Two years ago today, I left work, thinking we would return in a couple of weeks. I never entered my classroom again. Over the past twenty-four months, I’ve documented some of my experiences during the pandemic. As I write this, I’m feeling a bit like a pincushion, recovering from the effect of TWO MORE vaccines – Shingles and Pneumonia. Is this what our lives going to be like from now on? Granted, I am of a “certain age” which makes me eligible for just about every vaccine out there. (Oh, joy!)
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to be where we are now. Thursday’s positive COVID number in Connecticut was 1.79%. Mask mandates have been dropped in most places and life seems to be returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. But—I can’t relax. Can anyone? I thought things were going well in the fall. Then numbers jumped like crazy in November and December.
We didn’t cancel Christmas, but the specter of COVID hung over all our celebrations. We tested. Negative. And tested again. Negative. And again. Positive. WHAT?? Although I knew it was always possible, looking at that positive test result freaked me out. I felt like a leper. Then I realized what I had done. IMPORTANT LESSON: do NOT use eye drops instead of the reagent from the testing kit. Somehow, I mixed up the tiny bottle of reagent with my eye drops. In case you were wondering—YES—using the wrong solution will cause a positive result. You gotta laugh, right? (Scott didn’t. At least, not right away.)
So far, it seems we have escaped joining the club no one wants to be a member of. Unless, of course, we actually had COVID in January 2020 before anyone was on the lookout for it. Scott and I were sick for weeks….it’s possible, right?
My friend Cheryl and I returned from our annual trip to Rootstech in Salt City just before the world shut down. Two of our coworkers passed away (although no one definitively said from COVID) and the world was flipping out. We washed our groceries down, let the mail sit for days before opening, and developed various online shopping strategies to get what we needed (toilet paper!) without leaving the house, or God Forbid, touching another human. The TV stayed tuned to the news all day so we could learn what to do. Wear masks. Don’t wear masks. Stay 3 feet apart. Stay 6 feet apart.
It reminded me a bit of the Vietnam War coverage. There was no way to put it out of your mind unless you turned the TV off completely. It’s still a bit like that. Although, as we relax a little about COVID, a new threat is taking its place. Putin (Russia’s president) invaded Ukraine. So, now we are all on edge again, wondering if this will develop into World War III.
Rootstech 2021 was completely virtual. It was free so that was good, but it just wasn’t the same. This year, Rootstech was virtual again. Cheryl and I decided it was “safe enough” to stay at a hotel for a couple days, so we booked a room at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center in Massachusetts. Even though we couldn’t take a trip to Salt Lake, we could at least get away. We had seen each other only twice in two years! One time we met (fully masked and gloved) in a parking lot so Cheryl could give me fabric to make masks. We enjoyed our “fake conference” but I must admit, I only watched one session of Rootstech! The recordings are up for a year, so it just didn’t seem urgent. I got a lot of writing done though and Cheryl spent the weekend sorting pictures. And we relaxed! Here’s hoping we will be able to attend Rootstech 2023 in person!
There were some surprisingly positive things that happened as a result of COVID. Outside dining comes to mind, as does curbside pick-up. Pretty sure those are here to stay.
On March 13, 2020, (a Friday, quite fittingly) Scott and I had our “last supper” with friends Doreen and John. At that dinner, we decided to cancel the fabulous trip we planned for the summer. Yeah… would have been nice; a few days in Vienna, Austria followed by a train trip to Venice, Italy where we would board a cruise ship for a ten-day trip on the Mediterranean, ending in Barcelona, Spain. Oh well.
However, since we had the money put aside, and no prospects for travel on the horizon, we were able to purchase a fabulous condo in May 2021. So—silver lining, right?
I am counting my blessings as I look back over the past two years. Our family is healthy. And happy. Grandkids are thriving. We are hopeful and looking forward to the future.