The Pandemic Months March-July 2020


Marsha circa 2020
Marsha circa 2020 – my office

We had a last trip to Pittsburgh in early March for a Pens game. Then I had to rush to New York for work.  It was on that trip that I could see the country was going to shut down.  The virus was lurking.  I did not like being on a plane.  I did not like travelling.  It was making me nervous even then.

I got home and the cancellations began, the closures, the shut down.  Yes, we have been home bound since March and I have to be honest with you, not much in my life has changed.  I have worked at home for 20 years.  I was telecommuting before it became a thing.  And I kept right on working. I have been incredibly busy dealing with coronavirus issues.

The rest of our life did not change much either.  We don’t have kids, we don’t have commitments.  We are unto ourselves in that way.  While I know you would not believe this, Matt and I are quite happy to stay home.  We aren’t big socializers.  We have a few friends, but it is not like we go out and see people every weekend.  We have everything we need right here in our own house—restaurant, gym, movie theater, garden and park.  We are on-line shoppers so who cares about going to the mall.  I haven’t been in a mall in years.  So we are fine staying home.  I go out to do the grocery shopping, mask and gloves at the ready.  But other than that, we are existing in our own world.  We eat take out on Saturday to help restaurants. We watch movies.  Oddly, I don’t miss hockey.  It is just too late now.  I have no interest in whatever they plan on doing to start up again.

Concerts are one thing we really do miss.  We had tickets to see the Foo Fighters this summer and a few other shows.  All of our theater and concert tickets were cancelled, and I had to navigate refunds and credits.  But somehow, we carry on.

It is the inability to travel that is killing us.  We had plans to go to Peru this year.  Well, that is not happening.  Back in May we talked about taking a car trip in the U.S. later this year, but given the current situation, where would we be able to go and feel okay about it?  This country is a mess.  Places we thought we could drive to are hot spots now.  It is just not worth the hassle.

So we wait.  As we wait, I realized that this has taken away something very basic to us–we have nothing to look forward to.  Our trips, even the ones to Pittsburgh or New York were something we could always call on to get us through the week.  We are going somewhere.  Some adventure.  We would have a trip planned and head toward that date knowing we were on our way to something new and different.  When we are at our wits end, we look at each other and say, let’s get out of here.  Twice we have ended up in the South Pacific.  Sometimes we have ended up in Bermuda.  Now we are going nowhere.  Maybe we will pull off something spontaneous if the circumstances change but I am not going to put much hope in it.  Aye, there is the rub.  No hope.

That does not mean our lives have been static.

Matt’s mom has pancreatic cancer.  She is going through treatments and we have to take care of a lot of stuff because, you know, the U.S. health care system is based on the assumption that family members are part of the medical staff.  Matt goes to doctor’s appointments, talks to the doctors and nurses to straighten out issues.  After she had major surgery, they sent her home, too early in our opinion, and Matt had night nurse duty for several days.  I work on cooking things she might be able to eat and keeping her pantry filled.

We have been to two COVID funerals—Matt’s uncle and his 99-year old grandmother, both contracting the virus while in nursing homes.  Matt helped to put his grandmother’s funeral on Zoom.  Imagine.

And just this past week our beloved cat Izzy had to be put to sleep.  He developed liver cancer, the tumors had spread throughout his organs, and he went downhill pretty quickly.  We had a few weeks with him after diagnosis.  Nothing could be done, and we finally made the decision to let him go.  We’ve been crying for weeks.  I’ll write about that separately

Hey, and let’s pile on top of all this stress a pandemic and righteous protests and that horrible person in the WH and, man, I am depressed and angry.

How do I handle that?  First, I have started trolling Trump on Twitter.  It sure does help me vent.  He puts himself out there to be called a dumb ass and I am happy to go there. When I hear journalists covering the WH say that you have to respect the office, well, no.  The man in the office should earn or warrant our respect.  You don’t get respect based on a title.  Trump has done nothing to suggest that he is entitled to any respect.  In fact, he invites derision by acting like a third grader.  So just like in third grade, we give back what he gives.  God bless America and free speech.

We did not go to any BLM protests, mostly because we were not willing to ride the subway and we were never going to find parking close enough for Matt to make the walk.  But our spirit was with them and if there is a protest on the Mall in the coming months (I believe there will be) we may be able to attend that.  I look forward to it.

I have been pining to help tear down a confederate statue.  That would give me so much joy.  Pulling down Robert E. Lee would be something to check off my bucket list.  The Lost Cause has been an irritant to me for decades.  But I never know when they are going to do it.  I am not on all of the social media apps so it is not easy to find folks who are planning an ambush.  But I am with them in spirit and maybe one day I can get in on one.  And by the way, good riddance to Columbus as well.

That is my mind set and activities during the pandemic.  Just trying to stay sane but with nothing to look forward to.

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