This past weekend, I went up to DC today to visit my 93-year-old mother. Her assisted living home has been shut down to outsiders in order to protect the six residents and their caretakers, but they recently started allowing two visitors a week for 45 minutes out on the porch. I had my mask on and they brought my mother out to a seat 6 feet away from me. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her to figure out who I was at first. I hadn’t seen her in five months, her eyesight is bad, and she has some dementia. She did know me, though, and we were able to shout back and forth to one another. I was so glad to be able to visit finally and grateful that she is healthy.
While I was in DC, I stayed with my sister. Every encounter has to be so carefully considered. I also wanted to visit my son, but decided to do it after seeing my sister and mother in order to prevent as much risk to them as possible. I had planned to sit outside at my son’s house, but it was in the 90s, and so we ended up inside with the air conditioning eating crackers and cheese. We kept it short because it felt so risky.
Here in Virginia, we have had a 45% increase in cases in the last two weeks, but in Harrisonburg, the numbers have only gone up a little. There were 18 new cases in the last week. Still not good.
I just read an article in the NY Times: “Why It’s Good to be Old, Even in a Pandemic.” I do feel that despite the additional risk of being over 65, I am glad to be the age I am. The pandemic helps me appreciate all the parts of my daily life without some of the stresses of an earlier life: my husband and my children, the friends here and far away, the days at home, the sun and the rain, and the drives for a change of scenery. Despite the challenges, I feel content.