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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

COVID -19 Musings - The Other Side?

Most people I know have been listening to the warnings and instructions. We have huddled in our homes - only stepping out when we need booze, I mean groceries, or to take a walk. Blessedly, we’ve had a few nice days of pseudo-spring to break up the monotony in our confined spaces.

My immediate world of friends and family are filled with overachievers of one degree or another and we are busy inventing new ways to learn, stay social, play games online, tackle dusty projects and experiment with recipes cut from Food and Wine and other challenging sources years ago. We are using our home gyms for the first time this year and making good on some of those already forgotten New Year’s resolutions about careful eating and activity. Note I am silent on the topic of alcohol, there is a reason Governor Murphy is keeping packaged liquor stores open. Yes, the Mad Men cocktail hour has returned, at least in our home.

We are being obedient boys and girls, finding ways to keep a routine in motion: sharing ideas and jokes online, home schooling, working and so forth. We are trying to help bolster each others’ spirits. I am holding a bedtime story time and FaceTiming my grandkids every day if their folks will let me and have had some precious moments therein.

But, for G-d’s sake, when is this going to end? If I have to stay ‘in the moment’ one more moment, I may throw my 10 pound weight at my husband who is beginning to talk through his teeth. I just heard this could go on for months yesterday after hearing weeks only a few days ago. I begrudgingly admit, that I’m leaving the blessed denial stage and entering anger, the second stage of grief. And it’s feeling like acceptance is still far out of reach!

Looking out at the lake and fog filling the sky this morning, I wonder how long it will take to clearly see the other shore. Buds are starting to appear on bushes, daffodils are blooming and cardinals are zipping through the sky in my yard, but the hope of spring weighs heavily in the air. Snow dusted the yard last night and dashed my hopes even further.

When I come to my senses, I wonder how much this pandemic will change our lives - as in months from now. Will we ever shake hands or hug again? Will we trust when our friends tell us their dry cough is allergy related? Will we share our food? How many businesses will be around in months, how many restaurants? Do I dare consider the long term effects on the stock market and commerce? Will children be driven even further into their online reality because they’ve learned to become circumspect of human interaction? Will distancing through screens take on historic proportions? Will it last for months, years forever as we learn to quarantine to protect ourselves from disease, responsible interaction, our basic humanness?

These are my worst fears so I am going to add a few new ‘to do’s’ to my daily list. I am going to call a friend I haven’t spoken with in months each new day. I am going to reach out to a ‘single’ person, young or old, living alone in this isolation, and I am going to FaceTime each grandchild and have a meaningful embrace.

Any other ideas?

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