Coronavirus Days--Week 8

Denver has officially moved to requiring masks and allowing some nonessential businesses like hair salons, tattoo parlors, retail establishments to reopen within the parameters of social distancing. Even though the trending of cases appears to be heading in the right direction, it feels too soon. People are wandering into establishments not wearing masks, even though required, and newspapers show photos of restaurants (fortunately outside of Denver) defying orders and opening, serving customers crowded around tables, pretending (since seriously how could they be grounded in reality) that all is well in the world and we can move on. Some days I sit in fear waiting for the wave to hit, for cases to skyrocket back, for illness to come close. I'd like to be wrong, but for now, I'm sticking close to home, still grocery shopping at the most every other week, and procuring everything else curbside when needed. With the weather growing warmer, I have lettuce and spinach I can start picking from my garden, diminishing some of my need to venture out for produce.

Over these past quarantine weeks, Nan and I have a fairly steady evening routine. Somewhere around the 7pmish hour, we settle in with the daily New York Times' spelling bee puzzle, distracting ourselves from anything viral related. Not only is distraction welcome, but it is also the steadiness of expectation, knowing that this is the way the evening winds down, the way we take our minds together and find words. We then watch a bit of amusement, something non-newsy, something to help escape some of the darkness that intrudes even upon the most delightful days.

Recently, an old friend posted a link to Dylan's song "Not Dark Yet". Have a listen. It's fitting. Perhaps part of your mood. Definitely a part of mine.

And as with all my weeks lately, there are glimmers of light, moments that cause a huge smile. I speak to my parents several times a week, making sure to keep contact since they are quarantined in their independent living, only with each other, and with my mom's dementia, it doesn't leave my dad with a lot of meaningful interaction. While he's very content to spend his days in his head, reading the newspaper, napping, this does wear on him. For some reason this week, I decided it was time to experiment. Mom was always the technological one, using the computer to pay their bills, getting an iPad to play on, wanting an iPhone because her friends had one. These are not a part of their lives any more, but the phone is still around. With a little coaching about which way to swipe, my dad was able to answer my FaceTime call, and when he saw my face, he lit up, a smile, a newfound entry out of the slimness of their world. I teared up afterwards, thrilled to see their faces (I'd last visited with them in late January), knowing that now we had a way to at least see each other.

This week is my final week of the semester, a semester that might go down as my least favorite evah in my two decades plus of teaching. Perhaps next week I'll reflect a bit on that, but for now, as I finish up my grading for the semester (almost done yes), I am looking towards developing some new skills. This book is up close to the top of the list.
Book: How to Be Idle


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