The story so far

Jan 19, 2021

the story we’ve all been living began last March 16, the day after returning a day early from Florida to start a two-week work from home quarantine that has now extended 10 months. in those first weeks everything was closed, no one was on the road, it seemed safer to wear gloves along with a mask when venturing to the grocery store, and that was the only place worth venturing to.

while work proceeded more or less seamlessly, since people were already working from home off and on anyway, activity outside working hours evaporated, no more rehearsals, no concerts to go to, no sporting events to watch. beth’s hours were curtailed somewhat, but she still had an “office” to go to a few afternoons a week. i on the other hand had nowhere to go, but spring was here and the kids still checked in on a regular basis. Justin came home for a couple weeks after classes ended in May.

From the beginning it seemed like the worst would be over in a couple of months, and things did reopen more or less, we had more options for takeout anyway. it was a shock to go into a bookstore after they finally allowed humans inside in June, and see most of the magazines on the racks were still from March, like some kind of post-nuclear frozen in time moment.

the couple of months never got any closer, and in fact started to get longer, til now there’s no telling when things get back to some semblance of where they were. i resisted the phrase “the new normal” that people were throwing around after the first week, there was nothing normal about it, and accepting it as such seemed defeatist.

i was saving money by not commuting, but losing my side hustles partially offset that, and lack of movement was definitely weighing on me if you’ll pardon the expression. still paying $290 every month on a car that gets to go about 100 miles during that same interval.

seeing the seasons go by day by day from home was new after living here 29 years, observing the incremental changes in lighting inside the house as the sun changed its trajectory. it was hot in the summer but no sustained heat waves, with all the doors and windows open it was like always being outside even when i wasn’t.

now it’s the dead of winter but not much snow and no deep freeze, the days are getting longer and soon enough we’ll have cycled around to March 16 again, with the opportunity to make more of the second time around than i did the first. it’s a new year, new president tomorrow, everyone assumed 2021 would be an improvement, still hoping.

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