So, it's been approximately 12 weeks since our worlds turned upside down. This crazy Covid-19 virus that came from China that would only infect about 15 people then magically disappear has now infected over 2 million in the US alone. And cases are spiking again after our "phased reopening plans" have started to be put into place. No - wait - it's the protests that have caused the spike!! Not the millions of people that refuse to wear a mask, social distance and follow any other protocol to help reduce the spread. But I digress.
Back in March when this all began, we all had quite a different perspective on where we would be three months from then. And here we are. I believe that we are in phase three of the "When You Put it That Way" phases of Covid-19. They are as follows:
We just start hearing about the alarming number of cases, particularly in Italy, that are spreading. It's really, really scary. The US only has a handful of cases and we are assured that it will stay that way. However, alleged experts warn that we need to "shelter in place". We need to stay home, not go to work, close schools, close businesses, eat at home 7 nights a week and not leave our houses unless absolutely necessary. Early on the CDC does not recommend mask wearing even though any idiot can figure out that a mask could protect you at least a little.
So, we hunker down and try to embrace the new normal. We get to spend more time with our kids (not me, they are grown and gone) and we order tons of new toys, PUZZLES and all kinds of FUN things to keep us all busy. We start working remotely. We realize for women anyway that wow! We don't have to wear make-up! We don't have to wash our hair! We can wear sweats every single day while working (or not, if you are me and suddenly watch your business die a quick death). And for the Dads out there they get to spend all this quality time with their kids, get to really know them. It's a pause for the world, a reset so to speak. It is so strange for us not to see anyone outside immediate family, we miss hugging people, shaking hands. We are all finding ways to be creative and tolerate this new way of life. We break out the old cook books. We can order our groceries for delivery or pick-up no problem! If we have to go to the grocery store we mask and glove up, we are warriors, we will survive! We are saving so much money on going out, gas, clothing, shopping. This is kinda cool!!!
It's been about 4-6 weeks and a certain thickness is overcoming waistlines as people eat their way through days. They begin to worry that they will gain the "Covid-19" pounds. Businesses are realizing that if something doesn't change soon they may go under. People have filed for unemployment in record numbers. Loans are begged for. Mortage payments are suspended. The kids are getting restless but do enjoy having mommy and daddy around. Mommy and daddy are drinking more at night after the kids are down to sleep. They are sleeping later and becoming less structured. Couples without kids are spending too much time together and bickering a bit. The phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is becoming a dream for some people.
In a stunning move , the CDC now recommends masks for everyone. Volunteers everywhere are sewing them. Stores that are selling them online can't sell them fast enough and are ordering 1,000 at a time. Toilet paper is non existent. Grocery delivery and pick up times are about a month out. We are forced to shop and are now getting more irritated if someone is not wearing a mask. We'd like to punch them. We are angry if someone passes us in the store and doesn't stay six feet away. People ignore the one way aisle signs. Workers are wearing masks below their noses. We are getting our groceries home and spending an hour wiping them all down with homemade disinfectant since there is never any available. Alcohol sales are through the roof. Oh, and Xanax prescriptions. We have no idea when things are going to change.
Despite nothing changing regarding a cure or a treatment, phased reopenings are happening everywhere to get the economy back on track.
Our sweat pants now fit like leggings. The kids have succeeded in making us lose our minds. Couples are realizing that they were never meant to be together or could never live without each other, no middle ground. Restaurants and bars have opened and the term "social distancing" has gone in the toilet. Retail stores have opened and are bad mouthed if they require a mask. Those people just go elsewhere where they can spread their germs. Those jigsaw puzzles we bought in phase one are being set on fire. The toys we bought the kids are in a pile with all the other toys they used for five minutes and grew tired of. Stores are left with masks they can't sell because everyone has now apparently bought the 2 layer and now should be four.
I am waiting anxiously to see how we will enter my version of phase four, I don't think it will be pretty. The only bright light is that if there is still a shortage of toilet paper, we will have plenty of leftover masks.
We shall see.