Pandemic Year in Review

March 13, 2020 – the day the world stopped!

Or at least that’s the day my world stopped! It all come to a grinding haul!

That week I’d gone to dinner at Ciao Baci with my book club. We heard there was a case in the state that night. The next day the Governor announced schools would be shutting down until after Spring Break. There was an uncertainty about work and whether we would stay open or not.

And on Friday, March 13, my boss and my former boss went to Dizzy’s for lunch. That was the last time I’d eat in a restaurant for 12 months.

Within days restaurants were closed. We were wiping down our groceries and ordering takeout to support our favorite local restaurants. We were homebound and our reality was completely different from one week to the next. School wouldn’t reopen for the rest of the year.

The odd thing about a global pandemic… everyone is dealing with it in one way or another.

We all have individual times in our lives when your world comes to a screeching haul. Sudden death of a friend or loved one is the example that comes to mind. One minute you are one person and the next minute you are someone else. The world goes in slow motion. But in many ways you are alone with your personal grief. Other can sympathize and maybe even empathize but you are alone.

But in a global pandemic, we share the experience. The shock. The uncertainty.

Everyone’s list will be different! But here are some of the things I did or didn’t do in the year of COVID!

  • Canceled our beach vacation.
  • Started wearing a mask everywhere! The search for the perfect mask began!
  • Became a 5th grade teacher (fractions are still hard!).
  • Remodeled a bathroom.
  • Hired a handyman to replace rotten boards on the exterior of the house.
  • Sold a car I’d owned for 18 years.
  • Bought a new car.
  • Prayed more than I ever have for election results to go my way.
  • Digitized all my family photos and papers.
  • Watched in support of Black Lives Matters protestors and in horror at how they were treated.
  • Watched in horror as Americans stormed the US Capitol and looted the hollowed halls as the some police officers took selfies with the terrorists or removed barricades to allow them access.
  • Stopped eating out in restaurants.
  • Bought toilet paper when I saw it.
  • Realized we could all be home for days at a time without snow on the ground.
  • Learned that my ability to change is better than a lot of people.
  • Set up a home office in the front hallway and a home office for my husband in the back bathroom.
  • Become a Zoom expert.
  • Took a good hard look at my white privilege.
  • Learned I’m more productive working from home than at work.
  • Bought a new sofa and chair once I was confident that Biden had won the election (and still waiting on them to come in… something about fabric not available).
  • Pulled up a vinyl bathroom floor and put down a new one.
  • Supervised the moving and painting of the kid’s room.
  • Organized closets (cause that’s what I do when I’m stressed).
  • Finally got around to having stuff framed for the living room walls (only took 2 years!)
  • Wiped down groceries and takeout until it got too old and the scientists decided it didn’t live on plastic as long as they thought it did.
  • Ate Honey Nut Cheerios for the first time in ages.
  • Started walking regularly with the husband (until we stopped).
  • Didn’t get a hair cut or brow wax or gel manicure (I really miss the manicures). I still haven’t!
  • Wondered in amazement when driving by restaurants with people sitting inside and eating.
  • Stopped drinking three different times. Currently sober for 100 days!
  • Decided emphatically that the kid would not do virtual school and then changed our mind.
  • Learned to use Schoology from the parent and the student side.
  • Watched a lot of TV. Hart of Dixie, Halt and Catch Fire, and Yellowstone are three of our top recommendations! And of course Bridgerton!
  • Knitted a lot.
  • Bought a lot of hair care products. Determined I have oily-ish roots with dry ends. And started to come to terms with my curl hair.
  • Told a lot of other people “You’re on mute!”
  • Watched the Governor’s daily COVID briefing until it didn’t tell me anything new.
  • At times drank a bottle of wine a night.
  • Gladly drove to Walmart on Cantrell to get pickup groceries because it got me out of the house for an hour.
  • Social distanced in the backyard with friends until the numbers got too high again.
  • Struggled with wearing a mask and glasses at the same time (bifocals made it difficult).
  • Did Zoom Happy Hour with friends.
  • Canceled Thanksgiving (and Easter… and 4th of July… and Memorial Day… and Labor Day… and Halloween!) Will we have Easter?
  • Ordered impulsively from Instagram ad (trash cans for the cars, power scrubber for bathroom cleaning, etc).
  • Discovered that my favorite floor polish was discontinued. But found a new one I love even more!
  • Made sure my mom stayed home.
  • Checked on our pet (outside only) Speckled King Snake Ted until he left his burrow under the driveway for better lodgings.
  • Didn’t make sourdough bread.
  • Witnessed more snow in Little Rock than I’ve ever seen. 19 inches total in our front yard!
  • Bought new stoneware because the old was just too chipped.
  • Didn’t get as much done on my Breckinridge letter project as I thought I would!
  • Bought more flatware in our pattern on eBay from a woman in New Jersey because we were running of clean flatware on a daily basis.
  • Reminded that my parents have a great support group in their neighborhood!
  • Cleaned all the bookshelves and reorganized the books (accidentally)!
  • Bought yarn from some of my favorite yarn shops around the country to show my LOVE!
  • Tiled the kitchen backsplash.
  • Got a 2am phone call from my dad saying he’d called an ambulance for my Mom! Everything was fine just crazy low blood sugar!
  • Purchased a WiFi extended so the kid’s video game would work in a different room. (Note: our house is not big enough to need an extender!)
  • Didn’t go to the pool for the first time in 12 years!
  • Started needlepoint again and then stopped!
  • Bought a new toilet tank lid from a company specializing in vintage tank lids.
  • Recovered all my dining chairs with new fabric.
  • Transcribed Catherine Waller Carson’s diary.
  • Witnessed the Christmas star with the help of an app.
  • Finished building/outfitting the fire pit in the backyard.
  • Lost one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known to this horrible virus! Wish we had talked more!
  • Let packages set for 3 days and then that was over.
  • Told my friends I love them!
  • Told my parents I love them!
  • Told my family I love them!

It was a hard year! And I am so lucky to only have known one person personally who died of COVID. So it wasn’t the terrible year for me that it was for so many others.

What will the next 12 months bring? Who knows! But we have to continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, and get vaccinated! Stay safe world!

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