It’s been our tradition over the years to watch the Bill Murray comedy, “Groundhog Day” on February 2nd. This is the first year that we’ve identified so much with it. We have a lot of routines, and habits in this time of Covid, and I suppose since we live in a pretty small mobile home, which we love, and our living space is so small, routines are necessary.
For example, in the morning, our alarm goes off at 6:45, and my husband and I enjoy spooning, still sleeping cozily. Then, when the next alarm goes off at 7:15, we say “flip” and turn over together, while I look at the weather, perhaps listen to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on my podcast, and then see what’s happened in the world while we were off in dreamland. Happily, since we have our new president, there aren’t quite as many crises being reported.
I usually get up first and move the stuffed dog we call “Sheppie” from my chair over to his daytime post on the bed, to do a little writing. I sit in one of our matching recliner chairs, and a little later, Doug comes over to sit in his, both of us bundled up in what we call our “blankies”…..soft throws that we’ve had for years. Next is a time for our short meditation and prayer. We light a candle in front of our icon of Jesus, and I read the gospel of the day and a word from Pope Francis, and then we meditate for 12 minutes. We tried up to 30 minutes, but have settled on 12 for now, since we’re practicing not being distracted. Then we say prayers out loud for family and friends. This happens every day, without question, and gets our day off to a good start. Next, Doug makes the world’s best cup of Peet’s coffee and I usually do the rest of the breakfast while he serenades me on his keyboard and I try to “name that tune, in 3 notes.” We eat back in our chairs and catch up on more news in the Wall Street Journal, and I report to him the goings-on of the birds I see at our feeders out the window. I won’t bore you with our entire day, but now that I think of it, our life is pretty regular, but it comforts us in the time we’re in.
Lately some of my time in the morning has been to track down when we can get our vaccine, following leads that friends have given us, to no avail. It was announced that folks over 65 would be given the “jab”, as they say in England, but the supply just hasn’t been there. It was exciting that the age was lowered, since I’m 70, and if the age was 75, Doug would have gotten his and not me. The plan is, hopefully, for us to travel to New York in early April, since my daughter will be having her baby then, and I could go to help out. Seeing all the appointment days say “FULL” online has been very frustrating, and everyone seems to be having the same problem…..until last Tuesday.
We showed up to our socially distanced Aquasize class, and 3 out of the 6 we usually have in our socially distanced class were absent. They showed up late, with the excuse that they had been on hold for an hour on the phone, and finally got through to make appointments for the vaccine. I was floating happily in the pool with my noodle, but paddled my way over to get out and sit on a lounge chair in the sun, to call that number myself. After lots of Muzak, interrupted by recorded messages saying that “they would get to me in the order received”, a nice girl asked me a few questions and gave us an appointment for the next Friday! Just about giddy with relief, I rejoined the class in the pool, amid applause from our small gang of over 70’s.
I knew that all of our kids had been wondering when we would get our shot, but I never imagined the we would get so many texts of congratulations for getting and appointment for a vaccine! Responding to our text, we received raves and gifs, and emojis of tooting horns and lots of hearts. It was very sweet that every one of our 7 kids (between us) responded within minutes, actually rejoicing at the news.
On Friday, we joined a bunch of elderly folks at the Indio Fairgrounds, and were herded into socially distanced lines that had metal folding chairs placed thoughtfully every few feet. It was all very efficient, and after the jab, (I love to say “jab”. It’s so British sounding), we each were instructed to sit in a chair and watch a video of a doctor telling us what to expect next and how we might feel. A nurse passed around the area, keeping an eye on us, in case anyone was allergic and went in to anaphylactic shock. Everyone seemed to be fine, and one by one, we left after our 15 minute time was up. Once more relieved, we marveled that after the first sting of the shot, we didn’t notice any tenderness at all. We worked on a couple of projects later, and then walked over to the pool for our usual afternoon swim and told the few people that were there about our adventure, and passing along the cherished phone number.
Back again to February 2nd, after watching Groundhog Day, we wept to hear that Captain Sir Tom Moore, died of Covid. He’s the many who in the days running up to his 100th birthday, raised money for National Health
Captain Sir Tom Moore