I’ve been sitting around thinking about “My Life in Covid.” This will be the title of my book, if I ever sit down and write about the misery, deaths, politics, depression, unhappiness and despair of the time.
I was a very early victim of Covid. I’m in the vulnerable age group, but clean living, exercise, no alcohol and good food helped me beat the disease. Actually, I slept for most of the time that I was in the grip of the virus. Thankfully, I had no idea, nor did any of the experts, that I was in great jeopardy. If I had known, I probably would have suffered a nervous breakdown. Kudos to my family for nursing me back to health.
When I think of all the things that I do and don’t do since this freaking virus ruined our world, I’m amazed. It’s a wonder I have been able to keep busy and be somewhat productive. I’ve read scores of books (mostly junk novels), read newspapers, did crossword puzzles, discovered a new word play game in the Times called “Two Not Touch,” exercised two or three times a day, ate five times a day and paid bills.
I’m blessed with adult children who have stayed with my wife and me for extended periods. The game competitions are heated as are the political conversations. Everyone except me has a real job, so most of the day, family members isolate in different rooms zooming with their colleagues. But what have I been doing since March of last year?
The most obvious thing is that when I go outside, I concentrate on keeping a mask properly situated on my face and staying away from all people I encounter. The good news is that Central Park is nearby, but there are many more people to avoid in that section of New York City. Walking is supplemented by frequent yoga instruction, via computer, and weightlifting. We purchased weights for our apartment because our gym has been closed indefinitely. For a time, there were no weights available online anywhere in the country. Many had the same idea we had, to workout at home.
The bigger issue is what I have not been doing. My wife and I are typical city dwellers, and so before the flu, we ate at local restaurants with family and business contacts several times a week. I would say that not being able to dine out has been one of the biggest issues for me. I never realized how important our restaurant regime was to our lifestyle and social life.
We have no young children so dealing with whether schools are teaching in person or via the Internet is not an issue for us, although it’s a huge problem for many people in the City.
But, what do we do for entertainment? We can’t see the Yankees, Mets, Knicks or Rangers. The New York City Ballet is closed, Broadway is shut down and SoulCycle has ceased operations.
Since restaurant dining is not in the cards as the temperature drops, where is global warming when you need it, I go grocery shopping to make dinner for my wife. Eli’s seems to be profiting in the time of Covid. They have not reduced their prices.
I have tons of family and in-laws in the City, along with a plethora of nieces and nephews. It’s been a full-time job to avoid and condemn family get togethers. The mayor and governor have effectively put a clamp on parties for the holidays. This has caused significant agita for most people. My father in law and his wife are insistent on having dinners and meals with the clan, but we must continue to dissuade them. In fact, they are the most vulnerable.
It would be terrific to drop everything and fly out to Vail or down to Miami for a few days, but the infectious disease gurus say flying is dangerous. I guess we know that to be a fact. Being confined in a long metal tube with re-circulated air with 200 potential carriers of the bug would appear to be a dangerous environment to be in for a couple of hours.
The world is on the cusp of benefiting from a vaccine. It was created in record time, in part, due to the efforts of President Trump. The man is universally despised, so let’s give him some love for getting the medical people to move rapidly. But there are a lot of unanswered questions. Like, who is going to receive the vaccine first? I assume first responders, for saving us, deserve to be at the top of the list. Old, vulnerable people should have a priority. Our government leaders and teachers are essential. But what happens next? The little ones get inoculated, do 15 to 30-year-olds come next or do 31 to 59-year-old individuals get the magical potion? Are City dwellers higher on the list and then ruralites? Should poor people have a position in the front of the line? And what about the rest of the world? Are we only going to be saving Americans and the other seven billion people be damned?
We need somewhere between seven and 14 billion doses of vaccine, depending upon whether you get a one-shot vaccine or a two-shot vaccine. Just imagine the politicians arguing over who should be immunized first, second and third. Maybe Democrats should come before Republicans because they control the greatest part of the government.
The return to normalcy is also an enigma. When will it be OK to fly in a plane, take a subway, ride in an elevator, eat in a restaurant, work at the office, go to school physically, not wear a mask, not distance from others, kiss a loved one on the face, go to a religious celebration, go to a funeral, have a beer with friends? Is it five minutes after you get the vaccine, or one year?