The mayors of the San Francisco Bay Area announced the pandemic shutdown as we were returning from a trip. My initial reaction was shock and confusion. What will be open? What would I be able to do? How will this change the life I’ve created since I retired?
Now that we’re all these months into the pandemic response, I have to admit that not a lot has changed. I still go hiking three days a week with a friend, with masks and social distancing.
My two book clubs are held via zoom, making it fun to share thoughts.
I belong to two critique groups that help with my writing. We also meet via zoom, so I’m still getting ideas about how to sharpen my stories.
My Red Hat group went into hibernation as we are all in the older population. The last month, however, we’ve figured out that we can bring chairs and lunch, sit six feet apart and keep in touch.
One addition that I hadn’t planned on was all the free interviews with authors! Several bookstores host these events on a regular basis.
Yes, the pandemic has changed my life, but alternative activities and methods have arisen that allow some semblance of normality. That’s what life is all about: adapting to changing circumstances.
I interact with more people, at last on a weekly basis, than I did pre-pandemic, but it’s via Zoom.
I am well aware that the reason things have not been upended for me is because we are in a good place financially and we don’t have children. And I am consciously grateful for those things! I don’t have to put on a mask and risk my life on public transit for my slightly-above-minimum-wage job in order to put food on the table for my kids, as many do. That’s a privilege, and it’s capital-P Privilege as well.
I am also blessed that my kids are grown with families of their own. I miss person-to-person interactions. zoom works to keep us connected, but it isn’t the same as being in the same space, at the same time.