Lessons Learned Living in The Time of The Corona (Liz on her soapbox)
After 7 weeks in captivity (aka quarantine), I haven’t mastered knitting or learned a new language; I didn’t start yoga, but learned that I missed my friends, clients, baseball games, theater, dining out, weightlifting, the gym, water aerobics, and tennis. I didn’t find the time cooped up restorative, but anxiety-producing.
I worry about the future of the economy as now 26 million jobs are gone; I fret over how my fellow business owners will survive; I wonder if even a fraction of the jobs lost will ever get replaced; I worry about hugging my son or taking a plane to see him, I wonder about the future of education and competency in a world of pass/fail; I worry if life will ever get back to normal. I HATE the term the “new normal.” Until there is a vaccine, we are muddling through—with a patchwork of rules and guesswork.
In short, it’s not easy to superimpose new rules under old infrastructure. Exactly how do you play football maintaining 6 feet apart? How do you cram 100,000 spectators into a stadium safely? And, how can a restaurant serve only 50% of its capacity and expect to make money? (Hint: they need to double their prices.) And, how do you ever give a massage under current rules?
I’m grieving for what is lost—for what might have been. Before all of the gremlins climb out of their shells, I admit that I am healthy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to grieve for missed celebrations, hugs, award ceremonies, concerts, dance performances, dinners, and other events that made my life what it was. Now, like everyone else, everything is different.
Here’s what I know so far:
I love people—I want to hear new stories, engage in their lives, learn from others, catch up on the mundane. We are social creatures and remaining insulated, and isolated just doesn’t work!
Waving is no substitute for hugging and shaking hands.
Virtual happy hours are not a good replacement.
Zoom TV shows are a bust—One of the reasons viewers watch TV is because of the escapism: lights, costumes, hair, action! Seeing contestants perform at home or watching actors try to assume every role of production just reinforces the need for these essential services.
Nurses and doctors aren’t the only heroes—They are moms, dads, sons, and daughters who leave their families every day to do a job for which they get paid. Yes, it might be more dangerous than other jobs. But, as we are learning now, delivering packages or ringing up groceries is also essential and dangerous. I’d rather raise funds for the folks getting killed by this economy—for the lowest-paid workers who can’t do their job virtually, who don’t see any way out of this quagmire for a long time.
Teachers are grossly underpaid and unappreciated. Here is where we should applaud; never before have parents recognized the difficulty of teaching our children. If I were homeschooling today, my kid would still be trying to find Idaho on a map and teaching me equations!
Not all Comedians are Created Equal—TV stars touting that we are in this together when they are reaping millions of dollars in salaries is disingenuous at best. Ellen DeGeneres continues her $50 million per year salary, but the salary of her staff of 30 was slashed a whopping 60%! John Krasinski seems to be the only one sharing pure joy without a guaranteed paycheck.
I love cooking, but 59 consecutive meals cleaning is tedious and sucks the fun out of cooking.
Not all tasks can be done virtually—Dog training on Zoom brought me to tears of lunacy.
Being home for 2 weeks is good, perhaps interesting; being home for 8 weeks is torture.
Marriage is not supposed to be 24/7—We all need a break from our spouses—really!
I miss you, my friends, clients, readers, colleagues, and family. I want to connect and yet, here we are. I wish for a quick vaccine to flip the switch back to the way it was.
Until then, stay safe.