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THE PANDEMIC DIARIES: The Rhythm of Days

Updated: Mar 23


March 21, 2020 Day 9

Karen Haddigan

This is how things have changed in two short weeks:

Two Fridays ago, a group of us met for dinner at a busy restaurant. We said hellos with fist-bumps and elbow-bumps. That sort of thing was funny, two weeks ago. So we did it, but we laughed. Then we hugged, because that's how we usually greet each other.

Last Friday morning, I had breakfast with two girlfriends at Jeannine's Restaurant. Typically, the place is full to overflowing; that morning it was less than half full and the wait staff walked around with paper towels and a spray bottle, disinfecting the tables. There was a discreet bottle of hand sanitizer at the checkout counter.

That night, there was a happy hour scheduled at a local bar with a large group of friends. I wanted to go, but at the last minute, decided it probably wasn't a good idea.

By last night, another week later, all the restaurants and bars in town were closed.

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There's so much about this quarantining that I’m thinking might be good for us North American humans with our speeded-up, filled-with-stuff lives. The sense of time passing is suddenly very different than it used to be. I'm starting to notice the way the light changes as the day goes by. The brightness of morning and early afternoon, then the mellowing of late afternoon, into sunset and finally, darkness. Rinse, repeat. We are all at home for hours on end, hanging out, or as one Facebook meme said “This is the one time when we can save the human race by lying around watching TV and doing nothing. Let’s not screw this up, people.”

Getting to those projects we’ve been meaning to for years and never got around to, digging deep into the bowels of Netflix, checking in with each other by phone or Facebook or Zoom. We are beginning to adapt to whatever this is. I try not to think about how long it might be like this or what the future might be; there are so many ways this could play out and some of them are crazy-making, so I try not to go there. For now, we are being forced to slow down and turn inward. And guess what else? The spam calls have stopped. How cool is that?

My granddaughter Kyla, who is three, has been home all week with both her parents which has made her giddy. So far, she has had a party with all her stuffed animals out on the patio, done millions of watercolor paintings with Mommy, all of which are apparently called “rainbow,” and built a terrarium with her dad. She said she missed me, so we’ve decided to do regular face-time calls where we just join each other in whatever we happen to be doing.

Today we talked while I made a salad for lunch and she painted yet another rainbow, all in yellows and oranges. She kind of understands that the whole world is sick right now and you can’t go anywhere and everything is closed. She put a giant rock that she calls her phone to her ear because she wanted to talk to me on the phone (even thought we were already looking at each other on Facetime), and monologued something along the lines of: “I am going to the museum and then I have to go to work, because I have to go to the “cornation” party for the Queen of the world, but it’s closed right now, and I have to go to work and I don’t know why, but it’s closed. But I really am going to that party.”

And then it was time for her lunch.

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