A Little Taste of Normal

It’s been over a year since everything changed with the pandemic. It’s been almost four months now since I left my job. I used to be the only thing in Tater town that wasn’t normal now nothing was normal. We are still not quite to normal yet but I am getting a small taste of normal.

Saturday I went to the library to pick up a hold. Usually, I don’t see anyone when I do this. It is contactless pickup from the lobby. Most days I run in, grab my item and leave. I might knock on the door and wave. It depends on who I see. This time, one of my former co-workers was outside on break so I talked to them for a few minutes. When I went to pick up my hold, another former coworker was getting ready to put the holds out and had to go get mine for me so I got to chat with them for a bit. I texted one other person who was at work that I was there so they took their break and came outside to say hello. It was the first time I’ve talked to any of them since December.

Sunday morning I went to actual church for the first time since March of 2020. I got up early and went to the outdoor sunrise service where I could stand far away from everyone else but still experience the service.

Sunrise service

I did talk to one person after the service. I had not seen them since the last time I attended church.

Last night both kids came home for dinner.

Today my wife has to go in to the office because she needs something there to do her work. It’s still not quite normal. She won’t leave for the office until mid-morning and I still will have nowhere I need to be, It is still closer to normal than I’ve had lately.

Things could be happening soon that will get us closer to normal. Things I won’t talk about until after the fact because my anxiety and pessimism won’t believe in good things until they actually happen.

It will be nice when we go back to me being the only abnormal thing around here.

Avoiding the Hopeless

I wish I had something else to write about, but when you are home all day every day it doesn’t give you much material besides what is going on in the world. I wrote before about trying to find hope and that is still the case. I seem to be in a state that will be one of the last ones to reopen, so staying hopeful and positive is hard. It’s even harder when there is so much out there trying to crush any hope people might have.

I’ve been trying to avoid the news past reading the paper and watching part of The Today Show in the morning. I do check the Maryland numbers when they are released at 10 every morning in hopes of seeing positive news. Some days the numbers are better than the day before and I get hopeful. Other days the numbers aren’t better than the day before and the hope goes away. I’m not going to stop checking the numbers because I want to be informed, but I can avoid the news takes about the numbers. As I’ve written about before, the news stations love to post graphs and numbers that make things look worse. Over the last three days the number of people hospitalized have come down in Maryland. Our number of deaths have slowed a bit as well. All of the headlines after the new numbers come out focus on the totals that look really bad. If all you do is look at the headline you would have no idea that there have been some positive trends. Also, if you look at the graphs on the website you will see that the total number of deaths over the past 24 hours are confirmed deaths. The graph will show that the actual number of deaths from the day before are lower. Death is still sad no matter the number, but the trends look better if you look at all of the information.

The news and others online also tend to try to crush any hope about medicine and vaccines. There are experts out there saying we could have a vaccine by January. There is one expert that is on Governor Hogan’s team who said there might be a vaccine that could be used as early as this fall in any cities that have an outbreak. The paper this weekend had opinion pieces from doctors who think it will be years before we have a vaccine and then another article about a time a fast-tracked vaccine failed.

There are articles out there saying some experts say this might be with us for 2 years.

Some people seem to hope that the states opening up have a spike in deaths so they can say “I told you so”

We have people saying they hope their neighbors get sick because they had friends over.

We have people saying we should accept old people dying so the country can go immediately back to normal.

There seems to be no in-between. There are ways to slowly ease back to normal while protecting the vulnerable. We can’t go back to normal immediately, but we also can’t stay locked in our houses indefinitely. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone wants to take sides and fight instead of working together to figure things out.

It’s hard to have hope when we are fighting a virus and each other.

It’s hard to avoid the hopeless when they seem to be everywhere.

 

 

Trying to Choose Hope

I am not generally an optimistic person. I have always been the one to see the worst-case scenario. I avoid positivity because it is easier to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to be disappointed when things don’t go the way you want. That is not going to work during this pandemic. I’ve had some bad days over the past few weeks. I’m stressed. I’m anxious. I’m sad. I can’t do this for the next month, especially when I can’t go anywhere or do anything. If I’m going to live in my head for the next month my head needs to be a better place. So, I am going to start choosing to find the positives, even in the news.

I won’t just look at the number of positive cases. I will also look at the far greater number of negative tests.

I won’t just look at the number of deaths.  I will also look at the recovery numbers.

I will look for signs that it might be getting better.

I won’t focus on the things I can’t do but will try my best to enjoy the things I can do.

I will find joy in the time I get to spend with family.

I will take the time to watch the artists who are performing online shows.

I will take walks outside as much as possible and enjoy nature.

I will try to take the time to write more and maybe try for more than a blog post I’ve written in 10 minutes(like this one).

I will still take the situation seriously. I won’t violate the social distancing rules. I will still have down times when all of the bad overwhelms me.  I will just try to balance it with thoughts of hope and a better tomorrow.