arrive with my shopping, leave it on the porch and stand well back for a brief visit. Our system worked fine, but it left me feeling sad (because I couldn’t touch her) and more isolated than I had ever imagined. I had never realized how much my social contacts meant to me; even those brief conversations with grocery store clerks, strangers on the street that say “hello”, weekly dinners with friends, the barmaids at my local pub, and acquaintances from classes that I take, I missed them all.
My friends and family are only a phone call away and in the beginning the calls were frequent, but when no one is going anywhere or doing anything, there becomes less and less to talk about. On a recent Saturday night, a friend decided to set-up a group video call for all of the regulars of karaoke. It was wonderful to see everyone and enjoy a virtual drink together.
The truth is I missed those people even more when the call ended. It made me sad to think that this damn virus was stealing precious time from me. The reality is that the longest part of my life is behind me not ahead of me. There are so many things I still want to do and time does not stand still, even for Covid-19.
I am also blaming this bloody infection for turning me into an eating machine. I must finally admit that unhealthy eating is my coping mechanism for depression. The strangest things have become my cravings. Items such as licorice all-sorts, cinnamon buns, and marshmallows to name but a few.
My cravings led me to take the chance on a trip to the grocery store. I did not want to add junk food and wine to my shopping list because my daughter thinks I am a responsible person, and I did not want to dispel that myth.
The grocery store venture gave me the courage to join the line at a local liquor store. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Even the lengthy, socially-distanced line could not deter me. It was my chance to interact socially with strangers, and it filled that void albeit temporarily.
Well, weeks turned into months. I missed my life, my hair was a mess, my feet looked like they belonged to an unidentifiable creature, and I followed our infection numbers like the stock market. We were indeed “flattening the curve”, but what next?
Several weeks ago, we moved into Phase 1 of opening our area. It didn’t really mean much to me because the places included in this phase were of little interest, but then we reached Phase 2. I was ecstatic! That first week, I went to the dentist, the hairdresser, had drinks on a patio, had a pedicure, and dinner with friends, all maintaining proper protocol and safety rules. It was better than winning the lottery.
This virus has reiterated what I already knew. It is the little things in life that bring me joy, and most importantly, it is the people in my life that matter most. We are not out of the woods yet, so keep following the rules. There will be life beyond Covid-19.
Thanks for reading,
Penny xo ♥