April 28, 2021

For a Year, it’s been Best to Stay Home—But where’s the Line Now?

This week, I woke each day debating if I could or should go to that family thing at the farm on Sunday.

I have been there to get mom for the day when it is my turn to care for her, but I have been keeping separate from most everyone.

I live alone and there were three months last year before we got mom out of assisted care when I had not touched anyone. I remember the first time I said, “I touched a human!’

After a year of staying home and trying to be so careful, I have not really seen anyone but my 91-year-old mom a few days a week while my sister works. She is my one human in real life; all others I connect with by phone. 

I moved downstate a while back, away from where I raised my kids, and it has been lonely even before this past year. Remote but beautiful. I love the river and the trees—not so much the herds of deer who eat everything.

I am wondering if I am one of many who prefer smaller groups and will find it hard to go back to anything like it was before. Even if the grocery store isn’t busy and I have my mask on, I still feel anxious.

In the past, I would’ve had anxiety about groups but now after not being expected to show up it is even harder. I think I am stuck in the stay-at-home routine and am having a hard time moving past this. I used to be a public school art teacher and wasn’t afraid to get sick back then, but maybe that’s changed because I’m a grandma now. Either way, I’ve always believed that this was more than just a cold.

For a year, it has been best to stay at home, to shelter in place—but where’s the line now? When will it truly be okay to go places?

I would love to see my grandsons in far-off time zones but that would mean a flight, and I am not ready to do that yet. I think about flying to Durango to see my newest grandson, but I worry about the masks and the trip as a whole.

I hear about so many being vaccinated, and I think it will soon be time to deal with invitations, but then there is a new uptick in variants in Michigan and feel like I can put all that off a bit longer.

I do not see a way out yet. And for me, taking my mask off and eating inside is my biggest concern today. There is a Zoom link though, so I’m thinking that’s the way to go.

Soon it will be warmer and we can eat outside.

But today, I will walk by the river, write, and melt some glass in my studio.


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