The third installation of my Covid confinement.
To date, it has been more than 18 weeks since I’ve stepped foot into my (our) Northwest Portland, China Town office. It’s been a bit surreal.
Let’s face it, 2020 is becoming the year that should be reset back to 12/31/19. Any celebrations planned after March 13, 2020, are up for the reboot. Eric, my partner, had a birthday at the end of March, we had a big anniversary trip to Europe scheduled for April, and now it’s July. Eric has also declared that because his birthday happened during the pandemic, this birthday doesn’t count this year and therefore he will happily remain the same age. He isn’t the only one to make such a declaration. There have been so many celebrations that have been upstaged by this global event. Graduations, weddings, and even births have all become victims of any commemoration. Though things are slowly beginning to return back to “normal”, it’s still going to be a while before things feel less apocalyptic.
I’ve personally grown weary of hearing certain words and terms to describe the pandemic. Words such as “Unprecedented”, “Life-changing (altering)”, and the ever popular, “In these uncertain times”. Granted these words do provide an accurate description, but I would use different words with a zestier flair. Words such as, “F’ckd Up”, “Shit show”, or in the United States we are all really “Screwed”. This idea however wouldn’t fly on the string of “family-centric” channels, so forgive me if I made some of you clutch your pearls with my somewhat racy verbiage. Really, I jest about my choice of words but, if we were Demi Moore’s character from the movie Ghost, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) would be saying, “Molly, you in danger girl”! Collectively, we are in serious trouble.
To the parents for having to balance life as both educator/homemaker for their home-bound children, and to others for getting a rise out of baking bread. I say kudos to you. I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with the crumb-snatchers (what my mother calls small children) and I don’t bake either. Instead, I grew my first beard. I’ve previously had a pornstache for a number of years, but this is my first time having a beard. I’ve never really been in a position where I could just… let it grow; sing that to the tune of that frosty Disney musical (it’s your earworm for the day)! I figured that since I wasn’t going anywhere or showing my unmasked face in public, this would be the perfect opportunity to test it out. It was a little patchy on the sides and it was also a bit painful. That’s because my hair is very coarse and as my beard began sprouting to a length past a five o’clock shadow, it began to irritate my skin. Imagine resting your face on steel wool. I even shaved the stubble off several times before I officially committed to my #Covidbeard. Luckily as it grew out, I was able to apply enough beard balm butter to soften my new scruffiness.
In general I would consider myself a positive thinking person and always make an attempt of seeing the plus side of things. Even as things are at work, webinar creation and navigating seamlessly in a virtual environment has been an interesting newly acquired skill. At home, I’m getting more housework done. Home just isn’t a place to rest my little peanut head (as my sister’s say), but it has also become my workplace and virtual meeting center. I usually sit at the raised island in the kitchen because the lighting is better for the majority of the day. I just have to make sure there are no unsightly blemishes on the stainless steel appliances to catch the virtual viewer’s attention. If I change locations, will they see that pile of unfolded laundry mounded on the sofa? Okay, that would absolutely never happen! Laundry day for us is on Sunday. Besides, I’m fortunate to cohabitate with a partner who like myself, doesn’t like clutter; everything has its place. Normally we would always keep the house clean in case we have friends over spontaneously for dinner or if Eric has clients who want to see his fabulous architectural design style in person. Granted we are currently living in the time of covid so unfamiliar people in our spaces aren’t welcome.
I’m used to waking up early, going to the gym, and seeing my fellow gym buddies and buddettes at O-dark thirty before heading to the office. The friendly familiar faces and occasional morning eye candy were always worth getting my heart rate up! That was then. Now that I’m working remotely, I don’t have the equipment at home or the motivation that I did in the time before. The mobile fitness apps are one dimensional in comparison to seeing the smiles on faces and experiencing the community of my fellow early risers. It’s all good, and as the great disco diva Gloria Gaynor sang it best, I will survive! Safety first has become our collective global mantra when navigating the environment outside the home.
It hasn’t been all gloom and doom. I’m fortunate to have a roof above my head and a job. This has allowed me (us) time to tackle the honey-do list that comes with homeownership. Things like power washing the pavers in the backyard and the driveway, fixing uneven pavers from 13-year old tree roots seeking more water. It’s not fun and I’ll admit, Covid has made me cranky about applying sweat equity at home when I really want to be traveling, hosting our posse for an intimate dinner, or dancing my ass off in a crowd of handsome dudes.
I know that It’s not forever, but it just seems like the hands of time are bound by political rhetoric and inconsistent action as we battle our way forward right now. We are also living in a time of a new social justice revolution for this generation, something I will reflect on more in my next post. This revolution, in addition to most states struggling to climb out of the slippery covid pit, make it difficult to navigate through the complex layers of health and safety, while exercising the right to protest.
On June 19th (Juneteenth) Multnomah county, here in Portland, Oregon, was given the green light by the Oregon governor to enter into the phased reopening process. Like so many other states, the number of confirmed infections of the Coronavirus have increased following the loosening of restrictions bringing into question whether we will again be forced back to square one until we can successfully get the spread of the virus under control. I really was hoping to reschedule our anniversary trip for the fall, but with US travelers being banned from Europe due to the explosive spike in infection rates, it’s looking like we will have to discover the treasures of being home for a little while longer.