a world shut down…

On January 15, 2020 the first known case of a virus called the Corona Virus or Covid-19 was found in Washington state.  This virus, that began in China, quickly spread all over the world, silently infecting hundreds of thousands & killing thousands.  The world & life as we knew it, came to a screeching & scary halt.  Lockdowns began all over the world, country by country.  The US was late in getting on the right course, but we began to shut down too.  The first state was California, then county by county, then more entire states. My county lockdown began on March 24th, however a week before that it was recommended that people stay home. Today is day #39. 

Thousands of workers went home to work.  All universities & schools were closed for the rest of the year.  Only essential businesses could stay open…grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, etc.  Most all businesses, including restaurants & bars, shut their doors.  Hospitals were trying to prepare for the onslaught of patients, finding they were dangerously short of gloves & masks to protect themselves.  Peter is able to work from home; Luke is out of work; Sara is working the front lines...testing & facing Covid patients & hoping she does not bring it home to her family; Danny is still working his long hours & having contact with 20 or so new people everyday….not good.  They both get home from work, strip, & shower before having any contact with family.  Danny has been concerned about possibly spreading it to his mother, who was living at our house & it’s a particular deadly virus to the elderly & compromised…which she is both.

And, most all travel has been cancelled.  The National Parks have closed; public lands to camp on is closed in many states & airline travel is down to a bare minimum. Of course, our trip to see the grand daughters & my two month Southwest road trip were all cancelled too. 

This virus doesn’t care if you’re famous, rich, poor, young, old, smart or stupid…it attacks randomly & viciously.

People are stuck at home & spending a lot of time on social media.  It’s both good & bad…there’s funny stuff (believe it or not)…about all the spare time we have now…

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…about what happens when you’re quarantined….

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…about the rules of keeping safe...

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…about stores running out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer & so many random things in short supply…

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….about not traveling…

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…Easter came & went with no restaurants open & no mass egg hunts...

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We now have some protestors in a few cities ‘demanding’ their lives back...

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But, there is so much sadness.  So many people have died quickly from this virus.  Some hospitals are so overpowered by Covid-19 patients & medical staff is still short on supplies, thousands are out of work, the economy is struggling, the stock market has plunged, weddings & funerals are cancelled or limited to just a few people, the nursing homes are in their own lockdowns…not letting families in to visit their loved ones…& the list of heartbreaking repercussions goes on & on….

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My favorite thing to pass the time, especially when I feel like crying or just down & bored, is a Facebook group a friend invited me to.  It’s called “View from my window”.  People from all over the world are now stuck inside their homes, as never before, & they take a simple photo of their view.  There are many gorgeous magnificent scenic shots & some that are not so pretty but it’s still someone’s home, now their safe place.  But the comments are always uplifting, encouraging people to hang in there, that we’re all in this together & we will get through it…together.  It’s been so wonderful to see views from all over & hear from so many people from so many places….all of us struggling but wanting to do what’s right to save the lives of family & strangers.

We had planned a 90th birthday party for Dannys Momthere were 75 people invited & all our kids & grandkids were flying home to celebrate.  They were the first to say ‘no’…worried about being contagious to their beloved grandmother.  Soon after, the family decided to cancel the party for friends.  We ended up having 8 people here…all three of her children, one spouse, 2 grandkids & me.  The highlight of the party was a Zoom meeting where all the family joined in conversation via my laptop.  Not like being there in person, but we are so grateful for the technology to connect us over miles & in dark times.

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It’s been interesting to see that during this shut down, the environment has gotten better.  Animals venturing into the National Parks because they are empty of people; pollution down in places like LA, India & China.  I hope we can learn a lesson for our planet through all of this….may be we are a virus to our planet.

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Some good things are happening ONLINE during this crisis:  Musicians, famous & not so, are giving free concerts from their homes; museums & tourist destinations are giving free virtual tours; late night talk show comedians are having their wives tape their shows & having their kids involved; there are all kinds of free classes available through universities, art centers, etc.  A whole lot of people are trying to make the best of this bizarre & scary situation.

As time went by, the opinion flip flopped on wearing masks…at first we were told it wasn’t a good idea & those who needed them were having difficulty obtaining masks.  Then someone shared a pattern to make a home made mask….they said it would be better than nothing.  And at once, people drug out their sewing machines & made masks by the thousands.  Companies that are currently closed down but were able to make masks, began to do so.  

Sara asked if I’d make some for her family & I did.  When she sent me this photo, her text was “both adorable & heartbreaking”.  I know…I had tears in my eyes the whole time I was making these tiny masks for Claire & Emma & trying not to worry about Sara or any of her family, being exposed & catching the virus.

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At the time of this writing, Covid-19 has infected more than 2.7 million & killed at least 197,000 people world wide.  More than 51,000 have died in the US. (A note on numbers, data & experts:  You can find about whatever you want to out there.  Everyone seems to be an expert, no one wants to listen to the real experts & even they struggle to understand this new killer & everyone has their own opinion about everything to do with this virus.  It has been a political war within our country…people are scared, some are broke, many are sick, many are lonely & tempers are at an all time high & blame is going round & round with no end in sight.)  There is so much anger between people right now, but there is also kindness & goodness & wonderful surprise if you’re heart is open. 

But, for most people, life goes on & most of us are still in our homes most of the time. We are encouraged to get outside to exercise but using “social distance”…staying at least 6'-10’  away from anyone you don’t live with.  So, I am walking 4-7 miles at a time,  about 4 or 5 times a week.  

There is talk about opening the world back up.  Some ideas are methodical & some are not.  Some people want to stay in lockdown, some want to get out there now & whoever gets sick, just gets sick & who dies, dies.  

It’s a strange & scary world right now.  Stay safe, sane & healthy.

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 vikhill@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                    © Vicki Hill 2020