“This too shall pass.”
If I’ve heard any phrase repeated lately, in the midst of the coronavirus Pandemic, it’s this one. While I think most of us believe this, the question to follow is “When?”
And, of course, none of us knows. We could look at what happened in China, but the U.S. isn’t China. There a charts and statistics aplenty, enough to make your head spin. We will not know how this is going to play out, how widespread and catastrophic it will be, until we know. The human species doesn’t like the uncertainty of it all, the loss of control over outcome of events. But the best thing we can do is STAY HOME, except when absolutely necessary and then taking all recommended precautions. Americans don’t like to be told what to do- we love our freedom and this unseen virus is taking our freedom away.
When I was at CVS recently, there was only one other person in line and the lady was on top of me. Why? Has she not heard about Social Distancing? And I’ve made recent trips to grocery stores in the past week- Publix, Milams & Whole Foods- and there are so many people in there, it does not feel safe. There was a lady with her cart on one side of the aisle in Publix; she was directly across from her cart, checking out the sea salt of all things, completely blocking the aisle. And I wanted to be like “Really, lady?” And I was at the small Publix, where there’s no way you’re six feet apart from each other down any aisle. So, panic, unrest, anxiety erupts.
These times have made us tense and, for me, less patient. So for now, I’m staying home and living off what we have in the fridge and pantry. I was never a Girl Scout and I don’t feel prepared for whatever this is, but my kitchen, fridge and freezer is pretty well stocked. I will try InstaCart the next time I need food and drink. Even getting take-out feels iffy, when there are several people picking up at the same time. My husband got pizza last night at Miami’s Best, and it was packed. They charged him incorrectly, so he paid the $40 for two pizzas, and decided to haggle with them later, away from possible corona infection.
So, we’re stuck at home.
Of course there are upsides to being forced to quarantine- an Italian word meaning forty days (quarantina). Will it be forty days? The musical word sounds nice enough and my friend Martha’s mother had a theory that many plagues and pestilences took place during Lent, so that by Easter, it will be over. But will it? Apparently Trump thinks so, but I’m taking my advice from scientists, not politicians.
The worry about who the coronavirus will affect, how many people will die, if we have enough tests, masks, ventilators, hospital beds, medical personnel is overwhelming. Added to that, is what the pandemic is doing to our economy. The stock market, of course, but all the industries and people out of work, as well. The fallout from this COVID-19 is mind-boggling and terrifying. I have a couple shows I like to watch on TV, but lately they’ve been interrupted with more coronavirus briefings. Nothing seems normal anymore and I’m trying not to check my phone 24/7 for the latest news update.
The nicest part about being stuck at home, for me is that I’ve been taking walks with my husband around the neighborhood- six feet apart from other people, of course. I often walk about the neighborhood, but Zeke usually goes to the gym (now closed) so we’ve been walking, something we used to do when we were first married. It gets us out in the fresh air and, as we walk down the trail, if we’re approaching someone, we step away, onto the street. Unfortunately, most people aren’t taking the same precautions. Still, I’ve never seen so many people walking, running and riding their bikes in our neighborhood as I have this past week and a half.
While I know some people are saying this is a great time to get around to projects you’ve been avoiding at home, this feels too stressful for me at this time. I’ve been meditating more, doing yoga from You Tube videos, praying, watching shows on Netflix and reading books. Easy ones, like cookbooks and Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run. This is not a time to read War and Peace, watch Pandemic, or work on my taxes. I crave stress-free activities. I’m also been spending more time in my yard.
I’ve been weeding and pruning, watering and tending to my yard. I’m planning on turning my meditation garden into a rock, zen garden, so have been removing the grass and weeds from that area. My herb & vegetable garden was filled with weeds and leaves, so I cleaned that all out, swept it up and gave it a good watering. I also planted some seeds with Wyatt today. It’s such an exciting thing to see a tiny green sprout erupt out of black soil- something concrete and living to look forward to. It gives me hope; I always turn to gardening when I am overwhelmed.
I love watching CBS This Morning on Sunday mornings. It usually has interesting stories, with artists, musicians, actors being interviewed and different themes each week; Jane Pauley is the host. This Sunday, Jane Pauley wasn’t there and it was mostly about the coronavirus, so it wasn’t as good as normal, but they always end with a couple minutes of video somewhere in nature, like a national park. No people- just the sites and sounds of somewhere beautiful and quiet.
Last Friday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. I wanted, in this new blog, to photograph my yard and garden during the four seasons of the year and post them here. So today, I leave you with photos of my Spring Garden. A little bit of hope and brightness in a world that can feel so full of doom and gloom these days.
“One is nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.” Dorothy Frances Gurney