The Art of Patience

I totally get that we all want this to end: the physical distancing, the inability to be up close and personal with our elders, the sense of isolation, the worry about money and our ability to put food on the table.  I mourn for the many small businesses that will be unable to recover and reopen.  I am saddened to think that people who have been the fabric of our community for years will somehow quietly fade from our daily existence.

I love Marc dearly but miss the close presence of others.  I brought our youngest son home for the day yesterday, both of us wearing face masks in the car and keeping at least six feet from one another once inside. All I wanted to really do was hug him, draw his son-scent into my lungs, feel his skin against mine.  We stayed careful and safe. 

I continue to exercise five days a week, and I go outside whenever I can—but it doesn’t feel like enough anymore.  I’ve found my motivation has dwindled away a bit, that it’s hard to get myself started on anything.  I’ve become the queen of procrastination.  I’m not stepping back from my healthy lifestyle, but I believe my overall productivity numbers are tanking!  I am eager to get out and do stuff again, but I somehow feel as if I am encased in a curious lethargy.

Waiting patiently for Gracie!

In spite of that urgency to resume some semblance of normalcy, I fully recognize how much we don’t yet know about Covid-19.  We are all somehow banking on antibodies from those who have recovered.  But, how many of those antibodies do you need to be immune?  There have been cases of people who had the illness and recovered, but still test positive.  There have been others who have recovered and then caught it a second time.  If someone has a mild case, is that enough to render them immune?  Our lack of knowledge effectively debunks the idea that if a bunch of young people got sick and recovered it would somehow establish herd immunity.

There is truly disturbing news of a small number of cases of healthy young people having a major stroke after a mild case of Covid-19. While there aren’t many of them—twelve in New York, for example—that is a stunning number of people in their thirties and forties having a major stroke where the median age is normally 76.  Does Covid-19 cause a clotting disorder, or do certain people’s autoimmune system go haywire?  Again: we don’t know.  This thread is just beginning to get pulled.  It is likely we will find heart attack deaths or deaths from clots to the lungs linked to the same phenomenon as it is researched more.

I am not a patient woman, but I believe patience is an art form that we all need to vigilantly practice.  We don’t have enough test kits; we don’t yet have contact tracers close to the volumes we need.  So, we are going to need to continue our physical distancing, continue wearing our masks when we’re around others, continue to wash our hands and sanitize high touch surfaces.  Marc and I will support our restaurants that start back up, but only with carry-out or delivery.  The businesses that limit the number of people in their stores, the ones who offer drive-up service—those are the ones we will choose. 

We have already lost over 50,000 souls in this country, and I, for one, can’t wrap my arms around that number.  So many who died alone; whose loved ones didn’t even have the comfort of a memorial service to ease their pain.  I will be patient for those families.  I will be patient for all the people who could get sick, who could die if we can’t control this terrible disease.  I will be patient for our health care workers and all those who risk their health by helping us.

I can be patient.  I hope you can, too.

Happier times: March 2019 at L restaurant, which will not reopen.

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