The Year that Was

March 6 was the one year anniversary of the first case of coronavirus in our state. So much has happened to the residents of Planet Earth during this time.

I was clueless when I naively stated last year that “I can just get on with my life while at the same time follow safe practices such as diligently washing my hands more often and for twenty seconds and fist or elbow bump rather than shake hands.” Clearly I did not have my crystal ball handy.

However, I did have the foresight to purchase toilet paper weeks before the TP shortage would become a national crisis. We ate our last meal at a restaurant on March 11 and we made our last trip to a grocery store on St. Paddy’s Day. We began visiting our grandchildren through a window—sometimes at our house as we watched them play in our yard, and other days from the front lawn of their home as they peered at us from above. We began having Zoom calls with my mother, which we later learned that she did not enjoy.

Our groceries were delivered by Instacart, a service which we eventually discontinued when efficient curbside delivery began. Although I know there are those who feel bad for me regarding our decision to obtain our food this way, I am thrilled with this service since I HATE TO SHOP! Is it possible that I can avoid most of my grocery shopping forever?

We are eating better home-cooked meals, and I have spent the past year experimenting with various banana bread recipes. I have decided that I am not a fan of the Greek yogurt-infused bread, but applesauce in place of fats is not a bad taste. I learned to grow basil from a single leaf and scallions from the white stems at the bottom of the plant. I have my favorite wine delivered to my door.

We learned about forming a social bubble, and after developing a list of do’s and don’ts, we were able to see the grandkids again, mindful of the fact that cheating was not an option because the results could be deadly.

In July, Dad and I began the toothpaste challenge (Pandemic Challenge), and I am happy to report that to date the score is Mom-5, Dad-0.

During late summer and early fall, I worked on the election, engaged in sign language classes with our soon-to-be five-year old, attended a Zoom baby shower for grandchild #3, and eventually took a trip to NJ to visit the new baby. Dad mapped out the location of every restroom stop, we found hotels with remote check-ins and virtual keys, and we stocked up on plenty of hand sanitizers and wipes. Now we have a Lily and a Willow in the family. I guess we all like plants.

I was disappointed to discover that many Americans do not trust doctors and scientists nor are they able to perform basic research to discern fact from fiction. I know who is honest and who is selfish among my family and friends.

With a new president and three vaccines available to every American who wants one, I look forward to the day when we can return to a world with less restrictions. But as someone who eases into a pool rather than jumping in feet first, I will continue to wear masks and avoid large gatherings after receiving my vaccines until the scientists and doctors, particularly Dr. Fauci, assure me that it is safe to stop these practices. I don’t want to endanger my unvaccinated loved ones.

I can be patient. I don’t want to experience another year like this. As Dan Rather said, “Can we please not spike footballs before we hit the end zone?”

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