Out of the Blue
Makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice
By Deborah Salomon
Please don’t think I think the coronavirus pandemic is over because it isn’t, and I don’t. But a time comes in every momentous happening, tragic or otherwise, when folks step back and consider its direct impact on their lives.
How many columns have you read about what transpired during the stay-home? And how many of those were about cleaning out closets, files, basements, pantries? Others found desperadoes painting, plumbing and baking. Many bored-silly souls tracked down long-lost friends or relatives.
Let me assure you that my closets, pantry and files remain intact. I bake anyway, so that doesn’t count. I dug up no skeletons. Perchance, then, I can share 10 other observations emblematic of confinement:
TV trafficker: I have premium cable and On Demand but no streaming, so I wasn’t drowning in the really good stuff. That’s OK. What I wanted was mindless marathons. The Golden Remote goes to Grey’s Anatomy — sappy and addictive. I found Blue Bloods uncomfortably uplifting. Looks like SVU’s Mariska Hargitay won the eat-a-thon. What I was looking for was an ER or NYPD Blue mulligan. Now, those were worth watching.
Hunger games: Home alone means three meals devolve into 10 (or more) snacks, which means a parade of egg rolls, baby carrots, grilled cheese, roasted eggplant, corn muffins, egg salad sandwiches, fruit Popsicles, cottage cheese, hummus on crackers, canned peaches on no specific timetable.
Fear and loathing: Every morning, before getting out of bed, I still complete a checklist of virus symptoms: sore throat, dry cough, headache, body aches, upset tummy. Couldn’t test loss of taste until I made it into the kitchen for half a banana. Between arthritis and spring allergies duplicating several symptoms I was never out of the woods.
Kitty love: I work mostly from home, so my two kitties reap laptime. Now, the weather was nice so they reaped the joys of going in and out, in and out, in and out.
Wakey, wakey: To make up for rising before dawn I take naps, which doubled during the stay-home. I am now proficient at nodding off while watching rants by some blondish, Creamsicle-faced pitchman (in baggy blue suit) with a limited vocabulary and mostly lurid adjectives.
Fashion: Sweat or yoga pants. Hoodies. Ratty T-shirts. Clogs. Comfort clothes. Divine.
Horror: How could this be happening . . . now . . . to us? Aren’t we the chosen people living in the richest, healthiest, most civilized country ever? No, obviously. Well, maybe, since the virus thrives in disadvantaged surroundings. Then why is it thriving here?
Forays: Trips to the grocery store netted several “Hi, Jennifers” because the hair and body looked like Jennifer but, behind the mask, it wasn’t. Tried talking with my eyes, conveying desperation over lemon meringue pie selling out. I really lost it when our favorite Fancy Feast flavor disappeared.
Get over it: By June, everybody felt spent. Precautions became a bore. I could almost hear Doris Day chanting “Que Sera, Sera,” whatever will be, will be. Red flags went unnoticed. Eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow . . . you know the rest.
Summon strength for an ongoing battle: Dr. Fauci (Isn’t he adorable? I wanted a Fauci bobblehead but they sold out.) predicts a resurgence come fall/winter. In other words, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. Not you, Mariska. PS
Deborah Salomon is a writer for PineStraw and The Pilot. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.