Wine, music, and virus

We are smack in the middle of summer and in the middle of pandemic chaos. Ten states are now experiencing severe outbreaks, with Florida, Texas and Arizona the worst. The lack of national leadership is appalling. People are confused by mixed messages about everything from masks to transmission to the safety of gathering. I would have thought that by now the virus would be much more under control. Fortunately, the numbers in our town are staying pretty steady, which is reassuring. Virginia numbers overall are trending upward, but not as much as many other states.

We spent last week in the country again in Syria, VA. People are still generally wearing masks even though the numbers there are very low. We discovered a wonderful winery around the corner from our house, DuCard’s. It has just reopened, so we were able to get a bottle of wine and sit outside at a table set far apart from other tables. They required masks to go inside for the wine, and hand sanitizer was available on a table.

My sister came down from Chevy Chase, MD, for the week. She was on furlough from her job with the Shakespeare Theatre in DC and decided to do a Music Festival of One for the week. She brought her violin and spent a good part of each day practicing a difficult Beethoven piece. We picked dewberries while she was there and she went horseback riding. She was so happy to get out of the city and her house and spend some time outdoors.

On Friday my son and his girlfriend came for dinner. We hadn’t seen them in months even though they live in northern Virginia, and we were all nervous about doing it safely. We grilled out but sat inside with fans going because of the heat. He is working at home; she works in a hospital, so getting together felt a bit risky. Our social lives have certainly changed. Even the smallest gathering needs careful planning and produces anxiety.

Back at home, I am working on my fall classes, redoing all the assignments for online, working with colleagues on best practices and some workshops for the department.

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