The phases of the pandemic

My sweet, sweet Mollie

Initially when everything closed because of the virus, it was supposed to be for two weeks. Although annoying, you can do anything for two weeks. I looked at it as an opportunity to do things I don’t normally do.

I started cooking up a storm. Everything was made at home. I even made pizza from scratch. Twice! There were stir-fries and roasts and burgers. It was all wonderful. Then I got tired of it all. I had to continue cooking but we could supplement with some take-out. It’s amazing how great someone else’s cooking tastes when you don’t get it often.

The timing kept getting extended and rules were ever evolving. I took apart nightgowns to make masks and wore gloves at the grocery store. We finally found a hand sanitizer we could keep in the car but it smelled weird. It was supposed to be citrusy but it didn’t smell like any citrus I ever had. Nonetheless I lathered it on after every alien doorknob encounter.

Then there were the projects. We cleaned out a particularly overgrown corner of the house. Pulled the weeds and put mulch down. Transplanted irises and coddled my tomato plants. Then I got sick of doing that.

In reality the heat moved in and doing anything outside during the middle of the day was deadly so I moved indoors. Another major purge. I’ve been purging for so long I can’t believe we have anything left. I swear junk makes babies when we are sleeping.

During this time I had a sick cat. It’s not a good time for any living creature to be sick especially a pet. As a result of the worst veterinarian care I ever encountered, I lost my beloved pet. Out of everything that has happened so far this will remain the most traumatic result of the pandemic for me. I know there is some time to go so something else could happen but I hope not.

Now we are at another weird time. People are so over it. They aren’t into the spirit of “we’re in this together.” Me too but we don’t get to say when it’s over. Nor does our politicians. People are gathering without masks (which are mandatory when in groups in our state). Kids are partially back in school. Fingers crossed for that. School sports start and stop as the virus spreads. No one has patience. No one wants to miss anything.

My grandfather died in the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. That one lasted three years. The plague lasted five years. I will be very grateful if we can get this under control by next year. Hopefully I will look back on it as a year that I learned what patience and kindness was.

I should make scratch pizza again. It’s been a while and it’s very satisfying. Maybe the cycles start over.

 

87 thoughts on “The phases of the pandemic

  1. So much of my life has taken on a “new normal.” My new normal started about 18 months ago. And then 7 months ago another new normal began. And within the past month or so yet another new normal has happened. I guess it is all part of life’s ever changing cycles. But, I am ready for just normal…no more new normals.

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  2. Sadly we’re an impatient lot and far too many self entitled people thinking they are the only ones who matter and rules don’t apply to them. Clearly we didn’t learn all that much after the Spanish Flu pandemic. Stay safe and whip up some homemade pizza. It tastes good and comforts the weary psyche.

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  3. SO many good points here, Kate. Our society these days is all about “I WANT IT NOW,” not about patience and kindness. Because of this, this pandemic may last longer than it needed to. Our only hope is that lessons will be learned, and at some point, people will realize they are not the “only people on this Earth.” If we don’t learn to share and care, the Earth will be scorched.

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  4. We have just been told to limit socialising to groups of six, so definitely not over here yet. Most of the local Christmas markets have been cancelled and we are still wearing masks in shops and on public transport. We are waiting to see what happens when the colleges and universities go back in October. Initially the government planned for six months so they will have to rethink. Our death rate has gone down thankfully.

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    • We are under a lot of restrictions too. Masks, max groups of 6 for dining and large groups under 250 (that’s for sports and concerts). Some schools opened and when the rate of infection shot up they went virtual again. It’s a long road.

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  5. My human keeps telling me, “This too, shall pass.” I think she’s lying to me sometimes, but what else do I have? I’m so sorry about Mollie. I will keep her and you in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe fall will bring a fresh start. I hope so, it was a hard summer. I’m glad to see it go.

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  6. Right there with you! I thought I would get all kinds of stuff done around the house – hasn’t happened. Mostly because thankfully I have kept my job, I’m just doing it from home. So no commute, but spending the same amount of time working each day.

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  7. Condolences on the passing of your beloved fur baby. Sounds like the story of my life except my cat isn’t dead (yet). She had horrible surgery, which my vet passed off to the new guy, and was diagnosed with cancer. Now the medicine she needs is on backorder and I must force feed a sticky syrup instead. Can vets write prescriptions to be filled at a drugstore or do animal meds have to come from them? Some days I think this will all pass and be okay and other days I think we are all going to die so what’s the use of cleaning house.

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    • They can write a prescription for a drugstore but they don’t like to. The last meds I got for new cat Gus’s eye infection cost almost twice as much through the vet. I could have gotten cheaper in a drugstore. Next time they prescribe, I’m going to ask if I can get a prescription to shop around. I don’t know if they will do it because it’s how they make money.

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  8. Every day there is a fresh h*ll to worry about these days and we are not even enduring the ravages of the raging wildfires, orange skies and evacuation worries. We were tolerant for so long and now cold, ice and snow is waiting in the wings. We didn’t make the most of good weather while we had it as we were cautious – we had to be. Our gyms opened up in SE Michigan today (northern Michigan opened up a while ago) and there’s a list of rules/regs a mile long, but our new worries are a Trump rally tomorrow which takes place in an airplane hangar, with rally has already touted lack of masks and no social distancing. The Governor fears this MAGA event will become a super spreader event – it is 100 miles from where I live, but distance won’t stop some folks from going to that rally. I laughed at your line “I swear junk makes babies when we are sleeping.” In my case junk is an ever-encroaching infestation – yikes!

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    • I blame a lot of our virus issues on the president. He’s been a idiot about it. It’s not his fault we got it but he sure didn’t do anything to minimize it’s impact. I worry about going start raving mad once winter sets in but I’ll soldier through it. Hopefully next spring will give us much to celebrate.

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      • Agreed – the revelation yesterday made me mad, though nothing much has changed for me – I worked at home before, I still walk in the morning, just more cautious of every trip out the door. It’s the principle of not warning us – more caution could have been taken from the get-go. The president is here in Michigan tonight – I heard the reporter describe the crowd, standing shoulder to shoulder and many unmasked. I hope we have a mild Winter like last year so we do not have the endless cold/ice/snow to contend with, as that will be a real downer for sure.

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  9. Well said Kate. After six months we’ve run out of patience, but WW2 went on for five years. Keep calm and carry on was the slogan. And this…LOL. “I’ve been purging for so long I can’t believe we have anything left. I swear junk makes babies when we are sleeping.” Thanks for my laugh for the day!

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    • Each time I purge, I go deeper. There are some items I’m keeping in case they work in the “next” house but in reality they will be out of fashion, rusty or whatever and won’t work. I have a few really nice clothes items from my working days (retired 9 years!) that I’m reluctant to give away as they would work for a special function (which I’m never invited to). Each purge I dig deeper into those. At this point, I don’t have any closed dress shoes. I’ve decided to buy a pair if I need them. I have some open sandals that would work for a dressy occasion if there wasn’t 6 ft of snow outside.

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  10. Kate, You are definitely right on the phases of the pandemic. A reality check with your grandfather dying in the Spanish flu epidemic. “…what patience and kindness was.” Goosebumps. Thank you. You are an example how there are still good, smart, kind people on our planet.

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  11. I heard it referred to ‘living history.’ I think I can say I really would rather read about it in a book. I’ve done the cycle and started over. I can keep cleaning, purging, gardening, sewing, baking, and reading, plus please give me a break with the cooking. As far as patience goes, I think we lost it when they opened the first drive through. 🙂

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    • I’m not a fan of living history and I’ve lived through some things. I remember the gas shortage in the 70s. That was annoying especially since I had a commute to work so I really needed gas but it didn’t last this long. Then there were the wars or were they non-wars like Viet Nam and Iraq? I was a young child during the polio epidemic so I don’t remember much but it hit my husband’s family hard with three of his cousins getting it. One had residual issues from it until he died.

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  12. We Americans aren’t very good at long-term sacrifice, are we? It makes me wonder how our current “me first” mind set would have done during WWl and WWll. I am amazed how many people say that they are “over it” like they can choose the duration of this virus. Like you said, we don’t get to say when it’s over. Hopefully we can gain something – like personal resilience and internal fortitude – from this, but I’m not holding out much hope.

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    • Americans are the worst at patience and following guidelines. People think everything they want to do is a right listed in the constitution! One of my SIL’s favorite saying is that back in her day, men automatically lost two years to military service. That’s two years they had to put their lives on hold and no one blinked. People were whining after two weeks this year. I do feel badly for kids who lost their proms and graduations but during the wars, there were none and people were happy to be alive. W are a pampered crowd.

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  13. We lost Oscar to CKD in June. By then our vets allowed one person in with the animal, and there was never any question that I would be able to be with him at the end. I hope you have some comfort in your thoughts of Mollie too.

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  14. My husband made the most amazing Margherita pizza last weekend from scratch, with heirloom tomatoes he grew himself. Best pizza I ever had. Trying to convince him to make another before the tomatoes are all gone.

    I think it’s really frustrating to watch other countries reopen and wear masks while we are stuck at home. Plus, Americans are used to instant gratification.

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  15. Solidarity. Except for your pet woes, I swear I could have written this post of yours. My ability to sustain any kind of composure is a daily war that goes in my head. The only thing that keeps me going is when Dr. Fauci says that a vaccine should be available by the beginning of the new year. I know even that probably won’t completely end the need for masks and distancing. But it’ll sure go a ways towards finding our way back. – Marty

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    • Personally I’m lucky. I only had a very few routine doc apts which went well but it’s not a time to be really sick. Our local hospitals have been doing commercials to encourage people with symptoms and heart attack/stroke to come in because they have made it safe. Part of the issue is that once you are admitted, no one can come in to visit.

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  16. We’ve done two 1000 piece puzzles which are both hanging on the wall. No doubt if we could get some others, we’d be doing them too. Hubby has prepared the site for a shed he cannot get. The runner beans are a dead loss, we have had two and one of those was as tough as old boots. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are finally showing some spirit. The roses have gone nuts.
    SW started on Monday, but is likely to be cancelled again as BoJo has limited gatherings to 6 people.
    I’m tired and fed up with it all. As you say, having a sick pet at this time is not good, and losing Molly as you did was so sad.
    We do our bit to keep us and others safe, but it’s not a common occurrence or commonplace though we will continue with our SOP. I feel as if I’m living in the twilight zone. Keep safe Kate.

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  17. I hope it doesn’t last that long. It didn’t bother me much at first either since I was used to working from home but to think I could never see a baseball game or concert in person again is a sad thought. Hopefully things will change for the better in a couple of months – November for example.

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  18. I too am SOOOOOO over it. I did all the things everyone else did – began baking again, cleaning drawers and closets, working in the yard more than I had been, reading more – but I am starting to long for “the same old same old” as far as my “old/routine” life. I fear we have a long wait for normal to arrive back in our lives. Meanwhile I’m not too crazy about “THIS” !!

    Hugs, Pam

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  19. It’s such a strange life. I am a person that leans toward seeing the glass half empty rather than half full. I work hard at not seeing the glass half empty and so now during this strange life I try to find one thing that makes my heart sing. Today it was seeing Horatio the Blue Heron and Checkers the Great Egret at the pond. Trying to keep my head above water but some days it’s hard. Maybe I should make scratch pizza, Kate. It sounds like it would make my tummy happy.

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    • At first it wasn’t so bad. Since we are retired we weren’t as affected as others. The fear of grocery shopping was the worst. Over time I am missing people (yeah, even I can’t believe I’m saying that!). Missing part of my routine too. Some of it will never return like the gym. Some days are harder than others. I’m concerned that once winter sets in and we won’t want to spend time outdoors. That may be more isolating.

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  20. Hopefully it will be the year that many more of us learn what patience and kindness is…though clearly there are those who won’t. But I’ll try to be one that does.

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  21. Now you have me craving pizza 😊 I think this pandemic is far from being over. I struggle at times with being an aged person right now. These days of isolation, not being with friends or traveling are days I will never get back, and just how many I still have is hard to say. There’s my self pity for today. 😊

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  22. Our reaction to the pandemic reminds me how our country was after 9-11. People forget and move on…sad really. I feel for the parents, in particular the single mothers who are struggling with virtual learning from home while trying to keep their job.

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    • I don’t know how people are doing it. You can’t have a young child doing virtual without a full time care taker. It doesn’t work unless you can adjust your work hours and are working from home. It’s always the less prosperous people that feel the biggest impact while the rich are out on their yachts, riding it out.

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