I took Sunday off last week. I suddenly had erratic spikes of blood pressure and had to take to bed and call a doctor, which is not my favorite thing. Hopefully soon, I will have better days.
The night I called our village medical clinic to tell them my BP was a bit alarming, the lady who answered said they would send their team right over to check on me. I tried to be very tactful and asked her to please make sure they were thoroughly sanitized before they came, that I was a vulnerable super senior, etc.
In a very polite and businesslike voice, the same lady declared: “I assure you, ma’am, that we follow the strictest protocols in our clinic. When we make house calls, our team is prepared and dressed for the occasion.”
And they were, indeed. They arrived clad in impressive personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks, face shields, gloves and shoe protectors. It was like getting a visit from outer space. They were quick but thorough, did what they needed to do, and had impeccable and sympathetic bedside manners.
As I thanked them and apologized for the ungodly hour of my call, I thought about our own medical front-liners—thousands of them here and all over the world, many of them countless miles away from home and family, doing incredible work and serving above and beyond the call of duty. It made me proud and I started to feel better. After they checked that my blood pressure was stable, they were off.
The next day, another space creature arrived to extract several tubes of my blood. I complimented her for her attractive blue PPE and mint green gloves. Even behind her face mask and shield I could tell that she smiled and blushed. My fears and apprehensions at the sight of the needles were soon gone. She told me to take a deep breath. And it was over. Painless.
Now they are tweaking my medications. Oh! The ravages of age!
Time on our hands
All this “stay at home” existence has multiplied everyone’s time online, posting, browsing, reacting, joining Zoom sessions, grabbing face time. Political hotheads are more vehement than ever, especially in the United States where they have protests and riots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. New coronavirus disease (COVID-19) numbers are climbing in over two dozen states as they attempt to get back to business as usual.
The situation in the United States is unsettling. Never have I seen so much division in a nation that prides itself in being the bastion of democracy and unity. It is painful to see the events unfold live on television and all multimedia. We have witnessed violence and vandalism. We can hear the anger.
Where are the peacemakers? Some people actually find humor in all the discontent. I find that sickening.
In the face of the protests, we hear that families are again being rent asunder. My friend in Washington, D.C., could only manage to remind her kids to wear masks. The young people have found their voices.
I find it strange that anger is now being vented on historical monuments. And I think, whatever their reason, it illustrates what we have seen happen to our age-old traditions and values. They, too, have come tumbling down.
On the internet, trolls are having a field day. Shameless and unopposed, they continue on their destructive rampage. I am encouraged to hear that at least one particular crazy will soon get his comeuppance for ugly threats and other cybercrimes.
Return to normal?
Last Monday night I caught myself waiting anxiously for news about the latest COVID-19 numbers.
It has become a habit of sorts, to wait for a speech, or a report, or an update on new cases, new restrictions. Not that I am on tenterhooks over my impending “release.” But there is still that part of me that waits longingly for news that tells me I can go out and see my little ones, that it is safe to lunch or dine with friends, or at last go to the beauty salon for a shampoo, cut and color and do the things I used to do before this prolonged “imprisonment.”
My granddaughter asked the other night: “Will we ever do the things we used to and go any and everywhere freely and unafraid?” Reluctantly, I said, “No, baby, I am sorry. I don’t think we ever will. Our lifestyle has drastically changed.”
I ache for the old times, but I realize that those are gone for good.
Casandra Brené Brown, writer, professor, lecturer and podcast host, has this to say:
“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our precorona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all humanity and nature.”
Like most of you, I miss what used to be, sometimes desperately. But something in my heart tells me that we will be better off sweeping away the “debris” from the old days and making room in our hearts for a new way, one that takes us to a life of respect, decency and kindness and back into the arms of our Creator.