When the Coronavirus struck, I was in reasonably good health. Aside from a touch of sinusitis, I didn’t require any medication regularly, and I was determined to keep it that way. My mental health, though…that was something I would have to defend actively and constantly. This is something I call “the Blender Effect” as it seems you’re putting your mind on “puree” as your body is more or less stationary.
A non-essential employee
I worked in a little cubicle in a small office at the corner of a large building that swallowed me whole. So it’s no surprise that I wasn’t missed the day we got our (temporary) walking papers. I would now be trading in my day-to-day interaction with about fifty live human beings for daily excuses (and that they were) to go beyond my own front door. I’m grateful to have two cats to inspire me. If you let them go without food, you’re gonna hear about it!
Tournament of champions
Nobody can be blamed for seeing this expulsion from the workplace as a sort of vacation at first. How many people get a week off randomly, out of the blue? Little did we know at the time how many months it would go on.
So I took to challenging my friends I couldn’t see in person to all manner of games and contests online. Trivia, Scrabble, Yahtzee, and various word puzzle games were at my disposal (I didn’t crush anybody with candy or shoot any angry birds at anyone).
I quite expected my friend Bill to destroy me at trivia, so that’s no surprise….but I absolutely killed my sister at Scrabble and as she’s in otherwise good health and has a lot of years left on her, I did so laughing.
Touch-up becomes restoration
One can’t sit around playing games all day and night so I did the first thing most people think of without using any imagination: cleaning. Did you ever find something you don’t want while cleaning? Oh, I did. I discovered a whole room needed to be repainted. It was while dusting a shelf that I detected a bit of fuzz caught between it and the wall, that I decided to actually remove the shelf to detach the errant bit of shmutz.
When I did that, I uncovered the original wall color. A solid shelf-length strip of the wall was at least two tones lighter and caused the rest of the room to suddenly stand out in sharp contrast like the before and after from a restored silent movie. This next sentence requires some extreme physical lifting, mechanics and a week of my time: I repainted the room.
Eventually, I got the pale taupe color out of my hair and it was time to sit down. Actually, it was time to open some windows and sit down, but I discovered that only after a few hours of headaches.
I have three different places I can play a DVD and had not watched a single movie, so I thought it was time to re-familiarize myself with some of my favorites. I started with “The Maltese Falcon” and by the time I got to “True Lies” a week had gone by. I could always go farther, and eventually I will, but that is a lot of sitting around!
The energy I used to chew up popcorn wasn’t gonna burn any significant number of calories, and I could feel the caffeine jitters coming on strong.
A new skill!
That was when I discovered I had a knack for gardening. At first I found out by walking around in the yard talking to myself, that some odd sprouts were sticking out of my garden. I soon discovered that these were called “weeds” and the convention is to pull them out. So I did. Then I pulled some more out. And I found that there were so many weeds they left a bunch of great bare patches in the garden.
So, I put on my little mask, went down to the local store (and took a number so I would be one of only fifteen people in the store at a time) and bought myself some seeds! Now I don’t know flowers from wallpaper patterns, so I picked a bunch of blue and red ones. They look nice. Kind of patriotic.
They’re now buried under some Miracle-Gro and waiting for their chance in the world. Any day now…any day.
It’s not over yet
Okay, so I said I survived the Coronavirus. That would be more accurate if it was now relegated to history books. However, I’m still breathing, still suffering the old sinusitis, and the world marches on. Marches on with a slight limp, but it’s still marching.