SoCS – What Just Happened?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday has taken a twist this week. Linda suggests since this is the one year anniversary of living in a pandemic, we might want to write about how this year has been for us. Check out her blog if you want to join in – just check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers.

Here is what Linda had to say:

“Because this week is an anniversary–albeit a mostly miserable one–for most people around the world, I’d like to suggest something different for this week’s SoCS. You don’t have to do it. You can just choose one of the prompt words and run with it as you always do. I might do that myself. But I thought it would be interesting to see not just how everyone has coped, or not, over the last year, but to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone, perhaps. Basically, talk about your last year is what I’m saying, whether stream-of-consciousness style or not. Or, if you’d rather not, talk about any time period your heart desires. Without further ado, here’s your prompt for this week:”

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Outdoor Fireplace

This photo was taken on March 12, 2020, out last night in the cabin. My daughter and I sat up on that big porch in Georgia watching the flames dance having no idea at all what was looming.

On March 13, 2020, exactly one year to the day, I hugged my daughter, my daughter-in-law, my granddaughter and my dear friend and co-grandmother for the last time. Now, one year later, we are all a little worse for the wear. In my extended family circle, there are two ongoing divorces, and of the three people who lost jobs, two are still unemployed.

There is good news, though. Yesterday, we received our second vaccination for the virus. In a matter of weeks now, we will be able to visit with some of our circle who are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, there are some who are in the final priority which may mean July before they are fully vaccinated. Then we do not know if our vaccinations will still be effective.

A new world began to reveal itself our our respective returns home. One was flying as the airlines were hopping trying to deal with a virus they knew very little of. Our family returning to Florida was advised to buy toilet paper because there was none on the shelves at home. I drove the four hours home alone and stopped at a grocery store to pick up a muffin and some juice for breakfast. It was panic inside. I remember clearly a young mother stopping me in the aisle. She had six gallons of generic bleach in her cart. “Excuse me. Do you think this will kill the virus?” I tried to advise her about diluting the bleach but I do not think she heard me.

News feeds began to churn on the hour and it seems to have remained that way. It was a confusing time of feeling vulnerable and considering the prospect of dying alone. Those were dark days.

A few weeks passed and we decided to do remote pickup for our groceries. It was a mystery when time slots would open up and I discovered if I stayed up until 2:00 am, I could get a spot. We are still getting the majority of our groceries that way.

When the mask mandate happened, you could not find masks. My quilting friend in upstate New York made over 250 masks that she gave away and mailed free. I was able to send masks to our children and grandchildren because of her generosity.

Of course we also showed the worst of ourselves. People refused to wear masks and took it out of the store employees. That mentality seemed to have lingered as mistrust in science took hold.

We attended our grandson’s high school graduation via Facebook Live. I took two writing classes via Zoom. All of our grandchildren soon shifted to remote learning. All the concern about how much screen time was healthy for a child went out the window. They were now spending hours facing a computer screen while they tried to make sense of remote learning. They lost interest in Zooming with family and who can blame them. They were technologically saturated.

We have been fortunate. We know several people who contracted the virus and thankfully recovered. I know of three people who lost their lives to the virus. I still get overwhelmed just thinking about how many people lost their lives to the virus and how many people are suffering long-term consequences.

As the months have passed, the nuances of living ran together, much like the ink runs on paper when it gets wet. Life has been diluted. We have changed and all of us have been affected in some way. I had my first Covid dream the other night. I was in a grocery store for an hour when I realized I had forgotten my mask. I panicked. It woke me from a dead sleep.

I have been counting down the days until the official first day of spring. It’s only 7 days away now. It is symbolic to me. A time of renewal and the end of a hard, dark and trying winter.

I hold hope that people remain cautious and we truly turn a corner with the virus. It has been a long hard year. This community has kept me sane and I thank you.

Stay well, stay safe, and hold onto hope.


25 thoughts on “SoCS – What Just Happened?”

  1. Blogging and the great WP community also enabled me to stay level-headed, I have no doubt.
    For me, the differences in life before and after the pandemic are small. I cannot visit my family in Essex or Lincolnshire, and I cannot eat out once a month in a restaurant. Wearing a mask in a shop, and talking to people from six to eight feet away. I have got used to this way of life, to the extent that I don’t actually mind living this way at all.

    For my wife, it’s a very different story. A few snatched moments with her four children and two grandchildren. Never knowing when she will be able to see them face to face, or hug them. And work as usual for her in the local Doctor’s, busier than ever because of the pandemic.

    It has always struck me how two married people in the same house can be affected so differently by such a huge event.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete, the draw of children and grandchildren tug at a mother’s heart. It helps to have something to keep our minds further occupied. You have long outings with Ollie which I am sure help keep you grounded. Still, I understand your question. We are each motivated and impacted by different things. Regardless, I am hopeful we will see a little safer expansion of our boundaries this year. Your blog posts haver certainly helped me this past year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Trying to put 2020 in the rearview mirror isn’t so easy. I like the idea of spring bringing renewal. Helps to think of things that way. Your picture in front of the fireplace is definitely one to cling tightly to as the time before. I need to look around for something like that in my photo cache.

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  3. Thank you for your clarity and compassion. I, too get overwhelmed thinking about how many people have died and still suffer from the virus. Sometimes it seems unreal, like a bad dream, but it’s important to remember the truth. Spring is on the way. I am holding hope with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The next few months will be challenging as people stretch their comfort levels. I know I will be careful and I realize others will not – therein lies one of our big challenges. Holding onto hope.

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  4. My own story nearly mirrors your own. I was fortunate to have a neighbor who was able to supply many in the town with masks wholesale from her job. Not medical ones, just the ordinary blue ones. A great gift for sure. She also had bleach when we thought it was necessary to sanitize everything in sight. I may stick to picking up my groceries after ordering them on line. It turns out I really don’t miss the stores. I have discovered I need way fewer clothes than I thought. I have been able to visit outdoors with my grandkids, sometimes with blankets. I am thrilled beyond measure that they can once again sit in my living room and pour out their lives while I sit with loving ears.

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  5. Maggie, so hard to believe an entire year from that unnerving march 13 has gone by so quickly. Miss you all so much. What a blessing ( we sure never realized what would come to pass) to have spent that wonderful week together in the mountains. I pray every day that we are rounding the terrible curve and the time until we can visit will go as fast as this year has gone. I am seeing signs that too many people are no longer heading the warnings. Praying the vaccine does its job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a time of renewal, now, I think, as we have hope for change in the future in how we can live our lives. Tip-toeing back into what seems safe to do. Still grieving for what we lost over the last year. And hoping for better months ahead.

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