Covid-19 Musings

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if Covid-19 never goes away? No vaccine was ever found to prevent HIV. What if it is the same with Covid-19? At least the earth will be cleaner with so few people traveling. Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have already dropped markedly since the coronavirus pandemic first hit. More animals are exploring places now when they were too scared to do so before, like dozens of sheep were videotaped wandering the streets in Wales and even playing in a deserted playground. Maybe there will be less wars too with people just focusing on trying to stay alive during the pandemic. These are all good things, aren’t they?

I sometimes wonder if this pandemic was created by Mother Earth to help get life back into balance since the planet was being threatened with extinction by us humans. I have always predicted that nothing major would be done to address climate change until something catastrophic happened to get the whole world’s attention, like New York City being inundated by the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps Covid-19 is that catastrophic event.

In any event, we must all start adjusting to the new normal. I went out shopping yesterday to Leroy Merlin. It’s a huge hardware and household goods store, kind of like a combination of Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond in the US. It was finally open to regular customers after being closed since mid-March. I wore a medical mask I had recently bought at the pharmacy inside. All staff and most of the customers were also wearing masks. I bought a garden hose and when I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I wanted to buy an N-95 style mask for 4 euros. I said sure. After getting to the car with my merchandise, I put on the new mask and discovered it is much more comfortable than the regular medical mask. This is because it is designed to puff out away from our mouth. It makes breathing easier and it’s much more comfortable when it is hot out, such as it is in Spain in late May.

Modeling my new comfortable kn95 mask

Afterwards, I drove to Al Campo to look for batteries for one of our ceiling fans. Al Campo is like SuperTarget or Walmart in the US, with household goods, electronics and food. I found the battery section and patiently waited for the store employee to help a customer get some batteries. Both men wore masks. When they were done talking, they touched elbows and we all laughed. I couldn’t really see the two men laughing with their faces covered but you could hear them and see the smile in their eyes. Even in the midst of all this suffering and upset, there is joy in these little things.

With my shopping done, I decided it was time for lunch. Most restaurants in the area were closed. Indeed, the huge La Zenia mall where I had just shopped at Leroy Merlin and Al Campo was closed, including more than 150 stores and over a dozen restaurants. Only these two anchor stores were opened. You can see how the rest of the mall is blocked off from customers.

Usually when you come down this escalator, you will see hundreds of people

I drove away from the mall and found a lovely restaurant called Casa Manolo about two blocks from the Mediterranean Sea that was serving a menu del dia for 10 euros. I sat out on the patio (the only place dining is allowed so far in Spain) where all the tables were spaced two meters apart. My table was cleaned off with disinfectant before I sat down. The masked waitress put down a paper tablecloth after cleaning the table. She brought me a paper menu and I ordered iced tea, vegetable soup, baked eggplant and ice cream.

After ordering, the waitress brought me a green salad with corn kernels, olives, tomatoes and onions. This is often done in Spain. A complimentary salad and a basket of bread is provided to customers at the start of the meal. The waitress brought a small package of oil and one of vinegar to use with the salad. Before the pandemic, the glass containers of oil and vinegar would likely have already been sitting on the table ready for customers’ use. But many people could have touched these glass containers before you so they got rid of them to help stop the spread of the virus. The lunch was delicious and of good value. But I didn’t touch the bread just to be safe. Going out to eat is still nice but it’s not like the old days before Covid-19.

Later the same day, I got my hair cut for the first time since the mid-March lockdown. My Scottish hairdresser Jackie told me that every one of her customers had been stopped by the police at least once during the lockdown and asked where they were going. They were always polite about it too.

The lockdown in Spain has been strict and that’s been a good thing. It’s helped save lives. Jackie said she and her husband were so excited when they got to go out for a walk for the first time after 7 weeks in lockdown. “It was absolutely thrilling,” she said.

Small things are a big deal during the era of Covid-19. Jackie’s elderly father is in a care home in Scotland with dementia. She said her mother couldn’t visit him there. This was hard on them. But Jackie was thankful that he was in this particular care home because the place she originally wanted him to go, one that originally seemed better, had had a terrible outbreak of the virus among the patients. Twenty out of 80 patients had contracted the virus while no patients had it at the care home where her father was. She said a long waiting list had kept her dad out of the other care home.

Sometimes it’s good to have to wait. And waiting is something we are all doing now, waiting and wondering when this damn pandemic will end. In the meantime, we must remain grateful for the little things, for the elbow greetings, the walks in the park, the menu de dias and the sheep playing on a playground in Wales.


19 thoughts on “Covid-19 Musings

  1. I love reading your post, it’s well written! Thanks for sharing your thoughts during these challenging times. Wishing us the best in the days to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nancy. it’s a good review of the situation and, yes, animals & birds are reclaiming territories that they never would have done without this lock down. I just hope we can learn a lot of lessons about how our planet has bounced back so quickly when we are not abusing it. Hopefully, air travel etc with be stay at a much lower level than before, as people get used to using technology instead, rather than flying all over the place for meetings & conferences!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nancy! I understand your nervousness about re entering what were once regarded as normal everyday activities. I also wonder if this new way of life ( mask wearing, social distancing, journey planning, anxiety causing) will last another six months, another year or will we have to learn to ‘live with it’ forever on our guard?
    I also wonder, if a vaccine is discovered, how quickly we will forget what we have lived through and revert to our old ways. Huge crowds, unnecessary outings, too much travel, needless gatherings? I would like to think we will learn some lessons for our and our planet’s well being. Weirdly there have been parts of the quarantine that I have enjoyed. I have found that quietness is restful, necessary, healthy, freeing and renewing. I also agree with your thoughts on our planet begging to be listened to. It’s almost as if she is so angry that she has sent us all to our rooms to think about what we have done! Thank you for sharing. I shall meditate on it. 🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Nancy you bought me on a wonderful day out in La Zenia with you.
    Those N59 masks can be reused if sanatised good value , were as the other paper masks are one use only . Slowly slowly we are getting through this challenging time.
    Wonderful words put together so well . Thank you 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so good, so well written! I couldn’t agree more. I think you should send this to Maureen as well. It would be perfect for the anthology and she said you could send more than one story.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s