Spring Break didn’t feel all that much like a vacation this year. This COVID craziness has me experiencing an acute case of cabin fever like everyone else, what with the complete lack of human contact I’ve had in recent weeks.
Maybe it is the slowdown of time at home, and the breakup of the rhythm of days, but it feels like this whole season is now lost to me. It makes me think of bears hibernating in their dens wintering over. Only I’m hunkered down with internet and junk food.
I’m used to seeing dozens of people within the span of a day at times, being out in the community and taking part in meetings and events and trading handshakes and hugs depending on the person.
Now I’m forced to rely on conference calls and video meetings where all the fun of interactions loses its flavor through the distance of the digital world. The meetings are more to the point and shorter in length at least.
School is closed through the end of May. Students already feeling the rise of senioritis in their spirits saw the pomp and circumstance or their final months in school — prom, finals and graduation — put on hold and to be determined as of date and time for now.
Then there’s the loss of high school sports for the rest of the spring season, the moratorium of NASCAR racing and Major League Baseball. There’s no March Madness, NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby and Olympics this summer in Tokyo.
I am truly saddened we are all missing out on the last half of Rockmart’s Ty Floyd season on the mound, but I still expect that we will see some great baseball from him in the not too distant future.
We’re all missing the Cedar Valley Arts Festival that was supposed to happen later this month, and we missed Welshfest, and various other things I’m used to covering this time of year on the calendar.
Social distancing is definitely hard on people. This situation we’re in feels more akin to a blizzard without the snow. It is lousy being stuck indoors during a time of year when we are used to being outside and busy.
One silver lining of this situation is that the annual suffering of allergy season isn’t so hard being stuck inside for the most part. The pollen count is still disgustingly high, covering every vehicle in a thick yellow layer of dust only briefly washed away by April showers. It at least remains a physical reminder of the world continuing onward even if it feels like we’re frozen in time.
Spring is in full swing and at the same time it is a season now completely lost in the regular course of our history. I’m hoping that come the end of April the Shelter in Place order will be lifted and we can get back to some sense of normal life.
The great upheaval in our routines and having no shared comfort in hard times is one of the real frustrating points of this crisis. Usually people come together in all the different public places now shut down for comfort of the love of friends and family; to hold candlelight vigils and pray in church.
Now we rely on Facetime and talking through windows and screen doors when we want to share our grief and show support. It is living in a contradiction: We are having to establish greater connection with one another while we maintain physical disconnection.
COVID-19 is the complete focus of our attention as Americans on a state-by-state level with varying rules were ordered to stay home unless absolutely necessary for them to go out. My job forces me onto the roadways at the very least from time to time, and I’m noticing that for the most part the guidelines are working.
Locally the number of people driving around dropped dramatically. Here’s something that should surprise no one as a result of the Shelter in Place order: traffic accidents are trending down for the most part with less vehicles on the road.
Crime is also down along with arrests, with people home and opportunity for theft or burglaries greatly hindered. Another silver lining we can all be thankful for in this situation.
While increasingly I notice individuals putting on masks and gloves when they go out, not everyone is following the guidance. I know people have to shop, get medicine and our friend chaos still interrupts lives in all sorts of ways.
I’ll continue to preach the following good advice: just be careful out there. Use the guide in this week’s edition to take a t-shirt and make a face mask. Continue practicing good common sense on the six feet rule from one another. Wash your hands on a regular basis. (My digits have never been so clean.)
I’m getting better about following the guidelines, but it isn’t fully ingrained into my routine yet. The gloves come off and into a trash bag as soon as I get into the car after delivering orders for the restaurant, or getting out and about on random quick jaunts around the county for groceries or to have a quick meeting with folks.
If I have the gloves left, and haven’t left the mask in a different pair of pants.
I’ve heard stories from workers that there are some who impatiently reach behind employees stocking shelves. That bothers me for various reasons, especially when distance from one another is a matter of life and death currently. As Mama says all the time: y’all know better. Don’t do that kind of stuff.
I’m willing to admit I groaned a bit with the news that the Shelter in Place order was being extended to April 30. Yet when I talk to people in the know, they are glad to see the models adjusting downward for COVID-19’s spread, but wonder what might happen with a return appearance of the virus in the fall.
These and many other things are keeping me up at night in worry for everyone. Yet I remain hopeful and confident that if we continue to follow the guidelines put forth, if we all continue to be careful and diligent about our movements in the community and we remain polite and positive we will get through this together.
Let this be a short litany for a lost spring, and not one that continues into the rest of the year.