First let me acknowledge the gift I’ve been given. As editor emeritus here, I can pretty much write what I want. Thanks, guys.
Second, I have the wherewithal to do it — home, food, fraying but existing sense of humor, etc.
At any rate, having resolved not to be one of the millions of would-be historians who sooner or later will feel compelled to document their life under covid, I now find that I’m positively itching to share my experiences.
When I first hit upon the acronym LGO (Life Goes On), it was with absolute unawareness that LG were my initials and that therefore I was being very clever. Like when I realized that Limu emu was named after the first two initials in Liberty Mutual. (You’re welcome.) But it works, so I’ll use it.
My covid life has not been predictable, or even reasonable. It began with illness. While being treated for a skin infection, I reacted so severely to an antibiotic (don’t ever mention a sulfa drug in my presence) that I ended up at a local hospital with virtually no platelets (not the hospital, me). As the only voluntary visitor at midnight, I had the emergency room to myself, getting an opportunity to have blood drawn in the hallway, chatting with overworked nurses, and wondering idly if I was distracting these angels of mercy from more important work. Still, on balance, and steroids, it’s a good thing I went.
Health scare (and great opportunity to have friends drop off ice cream) over, I resumed my quest for normality and made some discoveries.
I really like bright colors. I ordered a neon coral deliciously soft bed sheet from Amazon and topped my bed off with a bright-colored quilt (stuffed in a closet until then, foolish me). Then I left and re-entered the room and — well — smiled! So I bought a really bright floral mouse pad. Not as effective, but still lovely.
Then, deciding that the front door lacked verve, I created a few crayoned “Thank You” signs for our local ambassadors (postal workers, delivery people, and others) who keep our lives on track. I also ordered a pre-printed one from Etsy that can be downloaded in full color with your family name for only $5. My door is lovely now. I’d feel thanked.
In fact, I’m so eager now to draw between the lines that I’m going to pick up a coloring book from my cousin today so I can realize my newfound passion. Watch out grandkids — grandma is going to make you pictures!
Oh yes, music. I was just beginning a flourishing side career (the queen of the nursing home circuit) when my gigs were canceled, for obvious reasons. But song springs eternal. I’ve decided to record some stuff and email it so my formerly captive (now really captive) audiences have to listen to me, whether they want to or not. I will find it therapeutic, and they can add to their mitzvah lists.
But seriously, I hope to send mp3 birthday greetings to any seniors who would appreciate a special song in the confines of their room. Just let me know….
Oh yeah, food. Some astounding discoveries. I really do better without gluten, and it’s not hard to leave it out. After finishing off my Pesach stuff and then trying to eat healthy, I gave up and started ordering in things I’d like to eat. If I have too many potato chips and bowls of ice cream, I also eat regularly spaced meals that I want to eat.
Gee, I missed tomato juice. And I took the time to make chicken soup from scratch, and a yogurt smoothie, and a creative Indian meal. I’ve never been a great or enthusiastic cook, but when you’re eating what you want — and you have those treats around — it (so far) seems to be working for me.
Zoom, Skype, Webex — we love you almost as much as we do our family, friends, and neighbors, although, I dare say, Yom Ha’Atzmaut lacks something when celebrated with so much decorum. Kabbalat Shabbat, however, can be a deeply personal and beautiful virtual experience, shared with your own or other congregations online. I’ve taken a break from lectures and classes but will resume depending on the subject material.
Speaking of family — was I? — I had a “What about your mother?” experience the other day, when my New Milford son, who says I’m high-risk and avoids me, told me he was coming to Fair Lawn to do a curbside pickup at Zaydies for friends they wanted to thank for their kindness. “What,” I (um) whispered. “You’re going to Zaydies and didn’t let me know?” Silence. At any rate, I called Zaydies and had them throw in a marble cake for Ema. I hope that taught someone a lesson. I’m certainly enjoying it.
As we’ve chronicled in these pages, the internet has allowed us to keep celebrating, acknowledging, and living our special life events in community — whether baby showers, birthdays, shivas, or other occasions. My son is a regular on birthday parades, and it pleases both the birthday kids and his own kids, so it’s win-win.
As for exercise, I’ve sampled yoga, ageing athlete exercises, and various other let’s keep moving offerings. But the first nice day and I’m out of here for a slow stroll around the block. Also going to restart with my trainer online. She promises to be gentle.
Which brings me to habits formerly considered, at best, objectionable. I was a sucker for self-help products, make life easier items — you might not need it now, but you will someday types of things — and voila! I need them now. Two boxes of face masks (now donated to hospitals), six cans of Lysol spray (I didn’t use them because I didn’t like the scent but I’ll give you one if you want), old mismatching cotton gloves, assorted kinds of Velcro — fabulous for repairs of all kinds — and, well, you name it, I’ve probably got it. I’ve been here 45 years so it tends to mount up. Though, in my defense, it’s starting to taper off….