Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Thank you all for you kind words of concern. I feel enfolded in such a loving community here, as real as it gets. I am doing okay. The three of us in our little quarantine abode have not been outside since the weekend, not for groceries of anything else. The pollen count is high, spring blossoms are popping out along branches so recently bare, and the new corona virus continues its invasion of our city, our nation, our world.
Has there ever been a more startling demonstration of our interconnection? One scientist explained that difference between the transmission rate of Covid-19 and the more usual flu: With the flu, one person, through ten steps of transmission, may pass the virus on to a maximum of 14 people in the course of every day life, while with Covid-19, that same person doing all the same things will create a ten-step chain of transmission that reaches 59,000 people. I played the video again, to make sure I'd heard him right.
We in New York are on the leading edge in terms of numbers of cases in the U.S., possibly because we are have been testing more than anyone else, and because everyone lives shoulder to shoulder here. Fortunately, we have Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is intelligent, empathic, and proactive. He intends to abandon no one. As for me, I think I'm on the mend from whatever illness it was that claimed me. Unless of course the sniffles have simply moved down into my chest, which does feel somewhat true. Still, I'm no longer looking at the world through watery eyes and sniffling every moment, and that's a relief.
Yesterday I wrote 500 words before climbing into bed. It had taken everything to get those words down, and I didn't know how to go on. This morning, I got up and went straight to my lap top and wrote 1,100 words in the first hour, getting a difficult portion of the story securely behind me. Sometimes, when a thing feels hard, it really is best to walk away and come back to fight another day.
My husband, meanwhile, has reached the point in being housebound where he needs structure. He's dusted off his guitar and music workbooks. He's taken down from a high shelf a ship building kit he abandoned a decade ago. And he's brushing up on his Spanish and learning Portuguese on Duolingo, a language instruction site. These are his activities every morning now, after he checks in with his coworkers and fellow vestry members via email and Zoom. He reasons that his museum does a lot of work with Portuguese speaking people, so he's actually boosting his work skills, aka working from home.
Elsewhere in the house, my niece is diligently teleworking from her room, updating website images and putting up new blog posts and managing her bosses' demands. Come evening, we might put on a movie. Last night we watched the World War I movie 2017 together. The night before was the whodunit Knives Out. Sometimes, though not last evening, we open a bottle of wine. One meme going around is that at the end of this quarantine everyone will have become a superb chef or a raging alcoholic. And a mother now forced to home school her 6 and 8 year old children reports that "one child has been expelled, one suspended and the teacher has been fired for drinking on the job."
In any case, now we know who really keeps our country going—the janitors and sanitation workers, grocery store clerks, truckers, food preparers, police and firefighters, and most of all our health care workers. I hope we're all taking of note of who the "essential workers" are. What's happening in your interconnected corner of our world?
Also, my niece just started playing her cello in her room, and it's lovely.