Stay-At-Home Day Eighty; Opening Up

Coronavirus Day Eighty Stay-at-Home
Still Living in Interesting Times

So today is day eighty of my Coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home adventures. It’s been an amazing time of watching the world from my at-home window while trying to make sense of everything. Along with my need to understand what was happening came my dual need to feel gainfully occupied. From my vantage, it looks like things are opening up but in a new and very different way.

I’ve been between jobs these past weeks which has made this time all the more interesting. Not having an outside schedule to adhere to for so long was a strange feeling, almost like practicing for retirement. My school work kept me busy until the semester was over then I had real freedom to do – nothing. My summer semester starts today so I’m back with at least school assignments to anchor my daily schedule. If all goes well I’ll be back into a new job in a couple of weeks. But even having that new job, life will still not go back to what it was.

This pandemic has changed all the rhythms of life.

Things Change in the New Normal

Parts of my home state of Virginia started “opening up” May 18, but my area of Northern Virginia stayed locked down until today as we have the densest population in the state. Washington D.C. has also been closed and a large percentage of people here in Northern Virginia work in DC. I’ve heard the two Maryland counties bordering DC have also stayed closed, reportedly until DC re-opens. Even so, local businesses are slowly creeping open like flowers in the early spring.

Although some businesses are opening, life is still different. There are social restrictions on people standing too close together. Many businesses are requiring customers to wear face masks and restricting the number of people allowed inside at any one time. Curbside pickup – customers pre-ordering through a local store, then picking up their purchases curbside from their cars is becoming popular.

Then there’s the businesses that may never reopen – ever. Buffet-style restaurants are probably gone, along with most locally-owned Mom-and-Pop restaurant operations. I don’t know how hairdressers and barbers make a comeback even though everyone needs them. How are Dentists going to operate without risking their health and the health of their patients?

I’ve been out of the house several times this past week and can feel difference in the air. Road traffic is different. How people move inside stores is different. Everyone wearing masks – and those people not wearing masks stand out. All coming back to the changes in the rhythms of life.

Meanwhile, Back At Home

Back at home Winnie and I have been hunkering down in the house. When I’m not doing schoolwork I’ve been building websites and writing posts. My biggest project these past few weeks is a fairly extensive timeline on the Coronavirus Pandemic. I wanted to make sense of just what happened, and my research got a bit carried away. I also wanted to learn new website page building skills and this timeline project was a good way to experiment.

I’ve been working on a new site for possibly doing freelance consulting work sometime after I graduate (this December). My new site has been an excellent media for learning new skills and playing with new WordPress plugins that I don’t need on this site. This comes right after completing two back-to-back classes on UX design, with a class project of a training-oriented website that ended up as a nice bit of work.

Besides playing with websites, I’ve caught up on watching movies and generally relaxing. Winnie has been taking it easy as well. Her big project each day is fixing us a wonderful late lunch, which goes back to just how much our lives have changed. I still tend to wake up the same early time each morning, just because I’ve been getting up early for so many years. Winnie gets up a bit later so we”ll have a late breakfast together about 8:00 AM, which used to be the time I was having my first office meeting.

Our lunch is usually around 2:00 PM now, and Winnie has been fixing awesome meals. Our supper is around 6:00 PM and pretty light, usually just fruit and cheese. I’ve heard this is supposed to be a good diet, but I’m not loosing much weight. I also haven’t gained much either so I guess that’s a wash.

Boating May Not Happen This Year

My big disappointment is not being able to get out on the water. I normally launch my kayak or power boat from a Virginia park-owned marina, and until today all those parks have been closed. Normally my power boat Sea Dragon is in the water by at least Memorial Day weekend. I need to finish some maintenance on her, and haven’t felt like being outside these past weeks so I’m still not ready to get Sea Dragon out.

With the parks opening back up I may try to get in some kayaking this summer. I’m not sure Sea Dragon will get wet this season. It may just be a good summer to work on some boat projects, seeing as how all our home improvement projects are done…

Stay Safe

So stay safe everyone. This pandemic is far from over, but our odds of getting through it are improving. Time to focus on getting back outside, moving around, and living life with a face mask on.

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