It’s been well over a year since my last post and “what a long, strange ‘trip’ it’s been.” The Covid-19 virus brought the whole world to its knees. There isn’t one person who has not been affected in some way — so much sadness. Through the darkness, however, we have also witnessed many rays of light — so much resiliency and resourcefulness and countless acts of selflessness, thoughtfulness and kindness. It’s given many of us time to step back and reflect on what’s important (and what isn’t) and realize how truly fragile our lives and relationships are.
Of course, we haven’t traveled. Frank and I were fortunate to have a safe, comfortable pandemic home close to our Milwaukee family and friends — even if we couldn’t see them in person. I wrote letters, relived past adventures by putting together travel books and joined a virtual book club. I connected with people I truly cared about and consciously let go of one-sided and unhealthy relationships. Of course, I also outlined some future travel plans! As I look back on our “year+ on hold,” it’s surprising how much has happened.
Even before the Stay Home Order was issued, panic shopping cleared grocery shelves. Cleaning products and toilet paper were the first in short supply, followed by many food products.
Healthcare workers were lauded as heroes as they worked endless hours to treat and manage the mounting number of Covid patients. My friend Shannon, a nurse on the East coast, contracted the virus from a patient. I sent her one of our thermometers because she couldn’t get one to monitor her own vitals!
New York was hit bad and there were many deaths. Each night for months, residents would go out on their balcony or open a window to honor the doctors and nurses.
Frank’s friend Ed, who visited us in San Diego in 2019, was one of our country’s earliest Covid victims. While he and his girlfriend took precautions on an Australia-New Zealand cruise, the Aussie government turned their ship around, tested everyone and dispersed the travelers to their respective countries. A few days later back in California, they were informed by email that 30 on the ship tested positive. A follow-up email said it was 400. A few days later Ed was in the hospital, saying his final goodbyes to his grandkids over a computer. This made the virus really hit home for us and we had little patience for fools proclaiming Covid wasn’t real and precautions were infringing on their “rights.”
Grocery stores offered online ordering with delivery or hands-free pickup options. Special hours were available for seniors and the vulnerable. Everyone had to get used to cooking at home again.
“Zoom” became the go-to for family and friends to stay connected.
Covid did not get in the way of romance!
We couldn’t hug but we eventually drifted toward some socially-distanced visiting.
In the midst of the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests
It was a very strange election cycle as candidates avoided large rallies (unless you were a covid-denying Trumpster). Unique fundraisers popped up and televised debates reached record audiences.
Meanwhile, milestone birthdays were celebrated with Zoom parties.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that I went to the Macy’s Parade last year instead of waiting for my 60th as originally planned!
An unexpected turn of events: A month after receiving his second dose of the vaccine, Frank ended up in the hospital with Covid! Other than some aches and fever spikes, his symptoms weren’t real bad and he was home four days later. Still, pretty scary.
Best of all, warm hugs and smiles we can finally see!
As the world begins to open up, Frank and I will carefully venture back out, chronicling our adventures in our next chapter, Waltzing Wanderers 5. Please click and join us!