My introversion is becoming incredibly comfortable with the forced isolation of Covid-19. For a time I balked and felt trapped in my home, but of late I have settled nicely into a comfortable rut. It would not take much for me to become the “crazy hermit” of the neighborhood. My quarantine is becoming a way of life. I only wear shoes when I’m on the treadmill and I have not worn a lick of makeup since February. I live in jeans and comfy t-shirts and only have a strict routine on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays when I teach math classes. Otherwise I’m free to stay up half the night working crossword puzzles and then sleep in until nine the next morning.
I manage to shop for virtually anything I need or want online. I have not been inside a store in six months and I don’t miss in person shopping at all. I get take out food now and again but have no desire to sit inside a restaurant. I order all of my groceries for either delivery or curbside pickup. My pace is so relaxed that my blood pressure must be at an all time low. I no longer feel as though I am missing a thing.
I’ve taken trips with my trailer as far away as Colorado without encountering very many people face to face. I buy gasoline but don’t use the facilities. I have my own restroom in the trailer I drag behind my truck. I get lunch, dinner and supper from my little kitchen and it is always delicious and way more healthy than anything served in a restaurant. The people watching is fabulous and I avoid crowds, something that my tendency toward claustrophobia does not mine at all.
I’ve been thinking about the Tower of London and some of those famous folk who were imprisoned there like Sir Walter Raleigh. I suppose that he would have rather been free but he and his family lived in a fairly nice area and he even had the privilege of walking the grounds and tending a little garden. In some ways Covid isolation feels like that only I have the right to go join society if I so wish and I don’t have to worry about losing my head.
I’ve decided that I am doing myself and my fellow citizens a favor by just enjoying my time in my home until all of this one day goes away. I’m of the mind that in times such as these we would all do well to make a few sacrifices. If I stay well that is one less person the doctors and hospitals need to worry about. Besides I won’t infect someone else who may or may not make it. I enjoy the idea of doing my part to help others. I seriously do not understand anyone complaining when we are all going through a difficult time. We each have a part to play. Mine is staying home, serving as a remote teacher for eight students, and sending financial help now again to those who are out of work and struggling. I even try to give hefty tips to anyone who delivers something to my home while also using local businesses as much as possible.
I watch movies from the comfort of my sofa. I can even ride my stationary bicycle and do stretching exercises while enjoying a good flick. It costs a great deal less than a trip to a theater and my snacks are much better. My only concern is that the virus has prevented the making of new films and I fear that one day I will run out options to watch and that people who make a living in the movie industry are having trouble making ends meet.
I suppose that going to church is the one thing that I miss more than anything. Watching the mass on my laptop is nice but I miss the community feeling that is always so moving to me. We humans are all in this crazy messed up dilemma together and I enjoy being part of a group of worshippers intent on praising and thanking God. I know that I have been quite blessed and I talk with God all day long but it’s not the same as being with the fine people of my parish.
I doubt that I would want to live like this forevermore, but I have become resigned to the necessity of doing so. I know that others are having a far tougher time of things than I am. I still decorate for fall and make pumpkin bread for an autumn treat. I celebrate the milestones and traditions even if only for myself. I’ve even completed some of my Christmas shopping already lest the mail slows down and I get caught without gifts for my family on December 25.
I learned to have patience a long time ago. This too shall pass eventually. I hope with all my heart that the virus does not take too many more precious people before it is done with us. I wish that we had handled things better from the beginning but it’s far too late to look back. Instead I have my eye on a time when all the world will awaken again.
While I am feeling a certain level of contentment I grieve for those who have suffered and indeed there have been many. People have died, often without family around. People have lost jobs and businesses and are still wondering how they will mange to survive much longer. Students and teachers are struggling to keep learning without knowing how things will ultimately evolve. The specter of another surge of Covid-19 hovers over the world.
I’d like to think that we have learned enough to change. Surely we have a better idea of what and who is actually important. I doubt that “normal” will ever again mean the same to us as it once did. Hopefully we understand that we are part of a global community that must work together if we are to survive the ever more difficult challenges that we face. Now is a time for patience and earnest assessment of the way we should move forward when the time comes.