Back in March, my partner and I would turn to each other and ask, “We’re not crazy, right?” because everything we were doing felt wrong. I literally didn’t leave the house except to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail or bring in the groceries that we had delivered to our front steps for 4 weeks straight during one stretch of time in April and May – here’s the thing though: I’m an introvert and I’ve never been more comfortable doing the things that come naturally.
So, yes, the things we were doing were extreme at that time (this was before “social distancing” and masks were being recommended or required); we would stay at home and order our groceries delivered (and tipping generously to those workers who, for whatever reason, were being tasked to drop our groceries on our front step); we avoided friends and family entirely for two full weeks. At one point my partner had to go to the pharmacy, so we made the most of that exposure and ran all the errands that had been piling up all at once so that we could self-quarantine for 14 days, just in time to visit my in-laws for my partner’s birthday. After two rounds of errand-then-14-day-quarantine, we managed to find sufficient services for every need and up until sometime in June, we never left the house except to visit my in-laws; this shared-bubble determined almost exclusively based on ensuring my daughters had family that we could go visit.
I finished out the last couple of weeks of my old job remotely (and they are still all working remotely, even after they went through a merger and got re-orged et al). There was no “going away” celebration that was normal fare for our corporate culture – we said farewell to another colleague back in February and spent most of one Friday afternoon at a bar drinking “on the clock” as a send off to him – as someone who struggles to find and make friends, it was a sobering ordeal leaving my position behind without the show of camaraderie and those half-empty promises of staying in touch with each other.
I started my new job in the beginning of April. I had arranged and lined up the new job back in February as a 100% remote position on a 100% remote-work team – you can imagine: the team has not been fazed by the pandemic; in fact, as we are a server/hosting provider with remote-access, business continuity and disaster-recovery product offerings, we’ve never been busier and have onboarded 4 new employees on my team since I joined (bringing the team up to double what it was last year at this time, I’m told).
My maternal grandmother had been in an Assisted Living facility for around 2 years with failing mental health; that particular facility was the first in my area to suffer a COVID-related death and, shortly after, my grandmother also contracted and then succumbed to COVID-19. No one was allowed to visit her. There were no services held
As some of you may know, my partner and I recently purchased and then moved into a new house. The biggest regret that we both have is leaving behind the best neighbors you could ever ask for. Shortly after we moved into our old house, a friend of ours said to my partner, “I know that street. I think my friends live right on the corner”. So, by way of being friends-of-a-friend, we introduced ourselves and discovered the friendliest of people with many overlapping hobbies and pastimes. Both of them are boardgamers (and both with more experience than either myself or my partner); I haven’t written about playing boardgames with other people in quite some time (I don’t even think “at all” since switching to this site from the old forums), but my neighbor (referred to as B) was my most consistent gaming partner over the last 5 years – and he was just 2 doors down the street; a more convenient situation I cannot imagine. Their son is still young, but older than our daughters – it may be a few years more before we can strike up a regular boardgame night, since one or both of us will have to be farther than 5 minutes away if we’re needed to return home on short notice (which happened more than once!)
The process of moving and getting our old house ready for sale has been eye-opening. For the most part, everyone I see and interact with is taking the pandemic very seriously and doing their part – masks, distancing and just making sure to not introduce unnecessary risk on their part.
The movers we hired? 7 people, 0 masks. My partner and I were wearing masks the entire time the moving crew were there; in their defense, the foreman of the crew asked if we wanted them to wear masks - we told them to do how they please but that we would wear masks; I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t even take a hybrid approach of wearing masks while working in the house and not necessarily while outside or in the truck. I will say, however, that I did a small minority of the work they did and my mask was soaked with sweat before the day was half way over, both days.
We’ve had painters and handymen (handypersons? Is there a better term for this? It’s less general contractor and
more of a
) in and out of the house getting it ready for sale.
None of them have worn masks, so we’ve made a point to not be there while they are working; and to wear masks when we meet them as necessary. It seems as though (and possibly ripe for tangents) masks and social-distancing are further delineations between white- and blue-collar classes; this has caused me to consider the causality of the situation without drawing any real conclusions.
We’ve seen dozens of children around the age of our own around our new neighborhood. That’s what we paid for! We could have bought a cheaper house that was just as good in a more rural area, but we wanted to ensure we had neighbor kids for our kids to play with. *sigh* Our older daughter wants so much to play with other kids and we seriously fear that she just won’t know how; she’s at the prime age for playdates and learning how to interact with kids her own at right now but we just can’t risk exposure (like all (???) the other families on the block seem to be doing (!?!?!?!?!?!?))
“Are we crazy?” we ask ourselves, my partner and I.
And I still don’t know the answer. All I can do is say, “We’ll take precautions because we are able to.” Some people don’t have the luxury… and, well, we won’t speak of the 3rd group.