You can’t shut down springtime

On Tuesday, March 3rd, I headed home from Tiburon and I felt so great, having had a wonderful time at bridge, feeling I had played well enough that my partner wouldn’t dump me, and celebrating the friends I had made since moving here. Players had stopped asking “how long will you be visiting?”

When I returned home my daughter told me that she had been reading a lot about the coronavirus and because of her kidney transplant and her doctor’s advice, she was going to have to self-isolate. She had been cautioned that, being immunosuppressed, she was at extremely high risk of being very severely infected from the virus. 

The next day while thinking about the best way to handle this information, I attended a morning meeting and played duplicate bridge that evening.  As we played, I began noticing how many players were consuming finger snacks and then picking up their cards. That night after returning home I told my daughter I couldn’t risk that again and emailed my partner whom I played with on Thursdays. He replied that he was glad to hear from me because he had debated canceling. A few days before this I had received an email from the hostess of the Friday foursome telling me she wouldn’t be playing again until at least June. One of the members was so surprised as this was about the time we were just beginning to realize how dangerous the virus could be. June seemed so extreme. Little did we know what a wise friend she was. 

My daughter and her boyfriend shopped that day for groceries and stocked our kitchen. The only way they see one another is if he stands on the sidewalk and she stands in the doorway, both of them in masks. They have phone calls and Zoom dates. One thing we have all learned is to take a day at a time. To project would be insane as no one knows how long we will be sheltering in.

My daughter is a certified life coach and is on several committees at her church so she is busy most of the day. I love to read and keep up with the news. We both spend a lot of time in the backyard with our three little furry friends.

Though with the message from the county that there is too much danger of transmission of the virus to allow landscapers to work, the yard won’t be as welcoming. This is a group of workers who will be in need of help and many won’t qualify for stimulus checks.

My daughter and I bought a house together last May and are thankful to be here. She had lived in an apartment about twenty minutes from mine, and we would have been even more isolated. Our house is small but a great plan for us, as we each have privacy. There is an atrium as you enter and it gives another seating space, outside but not quite, especially nice on a windy day. 

Housekeepers are another group that need help. It’s not their fault we are not letting them into our houses, so think about continuing to pay yours, sending a weekly check. I was told today there are 45,000 undocumented workers in Marin County, a startling number.

I attend church on Zoom and several meetings such as Book Club. Sunday my daughter helped me set up a get together with friends in Jonesboro, Arkansas, my home town. We had a lot of laughs as it took almost the hour to get most everyone on. The next time will be better. 

Each group I know of is trying to keep in touch, if not by internet by exchanging emails, texts, and sometimes the old fashioned way, a phone call. There are fifteen in my writing group, and I try hard to read all the emails but I don’t always respond. It can be overwhelming. For the first time I understand when my son responds that no, he didn’t see the message yet. Between the political messages, the newsletters updating the Coronavirus facts, the subscribed-to newspapers sending out their headlines, advertising the available entertainment online, etc., there is not much time in the mornings after catching up with messages. Oh, and then there is Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We have found dressing very comfortably but as if we were going out is a help to keep a day in perspective. If you are dealing with any type of depression or feeling overly anxious, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Fear of the unknown is very difficult at best but now we are dealing with an unpredictable enemy. 

This is a time to embrace our faith, the pretty blossoming trees, the beautiful colors in the flowers, whatever and whoever you turn to in times of crisis. I am grateful for so much that the list is very lengthy. One thing which makes me stop and think is the hunger everywhere. A check to a food bank would be a great way to give back to your community. It’s 8pm now and I hear howling to praise the medical workers, all at risk in treating patients with Covid-19. The young boy next door blows his horn so it is a cacophony of sound. 

Be good to yourself and above all, wash your hands!