It’s been 21 straight days of posting about life in the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks for reading. Two things became clear:
First, life as we knew it was scrambled and for the most part that’s been a good thing. When social good comes in the form of staying at home and distancing from others in public to avoid spread of the virus, it’s not a huge personal challenge for a retiree. Many of us needed relief from a busy schedule where it was hard to keep up anyway. The least important parts of my to-do list have fallen off, enabling focus on better priorities.
Second, the coronavirus will be around for a while, into 2022 at least. Once a vaccine is developed, we expect COVID-19 will be among the diseases addressed in annual flu shots. For those of us who get our flu shots, that’s a positive. We’re not there yet, but there is confidence in scientists working to understand the virus and developing a response. For now, we wait. What else is there to do as vaccine development takes time.
My last shift at the home, farm and auto supply store was on April 2 before taking a coronavirus leave of absence. I’ve gone to the farm for two shifts with another today. We practice social distancing in the greenhouse, which means most of my time is spent alone, doing my work. I’ve been grocery shopping twice, wearing a mask and trying to stay away from other shoppers and staff. I picked up volunteer work for my spouse at the library where the worker brought it to the door. We maintained a distance and chatted for a couple of minutes. She’s also one of my kale customers.
There is already pent up demand to get among people again, not just for me, but generally. In Iowa the number of confirmed tests for COVID-19 is still increasing, as are the number of daily deaths reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health. We are a distance from resuming normal activities as the “curve” is still progressing on the upward side of the bell. So we wait.
When I interviewed a U.S. Senate candidate on Thursday, we used the newly popular video conferencing platform Zoom. Since I didn’t know we were using Zoom until minutes before I was to log in, I didn’t have time to address my lack of a web camera. It looked pretty lame for just my name to show on the screen, although the interview went reasonably well.
A physician friend gave me his old monitor for my desktop when he upgraded. It has an October 2003 manufacture date. My technology works, but it’s old.
Digging through boxes of electronic gear, of which there seem to be a large number, I found the Logitech C250 web camera that plugs into a USB port, downloaded the driver, and am now ready to go on Zoom, Skype or whatever platform requires it. With social distancing, I’ll need it, probably.
No end to the pandemic is on the horizon. At the same time, the advent of spring is undeniable. A time of hope, of making plans, and for planting seeds. This year I’m increasing the productivity of the garden by using more space. Friends and neighbors may need the produce as the coronavirus pandemic continues.