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Pandemic Feels

Posted in Random Personal Nonsense

On some level, it’s true. We are all supposed to be practicing the same measures to keep ourselves safe. But what I learn when I talk to people in those little video squares on my computer is that there are a lot of ways to feel and be right now, and that, well, I haven’t heard exactly the way I feel expressed out there.

I don’t have kids. That’s the first thing my work colleagues let me know – not me personally, but me and my fellow childless as a group. For parents with kids at home, this whole thing is a crazy, multitasking nightmare. Stipulated! You all have my sympathy and my understanding.

Some people I know, but mostly people in my social media streams, are Zooming and Skyping and FaceTiming with their families in place of visits. My family have never been prolific communicators in the best of times. We’re not suddenly hopping on Zoom right now for holiday meals or impromptu board games. I wonder how I would feel if we were, or how they would feel if I sent them invites to an online game site. Hmm.

Everyone would like to get out more, and for a lot of people, that desire is fulfilled by an occasional trip to a grocery store. Perhaps not what you would choose for yourself, but it’s at least an outing, and a chance to see and be seen among fellow humans in person. But that’s not a thing I’m doing. To get to my nearest store, I’d need to take public transit. And I’m not doing that, for the safety of myself and all I might encounter. So the thing I’m feeling – stuck here with plenty of food and electricity and access to all the entertainment I care to consume – is the loss of independent travel, just the ability to leave my house, go to a place where they sell things, buy those things, and return home. That’s all.

One Comment

  1. George Wyche
    George Wyche

    Wish I could empathize, Shelley. I’m serious. I know my house. I don’t particularly need a light at night. The few pin point cues from LEDs I am sure provide guides I don’t even think about. I sit before the closed macBook Air, pick up the ethernet-to-Thunderbolt cable, and fumble, fumble, to insert it. Index finger feels the socket, but the cable won’t go in .. won’t. On this and similar occasions weekly I say outloud, “I will never make it as a blind person”, then turn on the near by lamp, and push the cable in with the first thrust. I cannot walk in your shoes.

    I wish I could savor the privilege of stepping on to my front porch anytime of day to attend to a myriad of cat related things to find there are people in the street who are my close neighbors walking dogs, or now recognizable, regulars who always admire Diamond and Jet who are friendly as can be, bringing conversation through masks (or not on the younger ones). I walk to Fresh Plus for my online filled, curbside request which for approaching 100 days I have made similar about every 5 days. The hand off procedures have produced 3 more friends whose full faces I have never seen, but whose personalities shine through. I have no fear in these activities .. they are *common*.

    I have not used even a quarter tank of gas in this 1994 Nissan since March 19. My mobility is easily chosen; I have some many options, but cannot think on my good fortune.

    I have seen an older woman several times on multiple occasions during week day mornings negotiating her wheel chair up the curb cut into Shipe Park’s sidewalk past the now operational swimming pool and wondered about her. She, like me, has no better than a 1 out of 7 chance of surviving 2 weeks upon the 1st mistake made. I am so much better equipped to avoid such a mistake.

    Of those with additional movement troubles I cannot imagine being them. I have the sympathy, but lack empathy.

    June 27, 2020

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