#SoCS: The Days, Weeks, Month, Year of Unbelievable.

I distinctly remember the day that I packed up a laptop, numerous files, office supplies, and anything else I could think of in a rush of adrenaline. It was March 24, 2020, and I had been told I would be working from home until further notice. The offices were closing to the public and minimal staffing across our department had to be scheduled and organized. Covid-19 was on the move across America.

For at least three weeks prior, we had started the process of frequent hand washing and time-consuming attempts to purchase PPE supplies. Post March 24th, it became increasingly obvious that stopping or getting over a pandemic would take time. Some thought by summer or autumn, it would be over, that we would be back to normal. Little did any of us know that we’d still be in a pandemic a year later and how much it would change lives and end lives.

I have been one of the fortunate and remained healthy over the last twelve months. I didn’t lose my job, worry about paying rent or wonder where the next mouthful of food would come from. I was able to save money since I wasn’t going anywhere to unnecessarily spend money. I had the opportunity to retire in September, 2020, which was a no-brainer. Most important, I did not lose a loved one due to the virus. I felt heartsick and prayed for those who did or for those who were suffering long-term effects, and counted my blessings.

The stress I felt through the six months of working at home is gone. Those months are now a blur of Zoom meetings, Zoom interviews (hiring staff), daily reports related to Covid-19, searching for and purchasing costly PPE supplies, checking on the wellness of my staff, weekend visits to the office to pick up mail and more post-it notes, and missing the in-person camaraderie and presence of bosses, peers and others who made the workplace tolerable through the worst of times. During this period, it was nice to be at home in bad weather, have a later wake-up time, and dress inappropriately as long as Zoom didn’t reveal I was still in my pajama bottoms, but I would have traded that in an instant for a non-pandemic environment.

Of course, for those in the U.S., we all suffered the division, indecision and ineptitude that politics created, at the cost of too many lives. It was overwhelming and maddening and took a change in administration to give many of us hope with vaccines and their distribution. The day, month or week that we will reach herd immunity in the U.S. and around the world remains in question, but I hope and pray it comes before the end of 2021.

In some ways, my life changed considerably in the past year, in some ways it was same-old or boring. I have learned to shop online and curbside rather than wandering the stores. I have learned that eating strictly at home has been good for weight loss. I found that I could connect with people from my church online, when we never “talked” that much in person. Natasha and I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at home rather than with family, sharing a meal and trying to make the holidays different from any other day. I also found that during the winter months, my urge to hibernate was left unchecked and I probably spent too many days propped up on my bed, watching mindless TV or reading another fictional mystery. Gibbs enjoyed that time, snuggling up to me, purring his contentment that the human was joining him in blissful laziness.

If I have to sum up the past year, I would call it unbelievable. If a prophet or seer would have told the world three years ago that a pandemic would overtake the world, most people would not have believed, casting him or her aside as another nut job who thinks the world is on the brink of disaster. Well, it was, and even after the virus was confirmed and people started dying, there were those who didn’t believe or take the pandemic seriously. My roommate, Natasha, and I were among the believers, the OCD believers. We have been card-carrying members of the mask-wearing, social-distancing, hand-washing, disinfect and spray everything, don’t take any chances club. We are around the same age and both retired, which means we’d like to enjoy the rest of our lives and be around twenty years from now. Some may believe we go overboard, but the saying of “better safe than sorry” reverberates in my head. Neither of us know how Covid would affect us and neither wants to find out.

There will be better days ahead and I will practice patience until then – take walks, ride bike, read, write, continue the OCD rituals. Once vaccinated, I’ll start to slowly reintegrate where I feel safe. I haven’t had a massage or stepped inside the locally owned grocery store in months and they may be starting points. Perhaps hitting the drive-through for a chai latte would lift spirits. Most of all, I’m going to connect with friends who have been vaccinated as well and give them great big bear hugs until it hurts. I sorely miss them and their non-masked faces.

The days, weeks, months and year since March 24, 2020, are unbelievable in a way, but terrible reality in truth. None of us have had to deal with the magnitude of a pandemic before, but it is my hope that in the years, decades and centuries to come, no one ever has to again.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is socs-badge-2019-2020-1.jpg

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is the brainchild of author Linda G. Hill. Every Friday, Linda provides her followers with an inspiring blogger’s prompt. It can be a word or words and sometimes bonus points are involved (my favorite). Linda asks us to write without editing, other than correcting spelling errors.

Just go with the flow.

Like a babbling brook or rain drops. Click HERE if this type of writing floats your boat or helps with your decision-making. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. Enjoy!

36 responses to #SoCS: The Days, Weeks, Month, Year of Unbelievable.

  1. quiall says:

    I know I’m still a little naïve, even at my age! But I hope we will have learned from the travesty of this pandemic and realize that we were all in this together. Covid didn’t differentiate by colour or religion or any label we place on ourselves. It attacked us, all of us. I wonder if that will make a difference in the future.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m a bit of a pollyanna, Pam, when it comes to hoping for a positive future. It may take a generation or two, but one day it will be realized by the majority that trying to live through a pandemic divided serves no good purpose.

  2. It’s been a tough year in all of the areas you mentioned. We’ve been uber cautious with curbside pickups for groceries but did venture into a smallish local grocery, hardware store, library, haircuts, and take out. I don’t see us eating ‘in’ a restaurant any time soon even with the vaccine. After a year of avoiding people, I’m just not mentally ready to be in a confined space with a group and not knowing who’s been vaccinated, who hasn’t, and what variants are out there. This pandemic is far from over, but things are moving in the right direction. Stay well.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m with you, Judy. It is the unknown that worries me, where others have been, what they are doing, if they’ve been vaccinated. I will not be going into restaurants any time soon, even after the shots.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Your OCD rituals are like wearing that Number-12 jersey, Mary. They’re only silly when they don’t work. I was able to find times when the local stores had very few people shopping. However, I learned how to shop for groceries – something I hadn’t done very often in the past 38 years. We were lucky. The state clamped down quickly and most stores and people comply. The one store that doesn’t, no longer gets my business.

    I think things are getting a little better, and I hope 2021 continues to improve. I wish you a year of bike rides, chai lattes and hugs.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks for the lovely wishes, Dan. The trouble with living in WI is that politics have gotten in the way of reasonable Covid safety over the past year. We’re doing better, but this has been a state divided in closures, wearing masks, etc. We have a mask mandate, but there are politicians who want to end it and people who don’t want to abide by it. I’ll be glad to get the vaccination so that I can feel more comfortable in heading back toward the pre-Covid days.

      • Dan Antion says:

        I’ve never been able to understand the people/politicians against mask wearing. It’s really not that big an inconvenience, and if it saves one life it would be worth it.

  4. Paula Light says:

    I feel lucky to be in Southern California, where most people understand the need for the rules on masks and distance. I can’t imagine the stress of being in a red state where people need to “rebel” to prove how tough (or stupid) they are 🙁

    • bikerchick57 says:

      There was a feeble attempt in August of 2020 to recall our Democratic governor by the Republican base because they didn’t like his attempts to have everyone masked and keep the pandemic under control. That didn’t work, but the Republicans in control at our capitol have pushed back at his orders and policy at every turn, rather than working together for the common good. I really hate politics for what it has done under a pandemic. It proves that it’s hard to combat a common enemy when the house is divided.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Perhaps the books written about this time should be classified as science fiction, located in the Star Trek universe. Hugs and purrs!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know people with long-term Covid effects and it has not been pretty for them. It’s a stark message to stay patient and safe.

  5. lois says:

    Who would ever have thought we’d be having an anniversary like this one? So happy you retired when you did, Mary.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m also happy with retirement, Lois. For the anniversary, I feel like we should all bake a cake and then set it on fire or run it over with a truck…the symbol of “what a waste!” 😏🎂

      • lois says:

        haha! That is too funny! But please let me know when this ‘party’ is and I will happily participate!

  6. J-Dub says:

    You’re so right, no one would’ve believed 2020 could happen. I carry those OCD tendencies too and will continue on as before. The mask is new for 2020 but the handwashing not so much.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Sooo…with the handwashing for 20 seconds, what theme song do you hum? Jeopardy? Star Trek? Just curious…

      • J-Dub says:

        LOL. Before I just counted. Then I heard the happy birthday song twice was about 20 seconds. I’m telling ya what, warm soapy water is a gift! And after our 3.5 day outage during the freak snowstorm in February, I will never take running water for granted again 🙂

  7. JoAnna says:

    It does feel unbelievable sometimes, so thank you for the truth we must remember. The governor of NC has gotten a lot of criticism for his caution and mandates, but I am thankful he had the courage follow the science. We have much to learn from the past year. But I am with you in believing, there will be better days ahead.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Kudos to the NC governor! I will forever feel frustrated that we couldn’t have had the same science-based action in every state, along with people who respected the required response without whining.

      • JoAnna says:

        We’ve had whiners here and some resistance, but most people have come around and recognized that we need to keep each other safe.

  8. I am glad you tell it like it is and give a real depiction of what the year was like for you. I do hope this will be under control soon and that we will not have to experience anything like this again. I know we must just take it one day at a time still. I’m with you on slowiy resuming more contact.

  9. murisopsis says:

    It is nice to hear that I’m not the only one to insist on proper mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing!

  10. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    We had to make so many changes, and we had to make them fast. We had no options. But we have managed. Thank you for sharing.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome. The pandemic has been a roller coaster for all of us this past year and I hope we all get off the ride in the coming months.

  11. LB says:

    So glad to read your post. Congratulations on retirement and hopefully the vaccine is in your near future. Still hoping to see you in May. I am almost at the end of a campaign for State Senate but will be in touch soon.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Laurie, I missed your post about running for State Senate. That’s wonderful and I’ll keep positive thoughts for a victory. I’m hoping for May too…a beer and a couple of shots before then.

  12. It has been a crazy year, and I have not come through unscathed, although my immediate family and friends remain healthy. My children have just begun to enjoy time with their friends in school again, albeit with lots of restrictions, and they are so much happier. It was incredibly hard during the big lockdown and our shorter one from Jan-March. Let’s hope we are moving forward now.

    Reflections on the Year of the Pandemic #WATWB

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Does crazy even begin to describe the past year? With the political situation we had here in the U.S., on top of a pandemic, it often seemed likean episode of the Twilight Zone. We are not in lockdown here, but I will stay close to home until I am vaccinated and start to loosen my own self-imposed restrictions.

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