Sunday, November 15, 2020

The last time it was Friday the 13th

was March

and I went to work at the library. It was the day before the lockdown in our state. Only for two weeks, the governor said, just to calm things down. Which was weird because we only had four confirmed cases of Covid, but we at the library were going with the flow. Helping the mass of people streaming in to check out books and movies. Something to pass the time during quarantine. 

That was the last time I was in a crowd.

Flash forward eight months, and our library branch doesn't allow people inside the building. Now we help patrons at our walk-up window. Talk through our masks. Slide books and movies through the slot along a six foot long board, positioned there to keep us at a distance. 

November 13 Ohio had its highest number of new cases in one day: 8,071. And 40 people died. There's a fear we'll have to lock down again. But kids are playing in the park. People are walking their dogs. That's a thing I've learned about this slow-moving tragedy. How easily most of us have adapted.  

March 13 my husband and I didn't have any hand sanitizer in our house. Except for a couple of n95 masks bought for a painting project, we didn't own face masks. We had one nine-pack of toilet paper tucked under the bathroom sink. I didn't know what Zoom was. 

November 13 and we have hand sanitizer and masks scattered all over the place. I can't stop buying packs of toilet paper. We're planning a Zoom Thanksgiving. Our daughter is helping us set up the link. 

March 13 she was living on her own in London, going to grad school, planning for a summer of travel across Europe. Now she's living at home, back since May. She finished up her dissertation in her bedroom. Spent her summer helping me in the garden.

Now the weather's turned cold. Outside at night you can smell the smoke from neighborhood firepits. We set ours up in the center of our driveway, spaced the chairs a safe distance apart. This is a lost year, I've heard people say. We're all itching to go back to normal. But sometimes, sitting around the fire with friends, 

it feels like we have already made it through. 

No comments:

Post a Comment