I’ve gotten used to the lack of retail therapy as most stores have limited access, and aimless browsing is discouraged. I’ve gotten used to the empty parking lots around offices, schools, and churches. I’ve gotten used to meeting friends on ZOOM rather than meeting them for lunch. I’ve gotten used to take-out food rather than white tablecloths at my favorite restaurants. I’ve gotten used to bringing my own folding table and chair when I visit a park.
I put up with cancelling a trip to Europe (my husband’s bad knee wouldn’t have stood the trip anyway), cancelling a long weekend at a hideaway inn to the north, cancelling the family reunion picnic we had scheduled for my milestone birthday this year, cancelling my grandson’s 6th grade graduation, my other grandson’s high school graduation. My monthly visits to help look after my toddler grand-daughter have morphed to bi-weekly story times on ZOOM.
County Library: Contactless Holds Pickup and Material Return Now Available
I’m just beginning to feel some fraying in the social fabric. My son refused to get together for a mid-point picnic between our homes, as his son and daughter had recently traveled and he couldn’t guarantee they weren’t infectious. For the same reason my other son canceled a planned joint camping trip with his brother’s family – an infection in his four-room apartment would be a disaster, and he couldn’t risk it. Still not “serious”, no-one is ill, but when families are afraid to meet, that’s wrenching.
On the other hand, my sister and her husband just returned from an expedition to Yosemite. They were able to obtain a day pass, they set off at an ungodly hour of the mroning, and by 10AM they were beginning the hike up the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls. She said “It was like I remember from my childhood – no shuttle buses, but not so many people, and no crowding on the trails. We picnicked at the top of Vernal Falls and dangled our feet in the pool beyond Nevada Falls. It was lovely.”
Maybe this is the preview of our future: much- curtailed activity and options for most of us, but for the few who are able to maintain their income stream, travel safely, obtain the right permissions, and keep their health, a rather pleasantly emptied world. It’s not the future I want.
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