Masks On

At the grocery store first thing in the morning to nab some paper goods which are hard to find these days.

If you had told me a month ago that we’d be going to the doctors office with masks on, waiting outside the door, getting screened with temperatures taken before being allowed inside, I’d think it would be a terrifying reality.

But it’s surprising how mundane it ends up being. Sure there is an underlying fear, but we still go about our activity, the one that allows us to be in public. We adapt. We still chat and laugh, just without being able to see anyone’s mouth.

We socialize and work via video conference now. Some people still get together in person and stay six feet from each other. We still go to the grocery store. There is plexiglass protecting cashiers at the checkout, markings on the floor showing where to stand to keep a safe distance from each other. Periodic announcements on the loudspeaker remind customers and employees to keep two cart lengths away from others. Sometimes there are lines of people outside, spaced six feet apart, waiting to go in once the new max capacity is reached.

Wearing masks is now required outside your home. We’ve been ordered to stay at home and not leave for anything other than groceries and essential work or medical care for weeks now.

This is reality. An invisible virus has brought society as we know it to its knees. For weeks the news was worse every morning that I tuned into Morning Edition. I stopped listening a week ago, but I hear that there is some hope that things are slowing down. It’s still terrifying to think that it could still get worse. What if this is just the beginning? What if in another month we’re at another surprising impasse? New York says they may have to bury their dead in public parks. Unbelievable a month ago, but a glaring reality today. That’s the thing about living through a crisis that gets lost in the history, you don’t know when it’s going to end, you don’t know where the top of the curve is.

I’m grateful to be quarantined with my husband and daughter that I actually enjoy being around and cherish the extra hours we get to be together. I’m grateful for my best friend, who is a nurse practitioner, risking her own health to help others every day. She shares first hand information and advice on social media to keep us safe. And somehow, she takes care of me at the same time, helping me get proper care for postpartum depression while I’m a thousand miles away.

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