First it was the scheduled activities that got canceled.
Church choir and hand bell choir rehearsals.
Weekly folk dancing.
Bible study. (Though it later continued on Zoom.)
Our Folk Dance Festival.
Writers’ groups. (Though we met several times on Zoom.)
My 50th high school reunion.
Then it was unscheduled activities.
Visits from our children became less frequent and no longer ended with hugs.
Hikes ended because parks closed.
Mani pedis. Because, strictly speaking, they are not necessities.
Retail therapy. Because dressing rooms are closed. And, frankly, I don’t need anything.
Haircuts. Although I had one a couple of weeks ago, because my quarantine hair was so stringy I was tempted to chop it off myself-and we all know how badly that would have ended.
The worst part of staying home was that on March 11, when Covid-19 was just beginning to heat up, my husband, Greg, had surgery, a discectomy and fusion from C3-C6 that was supposed to correct spinal stenosis and relieve his years-long bouts of vertigo. He was told it was a simple operation, and he would spend one night-two, max-in the hospital.
He didn’t snap back.
He couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t stand. Nurses asked me how long he’d had dementia. I told them he didn’t. They fed him through a tube in his nose, which he pulled out twice.
On March 20, the hospital called me and told me he’d developed aspiration pneumonia and had been moved to the ICU. My younger son and I went to see him-ventilated, unconscious. We held his hand and spoke to him for three hours.
The next day the hospital closed its doors to visitors, but Greg was moved out of ICU.
A week later, the doctors inserted a feeding tube into his stomach, and he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility, where he remained for nine weeks. He’d contracted metabolic encephalopathy, a serious brain infection that messed up his blood and brain chemistry.
For ten weeks, we couldn’t visit him. That was the worst part of the pandemic for me.
Surprisingly, all those weeks that I was alone in my house, I wasn’t lonely. I missed Greg and I was sure Greg would recover quicker if we could just be together, but aside from being worried about him, I was content being by myself. I guess I really am an introvert. Now that Greg is home, we’re happy staying home together.
Sometimes Greg asks me if I’m looking forward to my activities resuming, and I have to say I’m not. I’ve gotten used to the relaxed pace of being home, and the thought of being out three nights a week seems unnecessarily stressful.
Now it’s your turn. How are you holding up? Are you anxious for things to get back to normal? What do you miss from life before Covid? What insights have you gained from doing without? Please share in the comments below.
Originally published at http://arhtisticlicense.com on August 22, 2020.