Posts Tagged 'social distancing'

Trying to be very quiet

There’s taping going on in the next room. The chorus has gone virtual, which means we’ve all been doing our best. I taped earlier, and I think my tape may get the response, “Oh, dear. She tried.” So many blooper reels. So many times the pretty little horses had coats muddled, or words didn’t come out correctly (spoonerisms…. so many!).

The cats really don’t care about keeping quiet, or what other sounds might ruin a taping. One cat has been quacking and growling outside of the makeshift studio door, climbing up on a hall table to experiment with the door handle. I managed to be quiet, and not hum my part along. I’ve sent away my part, and hopefully it was good enough that the mixer can do magic and make it work with the others.

The funniest blooper reel (besides the one where I warble as sirens respond to a fire call and someone starts to wood chip a stump), was when I realized I had sung the wrong word, said “fudging hell,” and turned off the tape. Apparently working in childcare and in a museum did some good.

Don’t Stand so Close to Me

Never thought that Police song was going to be relevant this way. I have no idea how people who work in supermarkets can handle the people (mostly dudes, many of whom are in their 70s and all of whom should know better) who race up to other people so they can be “close” to someone else. If I were a specialist in human behavior, I would speculate on why.

Shopping in the grocery store feels like I’m in a real-live version of Doom or Gauntlet, only the goal is to finish without anyone standing right next to me.

So welcome to shopping in one corner of the USA: Staff do their best, limiting how many customers are in stores. You need a mask to enter shops. Everywhere there are signs reminding you that masks are the law, and if you think you might be sick, stay home. There are one or two people who pick things up and then abruptly put things back while you wait patiently for what you want in the aisle. Other people are kind and explain before they need to dart in front of you, so you can appropriately distance. And then there was the one guy who shouted at me about the fact that his potatoes weren’t in a bag, so he had no idea how many would be in a pound (there was a scale behind him). I suspect he’s only ever seen a supermarket, instead of a small grocery with organic food. Lines in checkout are marked with tape to let you know how far away 6 feet really is.

From this isolation, I watch statistics rise (New York, New Jersey and closer to home) and worry about friends and family around the globe. Let’s make a pact to stay as healthy as possible, ok?

So what is life like in your corner of the world? Anyone else weirded out that their allergy symptoms disappear while wearing a cloth mask?

Facing overwhelmingness

snow drops for hint of spring

We’re all a little overwhelmed. My tipping point was trying to get in and out of a grocery store…. People 60 years and older were crowding against people. It was unsettling, after hearing all the warnings that healthy people could carry infection without symptoms.

I’d prefer kindness was catching, instead of the virus. We’re limited to waving at people across the street instead of running over to chat. I go for walks when the streets are quiet (it’s spring, and the sky is glorious). The churches are shut, with signs, but they have online services now. Things are better than they were in the past, but we’re still frozen looking at the tv or the online news, wondering what’s next. There’s even the eeriness of quiet streets and few planes.

Because I have the luxury of working from home, I’m not seeing as many people in real life – this is the whole point of social distancing. But it’s depressing: I like seeing people. I’m limiting trips to the shops for groceries. I’m calling relatives to see if they’re OK rather than driving over.

But there’s fun stuff: To keep myself from obsessing, I’m unplugging from social media in favor of reading poetry, walking around the block, knitting and watercoloring. I’ve been invited to a walk in a park, where I can be 6 feet away from friends, but still able to see each other. I’ve been discovering new recipes, which is fun. Current cookbooks on heavy rotation: Kimiko Barber’s Japanese Pure and Simple, Simon Bajada’s The New Nordic Cookbook and Rosemary Barron’s Flavors of Greece. I also have Julia Child’s two volumes, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and this might be the time to try a recipe. I hope you are finding a way to de-stress. Feel free to leave tips on how to practice kindness from a distance.


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