It’s been almost six weeks since COVID19 hit San Antonio, almost five weeks since Morrigan returned home from Kansas and the city went to shelter-at-home protocols. We’ve been fortunate as a family in terms of finances, job security, our kids’ abilities to school-from-home, etc. The one major illness that hit us so far, the one that worried us, turned out not to be COVID19 after Jason’s test results came through. San Antonio has done really well implementing protection orders here and current models predict that we’ll reach our peak sometime in the next month (late April to mid-May). The model for Texas generally estimates April 29th, but of course even after we hit our peak, it’ll be some time before restrictions are lifted** and life can be resumed more normally.
On Tuesday, I had a day of mourning. I’ve watched other people have these days over the last week, as the number of days trapped at home snowball and we all reach moments of personal crisis. During my heart-heavy day, I missed all these little things: being able to go to the grocery store to pick up something we’ve unexpectedly run out of; meeting up with folks to exercise; bumping into friends at stores or the library and hanging out for a bit; not debating whether or not to wear a mask if I plan to take a walk around the neighborhood for some exercise and fresh air. Etc. I made a “top ten things I miss from pre-quarantine” list that day, and here it is. In no particular order, I miss:
- the library!!!!! I miss my local library, my second home. I miss the librarians and other employees there. I miss browsing for books and movies, and picking up stacks of hold books, and seeing what events are forthcoming. I’m also sad that I didn’t get to begin volunteering there like I’d planned.
- hiking with friends – or more generally, exercising and get-togethers with my hiking group. They have made me so happy, and I’m relieved to be seeing folks via Zoom events and Marco Polo, but those hikes and walks and dinner dates were the best, and I can’t wait until they’re back in my life.
- coffee dates – I have a couple friends I used to meet with for iced coffee in the afternoon, about once every week or two. I’ve been able to have facetime coffee dates in exchange, but it really isn’t the same!
- having the house to myself while everyone is at work/school – This is a HUGE one! I’m transported back to the early days of being a stay at home mom, when my job becomes 24/7 because everyone is home 24/7. And while it’s not the same having three teenagers vs having three toddlers full time, there are a lot of similarities: chaos and mess and illogical arguments and the assumption that Mom will clean up after everything…I go through this every summer break, and I’m definitely mourning that “summer break” will be at least five months long this year.
- my chiropractor and massage therapist – I desperately need both an adjustment and a massage (or three)
- grocery shopping without masks and shortages – The last time I went grocery shopping was on March 12th, the day before our first case here, and when shortages were already beginning. The last time I’ve visited the grocery store (for the pharmacy) was on March 16th. Since then, Jason has been our designated grocery shopper (the stores have asked to have one designated person per household for social distancing protocols). I can’t pop down to HEB for an item we’ve run low on or weren’t able to buy due to shortages. In fact, I can’t pop down to ANY indoor location other than my house. I haven’t been inside any building except my home for the last however-many weeks.
- Alamo Drafthouse – In March, I received a free movie ticket to use that month for my birthday, but of course, businesses shuttered their doors midway through the month. I don’t really mourn the free ticket I lost – I’d rather be able to support this local business monetarily – but I miss that experience of going to Drafthouse with family or friends, ordering a meal or joining one of their quote-along parties. I didn’t go to the theatre often, but I really enjoyed the opportunity.
- seeing my extended family – The last time I saw anyone in my family (outside my household) was on March 15th, when my dad, stepmom, and half-sister came over for Laurence’s birthday party. My mom was unable to make it because she was still recovering from some kind of flu she never had tested, and we didn’t want to risk the rest of us catching it. The last time I saw most members of my family was in mid-February, when my cousin got married, or at Christmas.
- non-virtual 5Ks – Just not a fan of the virtual format, and I miss the excitement and camaraderie and fun of real 5Ks.
- exploring new-to-me places – On March 8th, five days before our first case, I went to a state park that I’d never been to before for a six-mile hike. Afterwards, a friend and I went to brunch at a restaurant neither of us had been to. Both places were awesome. Over the previous few months, thanks to my hiking group, I’d been able to visit so many different parks and hiking trails that I’d never been to before. I was discovering so many things about this city that I’d never known. And so many more were planned, all canceled now. Dinners and hikes and karaoke nights and so much more.
On a more general note, I miss being able to plan for the future. Whether that’s planning for a vacation, or the possibility of going to school in the fall like I’d hoped, or even whether or not Ambrose will be able to start college at normal time in August – I’d just like to be able to think about the future without wondering when/if COVID19 will be a factor.
I asked Jason and the boys what they missed most from pre-quarantine. Morrigan said that he missed being able to go out with friends, and not living at home. Ambrose said he missed real school as opposed to online school (which he learned that he really dislikes back when we lived in Wisconsin!). Laurence misses his theatre class, rehearsals, theatre friends, his theatre director, etc. Jason misses being able to go for walks wherever at the spur of the moment.
What is it that you’re missing most from life pre-quarantine?
**written before our overzealous governor decided that this week, before we’ve even reached our peak, is the week when we should begin opening things up again…