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Life during a pandemic

by Janet Carson | August 9, 2020 at 2:28 p.m.

When I first heard about this virus thing overseas, I brushed it off as something like the flu that wasn’t going to impact me. Then in March, things got a bit more serious as schools started shutting down, businesses closed, people were furloughed and life as we knew it came to a screeching halt. People started buying like Armageddon had arrived. I knew of people who stockpiled when Y2K hit thinking everything was going to shut down then, but nothing happened, so I hoped for more of the same. Searching for toilet paper became the most exciting game in town.

Then Covid became real. In spite of it all, people took it in stride, stayed home and hunkered down. I think we all thought this would all be over by June. Now it is August and numbers continue to increase, not decrease. Many businesses are open, more and more people are getting out and everyone is Covid-weary, but the end does not seem to be anywhere in sight. Life as we knew it seems a far way away, but we do have plenty of toilet paper—no Lysol spray, but I will take what I can get.

Some people continue to take it seriously, while others don’t and the battle lines are drawn. This just adds fuel to the already rising flame of the state of the United States. I want to go back to a kinder, gentler time. I want people to respect each other’s differences, agree to disagree, but still live civilly. Every day we hear of new atrocities that are happening, even in our own neighborhoods. A woman is punched for wearing a mask coming out of a local Kroger’s in Little Rock! What next?!

I think we all need to try to make the best of a bad situation. We need to find a way that works for us, but is safe. We need to be nice to each other. I miss people. As an extrovert, I get energy interacting with other people. I miss large gatherings, social settings, public speaking, parties and lots of people. I have been lucky that I have been able to see my family and a few close friends throughout. I do get to socialize on a small scale, but small is better than not at all.

I miss traveling and new adventures. But I am a realist and a rule-follower. I make do with garden outings,

visiting with a handful of people with masks, and social distancing. I am starting to entertain one or two people at a time. I had promised a friend a baby shower in February, when we knew July would be safe, but it wasn’t, so we punted.

We had a much smaller crowd, sat 6 feet apart and my cohost and I served everyone with masks and gloves on. I celebrated a friends daughters high school graduation with just them instead of a large party. I Clorox the world before and after anyone comes into my home.

I recently helped a friend celebrate a birthday, but with a small group and we wore masks when we had to get close or while serving food.

We social distanced, and ate outside. No hugs, no touching, and although hard to do, it is doable. I have drinks with friends on their patio, deck, or living room—over 6 feet apart. I visit nurseries and friends’ gardens. I buy new masks weekly and am never without one when I am out in public. This is my new normal and I think it will be for a long time. Find your new normal, but be kind to others. Take care of yourself, but think of others when you are doing it. Stay safe and remember, Kindness Matters!

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