Well, it is April 13, Easter is behind us, and after a week-plus of fine-to-perfect weather, suddenly it feels like winter again. Currently the winds are roaring, the sky is filled with thick, angry clouds, and the windchill is a nippy 26 degrees. Ah, life in the Midwest!
These last gasps of winter this time of year always suck. Over the past week the trees have all budded out; flowers and ornamental grasses are emerging; and the yard is that almost painful shade of green that comes after some rain, some warm weather, and its first cutting of the year. Everything visual screams spring. And then you step outside. Oh well, soon enough we’ll be bitching about the heat and humidity.
We had a successful, modified Easter Sunday. While we had no direct plans with extended family, we did get almost all of S’ siblings and parents together on a Zoom call. Later we had our own Easter dinner. We had ham – grocery store rather than Honey Baked but it was fine – shrimp, company potatoes. M made deviled eggs. We had a salad. C and L did most of the work on a fancy cake. It didn’t quite turn out like the Pintrest pics but most of the errors were in the parts that I did, so they get an A for their work.
We also had two birthday drive-bys over the weekend. On Saturday we cruised over to the old neighborhood as M’s buddy was turning 16. We ended up hanging out in the street for 30 minutes or so, chatting with many of our old neighbors while casting eyes at our old house to see how much work the new owners had done. Sunday L had a friend turning 12 and we were part of a large parade outside her house.
I love these. It sucks for kids to not be able to have parties, go out to dinner, etc on their birthdays. But these drive-bys will ensure they are special and memorable.
With so much time to waste, I find myself doing a lot of Ebay browsing. I don’t normally spend a ton of time on Ebay. Every now and then I’ll buy something on it, usually for things adjacent to whatever my hobby of the moment is. It’s been years since I’ve sold anything on the platform. These days I find myself looking at golf clubs a lot. My instructor told me to wait to buy clubs until we have my swing more locked in. Who knows when I’ll get to see him again, let alone get out and play. Yet I keep scrolling through clubs I’m interested in, putting ones I like in my Watch List. I’m also spending a lot of time on 2nd Swing and other used club sites. I haven’t bid on anything on Ebay so far. But I have put several clubs into my basket on 2nd Swing and others to reveal their discounted price. I feel like I don’t have much willpower right now and a purchase is bound to happen.
In the real world, the numbers and news seem to be shifting in a more positive direction, even if slowly. In general this is a good thing. Fewer sick people, fewer people dying, less crowded hospitals, etc.
I worry greatly about this news, though. I worry about all the people, encouraged by a large swath of the media and political world, who are using this as an excuse to ignore the scientists and doctors who have warned us about the scale of this pandemic. I worry that the President is going to ignore how the worst numbers were always a long-term projection, not just about April/May, and use it as an excuse to drop social distancing recommendations. I worry that even people who have taken this seriously, who have followed the guidelines for hunkering down, will combine these numbers with their restlessness, with their financial concerns, with their desire to get back to normal, and also will rush to get back to normal too soon.
Outside New York, Seattle, and a few other hot spots, we Americans have been extraordinarily fortunate so far. As bad as our numbers are, they seem to be focused on those distinct areas. Emergency departments in many areas are not seeing the flood of patients they expected. Numbers are trending the right way. But that doesn’t mean this is over. Flattening the curve was never about ending this quickly. It was about giving our health care system a chance to manage the crisis. Part of flattening the curve meant stretching the pandemic out over the course of this year and into next year, when a natural second wave was likely to hit anyway. If we jump back into normalcy too soon, all those worst-case scenarios will come flooding back into the realm of the possible, just in June or July or August rather than April.
This is a deeply sucky time. Until our government(s) demonstrate the ability to manage it properly, we all need to resist the urge to completely jump back into our pre-Covid routines. We may be able to slowly lift restrictions, a few at a time. But the lives we led in February aren’t completely coming back for a long time.