Posts

Day 144

Who's Counting?

Here’s a list of what I didn’t accomplish today:

I didn’t go for a walk or do my stretching exercises.
I didn’t learn — or even start to learn — a new language.
And I didn’t sign up for online art classes.
I meant to …

But here’s a list of what I did accomplish today:

I did manage to log in some hours on my big new writing project. Details to be revealed later.
I did manage not to over-eat. Drumroll, but no jelly or belly roll, please!
I did maintain a positive mental attitude through most of the day, staying grateful for the good health of all those I love and care about.
I miraculously did avoid talking politics during three Zoom meetings and two telephone calls.
And I did write this COVID Chronicles journal entry.

So, the day — Day 144 — wasn’t a complete muddle!

See! We will get through this … not always as productively as we’d like, but still, the time will pass. Hang in there. Better days are ahead. Meanwhile, wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your ever-lovin’ social distance!

Day 133

Take Heart!

It’s the start of another week. Does the thought fill you with dread? Another day, another mask. Another day, more terrible pandemic statistics and disheartening political news from Washington, D.C.

Well, I say — take heart! There are sound reasons to feel optimistic, five of them, in fact. And it’s thanks to a San Francisco Chronicle article, that I’m focusing on them instead of zeroing in all that’s frightening and derisive.

Here’s the summary:

“We’re getting closer to a vaccine
Treatments look more promising
Testing is getting easier
Masks are working
We know more about this virus now.”

From that same article, here’s one statistic that really hit home:

“ … if 80% of the population wore face coverings,
it would do more to reduce COVID-19 spread than a strict shutdown.”

On a Personal Note

I spoke to a beloved friend today. Somehow, we haven’t spoken since the SF Bay area shelter in place order was issued in mid-March. In the interim, her father has died, her business has withered, and she’s having a very tough time. Yet, has she picked up the phone and said that? No. Is she the first friend of mine who has been suffering in silence? No.

To all my friends and readers out there, I say this: you are not alone. Please do not be ashamed or hesitant to share your feelings of sadness, loneliness, frustration, and worry. Please reach out to someone. We are apart but we do not have to be without the loving care of a friend’s voice on the other end of a phone. There is no shame in accepting friendship’s embrace. No shame at all.

That’s it on Day 133. Aren’t I preachy today? That’s what the rare two cups of coffee does to me! Hugs all around.

Day 110

Happy 4th of July

A strange holiday this year. Fireworks are canceled in most places to prevent gatherings and the spread of disease. You cannot dispute the wisdom of this course of action.

Still, it is a historic day for our nation. So, my good wishes to all as we contemplate the way forward in terms of battling this dreadful disease, our political future, and an end to racial injustice.

On a personal note, July 4th is a historic day in the life of my family. My parents met on this day 88 years ago — on a blind date — at Coney Island. He was supposed to be my mother’s best friend’s date, but he took one look at my mother and that was it! They married seven months later.

And so, here we are on Day 110. As my friend Rachelle wrote on her Facebook page, “Mask Up or Stay Home.”

 

Day 108

A Lack of Hospitality

For the past two days, we’ve had workmen at the house, working on the roof and in the garage on a solar battery installation project. Ever energy-efficient Handsome Hubby’s was in charge, but still, normally when people work at the house, I introduce myself, offer coffee in the morning, cold drinks in the afternoon, and make random chit chat during the course of the day.

But not this time …

This time I avoided the men, as the expression goes, like the plague. Yes, in these oh, so cautious times, I’m afraid that I’m afraid of strangers.

One man didn’t wear a mask. What the hell? Should I complain to his employer? Or is it none of my business?

All I know is if this is the new normal, I don’t like the “new me.” Cautious. Inhospitable. Scared.

Meanwhile, an unrelated observation …

Do you know how people complain about how they can’t stop working since they started working from home? Well, that’s how I feel about housecleaning. I can’t stop cleaning!

Last night after dinner, I could not resist the urge to use one of those Mr. Clean abrasive wall scrubber-sponge thingies to tackle those tiny scuff marks that inevitably appear here, there, and EVERYWHERE! Why at 7:48 p.m. did this become an itch that had to be scratched I cannot tell you.

And so goes Day 108.

And about those workmen, it really was a shame about my lack of hospitality. I made a batch of brownies — killer good. Too good, too plentiful, and way too caloric for just Handsome Hubby and me. It would have been nice to have shared them. Man, I need to, as the kids would say, “get a hurdle and get over it!”

Anyway, onward to more hospitable days.

Day 103

Strange Cravings

I’m starting to have visions. Not religious visions. No, more like sugar plums and other sweets plus a few savory treats to round out the picture.

Yes, like someone lost midway through the Sahara Desert or shipwrecked (or pregnant), I’m starting to have intense and highly specific food binge desires.

I close my eyes and see specific dim sum delights — bar-b-que pork buns (don’t tell my rabbi), steamed pork buns (again, please, don’t tell my rabbi) and steamed shrimp shumai (same rabbinical request). Perhaps I could make these delights at home, but a. I don’t have the patience of a Zen master and b. I want to select these treats from steaming dim sum carts racing past me and share them with my nephew Ryan in a jam-pack Chinatown restaurant, either in San Francisco or NYC.

I also yearn for a salty, icy Margarita served with a huge bowl of chips, salsa, and guacamole. These items I can whip up at home, but again it’s about the ambiance, the friends, the crowd, the fun, the background noise.

Ah, well. It’s not like I’m starving. It’s just fun deferred.

But still, these intrusive visions are a bit alarming! I guess as long as the baked buns don’t start talking to me, I’m OK. Right?

And so goes Day 103. Hang in there. May all your cravings be satisfied! Now or not in the not-to-distant future.

Now, fess up! What are you jonesing for?

Day 95

Best Headline of the Week

“Pandemic may end talking to nude men”

The news is usually grim, but the above headline has had me chuckling all week and I had to share it with you! It comes thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle. I thought of not explaining it. After all, it’s so delicious as is but I guess that’s not fair. So, here goes:

The headline accompanies a story by Chronicle sports columnist Scott Ostler who’s delivered a eulogy of sorts for a “great American sports institution …facing extinction”: the locker room and clubhouse interview.

Yes, because of coronavirus safety concerns, it appears those interviews will be no more. In his column, Ostler then details a few of his more memorable locker room interviews and the players and coaches he’s talked to. It’s a fun story and you don’t have to be a sports fan to get a laugh or two.

But oh, it’s the headline that’s still got me giggling. You may recall I covered organized crime as a reporter. I thank my lucky stars I never interviewed any of those guys naked! That would not have been a pretty sight. Oh, no, it would not have been!

That’s all I’ve got for Day 95. Have a good weekend. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Day 85

First in Space AND First in the Ocean’s Depths

It’s Day 85 of sheltering in place in Berkeley, CA. And while I sit and ponder headlines of pandemic, protests, injustice, and massive unemployment, I finally found news to celebrate.

The news? Astonishingly, the first American woman to walk in space has also become the first woman to reach the deepest known point in the ocean.

Yes, thirty-six years after her historic spacewalk, astronaut/oceanographer Kathy Sullivan accomplished her equally historic 35,810-foot dive to the Challenger Deep this past week.

This dive makes Dr. Sullivan the first person to both walk in space and to descend to the deepest spot in the ocean.

The Challenger Deep is approximately seven miles down in the Mariana Trench, located 200 miles from Guam.

She and her fellow scientist spent about an hour and a half at that depth in a deep-sea research submersible before beginning their ascent back up which took four hours.

In a sweet touch, upon returning to their ship, they called the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, around 254 miles above the earth.

Dr. Sullivan made her own historic spacewalk in 1984.

To the Couch and Not One Step Beyond

Now, as I read about Dr. Sullivan’s daring exploits up high and down low, I admit I was somewhat chagrined. You see I have acrophobia. Last night Handsome Hubby and I saw the movie The Aeronauts, based loosely on the 1862 balloon flight which set the altitude record of more than 30,000 feet. Dizzy and shaking, I couldn’t watch most of the aerial shots. “What’s happening now?” I kept asking. As you can imagine, I missed at least two-thirds of the movie.

Just for the record, Dr. Sullivan set her latest record at age 68. By any measure, this is an inspiring person. And on Day 85, don’t we need all the role models we can get?

You can read more about her achievements here.

Something to Celebrate

44 Days and in Need of Joy

Something to Celebrate

Searching for something to celebrate after 44 days of sheltering-in-place, I turned to a website that lists “Daily Bizarre and Unique Calendar Holidays.” And with the month of April not quite over, I was in luck. Join me — from a socially safe distance — for an e-journey through the month’s extravaganza of unusual holidays. Read more