Coronavirus Days--Week 48

Perhaps it's the Lunar New Year's influence on the week. Auspicious. Who knows, but as I sit on this Sunday night, I'm reminded of the week's gifts. Yes, the weekend has been ridiculous arctic chilled weather with lows below 0, which means no walks, no wandering outside of the house. But I have no cabin fever. Maybe, after 48 weeks, I'm a bit more accustomed to days within the confines of the house, the yard, the blocks of the neighborhood. I've developed a comfort in the familiar.

I think more about the Lunar New Year since we visited Vietnam in late December, 6 weeks or so before Tet, a couple of months before the pandemic set in. When we wandered the maze of Old Hanoi, we got a taste of what would change, what would transition in the stalls and become a vibrant display for such an important holiday. This year, Nan and I decided to celebrate with food, ordering pick-up from Yuan Wonton, a fave of ours. Securing an order is akin to landing a hot concert or theater ticket. Her site goes live at a precise time, and I sit at my computer and refresh and refresh until it shows the order form, click one of everything, click the two secret dishes, and check out, thrilled when I get the message that my order is secured. Her food is that good. When I received my lucky red envelope, I held it, hopeful for the coming year.

Call it luck. Good fortune. A wonderful close to the evening of February 12th. My email told me that I needed to log into Kaiser and could choose an appointment for the vaccine. So unexpected. In my mind, I figured mid-late March at the earliest. I grabbed a slot for the following day, morning, and headed 30 minutes away (no appointments closer to home), in the 0 degree chill. When I arrived, when I walked into a room where I'd be handed a vaccine card and shot, when I walked into an observation area and received an appointment for the second shot, I wanted to cry. Tears of joy. Until that moment, I didn't realize how important this moment might feel.

Nan's been working a vaccine call desk for her employer and working a couple of big vaccine events. She has tales of people taking selfies, pictures with family, crying happiness when they received their shot or appointment. Immense gratitude all around. 

And the very first thing I planned for post vaccine and the two or so weeks to get up to maximum immunity is a hopeful trip back east to see my parents and sister (perhaps brother too) after more than a year. That feels possible now. Hope can also be found in music venues slowly opening back up. I'm not ready to be indoors, but don't want to see too many fall, as has already happened in Denver and many other places. I imagine, again, a possibility of sitting outdoors this summer, in a mask, enjoying some live music. But until then, I continue to experiment with occasional Zoom performances. This past week, as part of a celebration of Carole King's Tapestry, Annie Lennox, still looking like a hot goddess, performed a breathless version of the title song.

No week feels typical, even though many weeks have blurred boundaries like days which sometimes feel on replay. It's been another week of political madness with the acquittal of l'orange. It's been another week of articles detailing worrisome virus variants. While I have immense gratitude and some sense of relief, worry still hovers.


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