I recently read an article titled,”You’ll probably forget what it was like to live during a pandemic,” published in Vice. In the opening paragraph, the author wrote, “Researchers say these months will eventually become a blur for those of us isolating at home.” Of course, for the people who lost loved ones to Covid or who suffered financial devastation, this time will forever be etched into their memory. They will find it hard to forget their losses.
Although I have seen other people suffer severe trauma, my own life has waxed and waned during the last few months. I want to remember the details, but find myself in a strange kind of place where sometimes I have no idea what day of the month it is, or even what day of the week. This led me to begin listing. Writing narratives is therapeutic for many people, but for others, it is exhausting and overwhelming. Lists can preserve the details while freeing us from editing. For this piece, I divided my lists into three categories, and I am including just some of my items. There are details that are universally the same and others that are unique to my experience.
Moments of change-
Social distancing, 6 feet apart, masks
No handshaking, hugging, or kissing
No eating out, going to movie theatres, dancing at wedding, etc
Advent of Zoom-5:00 every Sunday for the Winslows
Increased alcohol consumption
Husband and son home all the time
Shortages in the grocery store-why toilet paper?
Cooking more-learned to make yummy salmon from my neighbor
Addition of a one year old German shepherd named Tiny
Sold my home, even though not on the market
Bought another home, also not on the market
Moments of sadness-
Laura in ICU for days and not being able to visit or help
My friend burying her husband who died from cancer
Watching my parent’s dog, that was entrusted to my care, being hit by a car
Telling my parents that their dog was dead; adding to their loneliness; they are both in Hospice
Watching the numbers of deaths from the virus increasing rapidly
Viewing in horror the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer
Moments of Grace-
Finally being able to Zoom with Laura, and see that she is recovering
Sitting on the dock, 6 feet apart, and drinking a bottle of wine with my good friend
Listening to BlueGrass concerts played in the backyard of one of the houses on our little lake
Sitting by a campfire and sharing stories with another couple
Taking long walks and reconnecting with neighbors
Looking at funny pictures of my daughter’s new kittens
This time will pass, even though it feels like it will go on forever. I think there will be some things that never return; new normals will fill their void.