Coronavirus Days

 Don't go to West Campus, Mei said.

Just returned from Christmas break,

She quarantined for two weeks before

coming to see me.

By St Patrick's we were all working from home.

John in 7th grade, Mark teaching freshmen 

and me. Hand sanitizer was sold out.

Some bought cases and re-sold at a markup

until Amazon stopped them.

We always had groceries delivered so that

didn't change but we went out to Jewel

to get tortillas at midnight. One box

is all we found, stocked up on the last packages

of ground beef that had been ground from steaks.

No disinfecting wipes, no hand sanitizer, 

toilet paper had been grabbed clean from the 

shelves. I locked eyes with a young family,

two women and a boy: What is happening?

How scared should we be?

We stockpiled some waters, pasta, rice, soups.

And managed to not ever go hungry. 

In fact, the opposite as we sat inside

quarantined for day after day. 

Started taking long walks, every day.

Enjoying our local parks like never before.

Played Pokemon Go and went to the 

Northwestern Landfill, masked up and

social, or rather, physically distancing at six feet.

The first Covid loss was heartbreaking. No family

visits for final good-byes is just unimaginable. 

So we stayed indoors some more. 

Hugs and handshakes replaced with elbow bumps.

The day at the beach, splashing and jumping the waves.

Frisbee in Gillson or Bent Park. Many hours

in the backyard. Sabrina bought us Adirondack chairs

and we made a nice shady space. Work continued

from home and summer lazy days. Numbers fell

and we had dinner al fresco with Mom and Dad at Ten Mile,

short visits felt like welcome oases. 

The numbers of positive cases rose again in the Fall

and hopes of school in-person dashed. All remote

again. For Fall and into Spring. Having breakfast and lunch with John

all the sweeter with no commuting time. 

Happy to build puzzles and play games. Fall days

in the park again like a Jane Austen novel. 

John played games online with Gabe, hours after hour

on the phone was the happiest respite.

More remote recovery meetings were a happy bonus. 

By Thanksgiving, a tailgate party in Ackerman 

was a happy meetup again. Hopes of ADK Christmas

were dashed as infection rates soared across the county again.

January cold and snow made quarantine tougher.

No one dare asked, How are you doing? because the

answers were the same: Okay, considering. 

Everyone healthy? is the only measure. 

Night of sledding under the full wolf moon 

gave a new sense of gratitude for health and well-being.

New yardstick of happiness is the simple pleasures.

Getting along, trying, like the Taylor Swift song, 

This is me trying. Again. 


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