Monday, June 1, 2020

Moving On by Diane Burton

Two days ago, Lea Kirk wrote about how COVID’s shelter-in-place affected her family, especially her sons’ graduation. More than that how we need to keep moving forward. As our S-in-P nears its end (2 weeks, we hope), I feel like the Roman god Janus—whose statue is a 2-faced head, one looking forward and one looking behind.

I’m looking forward to a careful reopening of stores and restaurants, being able to visit with family and friends, getting hugs from my children and grandchildren—and getting a haircut. lol Since my son-in-law is a doctor, we’re more conscious of what’s happening locally with regard to the progression of cases. And how important it is not to rush the process for fear of a second wave.

At the same time, I look at what I’ve realized during the past nearly three months. I’m in awe of the courage of our healthcare professionals and first responders who’ve put their lives in jeopardy to take care of us, and I mourn those who succumbed to this dreaded virus. My heart aches for those whose financial security has been ripped away. I’ve been there three times in the past, frightened, terrified that we could lose our home and worried as bills overwhelmed us. Since we’re retired now, our financial situation hasn’t changed—if I don’t look at our retirement savings.

Some good things are happening because of S-in-P. Televisits with medical professionals have made it easier for follow ups and getting health advice. Grocery shopping (my least favorite occupation) has become easier with online ordering and curbside pickup. I’m aware this was available before, but Hubs never wanted to try it. He enjoyed shopping. Or maybe he just enjoyed getting out of the house. 😏

I never heard of Zoom and now my book group and writers’ group meet online. We used Zoom for the family to get together for our granddaughter’s 5th birthday party. Unfortunately we couldn’t have a piece of her cake, too. Another consequence of those Zoom meetings was discovering that my laptop’s webcam isn’t connected. Surprise! Zoom and other technologies are proving this old dog is capable of learning new tricks. Although our schools are closed, many new learning opportunities are available. Same with entertainment. Bringing Broadway and Stratford (Ontario) plays to our televisions provides us with opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise. Church services on YouTube enriches our spirituality and helps us handle the stress of the quarantine. And FaceTime enables us to “visit” with our grandkids. Sure we had many of these opportunities before, but now they are necessary to maintain our closeness.

I have a new appreciation for our national and international scientists who strive to keep us informed and, hopefully, safer. I’m in awe of the strong governors, like Andrew Cuomo (NY) and our own Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), who fight to keep us safe from the virus while fighting federal officials and gun-carrying rioters—without masks—threaten their lives and all of ours, too, by possibly spreading the virus. I thoroughly appreciate the ordinary people who quietly follow the guidelines to protect themselves and us, the volunteers who made (and continue to make) masks and protective gowns for those in need. A proud shoutout to my daughter and granddaughter (13) who are sewing and donating masks.

Yes, I’m more than ready for a return to normal. Just what will that “normal” will look like is unknown. In a way, it’s a lot like writing a novel. We know what we want to happen. For some of us it’s like driving in the fog. We can only see so far ahead. Even when we outline our plot, characters take us down paths we didn’t see and our stories turn out differently from what we imagined. So it is with our future post-COVID. Change is never easy. But we are stronger than we think. We will get through this and whatever Life throws at us.

Hang in there and stay safe.


Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for expressing the positives in this so negative situation, Di. this video-shy author has also discovered Zoom for our MMRWA meetings and to talk with my critique group face-to-face bi-weekly and after stepping into the educator's shoes in March, using Google to help my grandson with his schoolwork while he was here with me for three weeks. Yesterday was the first I've left the house in the car (after two days trying to get the dead battery fixed!). My sister and I went to the local greenhouse for our plants (a month later than usual). Everyone was masked and used social distancing but it was awesome . . . and scary getting out again. Slowly, carefully. Our new normal.

Diane Burton said...

You just proved that when we have to learn something new we can. No flowers for me yet. Maybe this week. Too bad about your car.

Maureen said...

Great post, Diane! I've worked full-time remotely for about a year and a half now so Zoom meetings every day have been the norm for me- but now others know what I'm talking about, lol.
As for ordering groceries- I started doing that last summer because I hate going to the grocery store.

Lea Kirk said...

Nailed it! Thank you, Diane. Stay healthy and safe. XOXO

Nightingale said...

Enjoyed a positive take on this. I'm out about, masked like the Lone Ranger, but there's a little voice in the back of my head saying, 'it's too early. Thanks, Diane.

Denise Covey said...

I think the shutdown or whatever you call it has a lot of positives. I'm finding more time to write because I no longer travel for my job as an English tutor. It's all about Skype for my students and myself. Now I never want to hit the road again. I'd rather hit the computer!