Pandemic Reflections #2

I have some upbeat items for today’s post, then back to the frets and worries.

My Pandemic Wardrobe

A fashionista I am not, so it’s just good fortune that I seem to have the perfect wardrobe for my pandemic experience. Our apartment, situated as it is surrounded by other seniors in our retirement home, is warm. We never turn the heat on. Windows are open and ceiling fans run constantly from mid-April to mid-October. Last January we went away for a long weekend when it snowed across the lowlands and the thermometer dipped into the 20s. When we arrived home, our thermometer read 69F. 

Due to living in this very warm environment, I have a acquired a selection of sleeveless dresses that are just as comfortable as nightgowns. At the beginning of our lockdown, quarantine, lockdown existence, I rarely got dressed at all. But things get delivered to us now: notices, meals, grocery orders, and mail. I soon learned that I could don a dress with minimal underpinnings, look as though I’m dressed, and answer the door without embarrassment. I recommend this to any of you similarly situated. 

Gardens

Despite the limitations of our situation, we are blessed with a Juliette balcony. On it, we have placed a tub with a red rose which is blooming beautifully just now. We also have another planter with a hot lips salvia (or sage) that has opened up this week. This plant has attracted many  hummingbirds in the past, so I hope they find it soon. We also have a dish with water for birds. It primarily attracts house finches, but despite their ordinariness, their songs are beautiful, and we’re just happy to have any birds grace our view. 

Freethinkers

Social media is the home of much negativity, but amongst the downers are some voices of people who are trying to break free of the pressure to like and heart and forward every idea that comes from their group. It’s fun to find these folks and support them. I hope we will be able to benefit from their thinking as we look for ways to address our now-exposed societal weaknesses as we rebuild. 

Janus House

Our retirement community might well rename itself Janus House. Although we are (or were) fortunate to be here, there’s a huge downside to our situation during this pandemic. Any of our residents who have an option to be elsewhere are there and not here. The many features which appealed to us when we moved here, speakers, discussion groups, music programs, card games, the gym and pool, meals if we wanted them, etc. are all now shut down. We can get meals delivered, but zero, make that ZERO activities are happening. If I could see a way out of this, I’d be more patient, but I see no light at the end of this tunnel. I do not like this place without the social elements. It’s absurd. Our staff are amazing, but this is no way to live, longterm. 

We have two sets of rules: the state’s rules, and our house rules. As the state loosens up, we do not, and I have no idea what the criteria are here for bringing back some of the life what brought us here originally. If we take any liberties at all outside, such as picking up our prescriptions at the drug store, and pick up a coronavirus along the way, we risk bringing it home to hundreds of high risk seniors. So we have to be super careful. It’s not just us we worry about, it’s our vulnerable neighbors as well – whom we adore, so we are careful. We’d love to walk up to take out windows and do other slightly risky things, but we don’t.

Ankle Bones

A month ago, I sprained an ankle, and apparently my whole body along with it. Each day, my ankle and back had a contest to see which could scream the loudest. Eventually I got some X-rays which revealed, not a fracture, but an extra bone in my foot. I got a nifty little ankle brace, much less cumbersome than the boot you often see. One night with this brace, and my back pain was gone. Just gone! Hallelujah. But the ankle is going to take time to get back to normal, and I’m just a bit grumbly.

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