A week and a half ago I wrote about my debit card getting declined, and the embarrassment of having to leave behind an entire cart full of groceries. Little did I know how much I would need those items. The issue with my card was fine, but that set back left me without essentials, that are now impossible to find. The toilet paper I needed was not deemed essential at the time. Days later, toilet paper is the new gold. I am just praying my 8 rolls last until I can scavenge some more.
In the last week, a new concept has been born. “Social Distancing.” We now give air hugs and stand back 6 feet from everyone. Only 10 people allowed in a restaurant at a time. I haven’t seen my parents in a week, and it’s been days since I have seen my sister (we went for a walk outside). My daughter, deciding to stay at Penn State for Spring Break, suddenly became very scary. I am so grateful her dad was with her for several days and stocked her up on toilet paper and other grocery items. My son and many other high school and college seniors, suddenly have no closure and no graduations to look forward to in the foreseeable future.
I continue to go to work in a public building on a daily basis. That puts me, and many others in the same boat, in harm’s way. What does that mean for me? Isolation when I go home. Lots of Netflix. Working on a puzzle. And house projects. It also means getting creative. I am a social person. I need people in my life. So, one of my girlfriends and I go walking each day. My dog, is loving me being home so much. I have been working on his training. He is horrible on a leash. He is getting better and better every day. My girlfriends, well, we have discovered the awesomeness of FB Messenger group video chat. The first night we just had drinks together. Last night we had a dress up party. We all wore costume jewelry and tiaras. And I am at work today still sparkling from my glitter spray. Tomorrow night, we have game night. We are maintaining our social life, it’s just different. It’s a new world.
You see the best in people and the worst. I prefer to focus on the best. Murlarkey Distillery is using their sanitizing alcohol to make hand sanitizer to give out for free. Catoctin Creek Distillery is providing free sanitizing alcohol and will be making hand sanitizer soon. I have seen tip jars being posted in order to help bar and restaurant workers as they are unable to work. School food service and bus drivers are working tirelessly to make sure students in need get at least 2 free meals a day. The world is full of amazing people rising to the occasion.
There is fear. A lot of it. What’s next? How are people going to survive when they have no work? What happens when this is all over? Will we go back to who we were before all this happened? Will we take for granted how easy it was to by a roll of toilet paper or to be able to pick out the brand of bread we want? I can honestly say that what I miss the most, other than seeing my family and friends, are hugs. It’s wonderful to have Facetime and FB messenger. But I haven’t hugged anyone since I saw my boyfriend on Monday. Okay, I am lying a little. I have a dog that hugs. But it is a bit different than family or friends or significant others wrapping their arms around you and just holding you for a moment. Virtual hugs are nice, but not the same. I look forward to getting back to those intimate rituals we have with family and friends that we are missing out on.
For all the first responders, medical workers, people still working in bars/restaurants, people working in grocery stores and for the schools and food pantries…anyone still working to meet the needs of others, a great big THANK YOU! The world has made a shift. Suddenly, the world of Fortune 500 companies, the corporate world of mega bucks is no longer as important as the indivuals who continue to come in constant contact with strangers, amid a world-wide pandemic, to provide us with what we need.
What I hope to take from all of this, is to enjoy all the moments we are given and never ever take for granted the “things” we have in life. Because, in 1 day, the entire world could change before my eyes. We never really think that could happen, because very few can say they have seen that happen…until now.
I hope everyone stays safe. And when this is over and life gets back to normal, take time to really appreciate every hand shake, every hug, every person in your life.