Relatives and friends of mine live in areas with official “shelter in place” status, so I am worried about them—and about us all!—and respectful of their strictures. Here in central Illinois, it is more of a “hunker at home” situation, for now, though the first local case of Covid-19 was announced this afternoon, so it is among us. Governor J.B. Pritzker just held a press conference to update everyone, and said he is considering the “shelter in place” option every day.
I was so impressed with him and with Dr. Ngoke Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Health, for their earnest concern, their sharing of info, and their willingness to answer questions from reporters—in a virtual format. The only disconcerting part was watching what looked like more than ten people then exit the room, much closer than 3-6 feet apart, none of them in gloves, all touching the same door/door handle. Sigh….
For now, I am working at home on various things—writing and/or library related—and alternating these tasks with household tasks and reading, all to keep the body moving and the worry away. But Worry is not so good at “social distancing.” It sometimes gets in my face and my brain and my chest, a little pinch there when I try to sleep at night, so I get up and read myself back to sleep. It’s hard to stay focused, I lose track of the time and what day it is, and I feel so cold in the house—which always happens at this time of year, the transition to spring, before it truly warms up.
My local friends and my online friends are stressed, anxious, scared, worried about jobs as well as health, worried about kids and parents. We are all going through this together, and I see so much kindness. Sadly, I see judgmental comments, too, and hear about mean comments. Goodness, we need to be patient with each other as well as the situation! And I also appreciate the humor—dark humor, gentle humor, wacky humor. And the wine. I didn’t hoard it. So it will run out. Maybe before I do!
But I did go out walking, on the last sunny day we had. It was Election Day, and I voted. It was St. Patrick’s Day, and I didn’t do anything particularly Irish. I did wear green gloves at the polling place. I walked the local rails-to-trails hiking/biking path, and was pleased to see so many people out. We kept our distance, but most of us greeted each other with a nod or a smile. (Except that guy coughing in the shelter. We all stayed away from him. A young man, fiddling with his phone.) And I walked the labyrinth behind the cancer center, no one else there. I let my mind go where it would, and it went everywhere, and back. Just like the labyrinth.
Hang in there, everybody! Hunker at home. My heart goes out to you!