Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Three Years With Covid

 It is still fairly early on this cold-not-yet-Spring morning in the Northeast.

The world is quiet outside, nice and clear, filled with the possibilities of the day.

I turned on the morning news as I was piddling around thinking about the world as it is, and the newscaster said, "It was on this day in 2020 when the first case of Coronavirus came to Connecticut."

Millions of lives, thousands of people.

We will never be the same.

Nor should we.

I thought about how my now college junior was set to interview presidential and congressional candidates at the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis. We had only heard inklings about Covid. Someone at her school had gone to Italy and was supposed to be coming back. She and her sister had an orchestra competition in Florida and were leaving a few days from then.

It was my sorority's Centennial Year and so many of us had plans for that summer, we had already had a major celebration in our city and our fraternity brothers were having a regional conference.

My daughters were planning for their debutante and all the things that go with senior year.

In the midst of all that, my husband was at his university as Interim President and I was working on primary get-out-the-vote, we had had a rally not many days prior to March 8.

How the world changed.

From whispers, I remember the first news shows about people getting sick on cruise ships and something about China, even them showing a foot-tap instead of a handshake.

America thought it wouldn't come to us.

All that changed in a blink of an eye.

I remember someone whispering to us that it was already here, we just didn't know it yet, by here, they meant where I live now, in the Northeast. New York was among the hardest hit states as was Connecticut. There was a superspreader event at a Mansion down near Greenwich/Darien area. Living here now, I am more familiar with the region, I can understand how this relatively small state situated between two big cities of Boston and New York, could become an epicenter.

Spring break changed immediately for us.  

Our girls still went to their orchestra competition and everyone was scrambling for alcohol and aloe vera to make handmade sanitizer because overnight, that was a hot-ticket item.

In rapid fire, things like toilet paper and paper towels became scarce, people started shuttering their doors, parts of the northeast had started issuing stay-at-home orders. So many were dying.

I think about that time, we were all worried and had an inept president who didn't seem to care.

The next two-to-three weeks in 2020 turned our whole world upside down. 

My daughters spent spring break hunkered down in their bedrooms learning how to order food to be delivered to our table outside with no human contact with the delivery person who came with gloves on and we sprayed everything before it came in to our house.

Their school became at home and would remain so for the next year. My oldest daughter didn't have her graduation activities and it would be well into July before they had an outdoor ceremony with everyone masked, we were among those who were having masks made, KN95 were no where, so instagram folks were showing how to make one with an old t-shirt, people were using bandanas.

Looking back on it, so many things happened that we will continue to unpack. 

In the coming days, I'm sure there will be many more remembrances because we are still marking the time of how this virus upended lives and is still doing so.

We are vaccinated and some still got it but at least they did not die.

I still mask when I travel and go in public places, taking it off to eat. My large gatherings are still limited. Not everyone is doing that. There were so many protests about taking away one's rights when asked to simply think about their fellow human being and put a mask on in closed spaces.

The selfishness of Americans came out in full display, followed by the depravity of some, the indifference of others.

12,000 people died in my new state of Connecticut.

It is crazy to think how much this upended our world and that we are not fully out of it.

Over the next few moments and days, I am processing how much changed.

How are you processing what has changed?

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