Apparently social distancing in California is working to help thwart the spread of COVID-19. Still, over 7000 have died in the US in the 75 days since the virus was first reported in our country. This is an ugly, insidious disease that we hope will soon be on the decline, not just stabilizing. So we do our part, stay inside as much as possible and face our new normal.
Now don’t get me wrong; dealing with the pandemic has its challenges, but I’d say overall there have been some interesting repercussions as well. For instance, I’ve never seen so many people out and about during the day in the 36 years I’ve lived in this neighborhood. Couples, families, dog walkers, joggers, bikers…every chance they get they’re on the move. And everyone seems friendlier than usual.
People I pass on the street take a wide berth around me and my dogs. But now everyone gives eye contact and says hi. Are they thrilled just to be out of the house, or what? Before our new normal, neighbors might smile in passing but now I feel like I’m back in Savannah where EVERY SINGLE PERSON you walk past says hello and smiles. Therefore, I do the same. It’s exhausting, all that greeting. But also kinda nice.
Here’s a little observation that may not surprise many. Did you know when couples take a walk, women do most of the talking? You did? Well, aren’t you the observant one. I’m finding it to be universal. The couple strolls by, the woman engrossed in her story while the man walks silently beside her, nodding in agreement.
And did you know liquor sales are up 55% since the virus? Should we interpret that to mean people are numbing the pain of being stuck in the house with their families? Or could it mean they’re making the most of their down time with a little libation with their significant other? I’ll let you decide.
My friend Hilary bets we’ll be experiencing a baby boom in 9 months. She may be right. But we could also see a rise in divorce and murder rates. People do crazy things when under emotional stress, such as being inside for months with loved ones. Me, I’m rooting for the baby scenario.
Now it’s being suggested we wear a face mask whenever outside. But since they’re hard to find, people are fashioning their own. One guy used the cup of his wife’s bra. Another used a woman’s thong. And yet another fashioned one from a feminine pad. It appears American men are quite creative with women’s undergarments. Personally, I think I’ll settle for a bandana.
Humorous emails and texts come in droves as friends attempt to keep their spirits up.
It’s nice to laugh now and then and forget for a moment that life as we knew it is on hold.
But watching the news has a way of bringing us back to reality. My reality includes an abundance of hand washing, realizing how often I touch my face (now that I’m not supposed to), and attempting to utilize my newfound extra time to actually be productive. Challenges, challenges.
There’s a lot of sadness associated with COVID-19 and rightly so. But overall what I’ve encountered are people making the best of a horrible situation. For some it’s a nightly cocktail (or two), or a long stroll with a significant other, or maybe finally finishing that home project from 4 years ago.
But rest assured, one day our new normal will be gone and we’ll get back to our old normal, whatever that may mean to you.