living the covid19 life: sleepless nights

Vintage pillowcase purchased at a store now part of a mandated non-essential closure , Magnolia Cottage Shop in Malvern/Frazer.

Sleepless nights in coronavirus land. I think we all are having them. Last night into this morning was mine. A wise friend once said to me nothing good happens if you worry late into the night. So I laid there and listened to the patter of rain on the roof, and eventually drifted off.

3 AM was just when this got to me. But now here we are, it’s Friday and everyone I know and their families survived the week in the COVID19 world, so I think that is good. Think of COVID19 as the ultimate 12 step program. No, I am not and never have been in recovery. Someone I know who is suggested this parallel because this current world we live in can only be handled one day at a time.

Overnight we learned that California had issued a state wide shelter in place. Translation? #staythefuckhome. So why can’t people just do that without being told? Why are people so bent out of shape that WaWa for example stopped self-serve coffee? I mean come on, are people really that obtuse or selfish? Someone I know who had to be out briefly yesterday had remarked when they were out they noticed how people in some places seemed to act like it was business as usual. They wondered how a car detailing place they passed by was an essential business.

Things I think about include what happens to residential and retail/commercial renters? Are their landlords being kind? What are they doing for tenants? I get that a lot of these property owners have mortgages and bills to pay, but not all do and some probably have mortgages that are low enough that they could maybe offer some rent abatements? Are they?

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances with small businesses. I say a prayer for them every day. Some we can support remotely, some we can’t. It’s a horrible Sophie’s Choice situation, isn’t it?

I can’t think of anyone not affected by this global pandemic. I have friends that live overseas and a stepbrother too. This is no joke. Yet you have to wonder what some people and organizations are thinking.

My alma mater The Shipley School has canceled the entire reunion weekend in May. I think it’s the right thing to do. Yet on one thread talking about it someone said “Damn this panic over nothing!” With those people you can only shake your head and walk away.

Other events are being or have been canceled. A Philadelphia tradition, the Dad Vail Regatta has been cancelled. The Penn Relays have been canceled for the first time in 126 years. I met the famous Olympian Jesse Owens there when I was a child.

Other cancellations include Radnor Hunt events like the balance of the fox hunting season. That’s good and here’s hoping some of their membership stops gathering at the club for events and cocktails now. I saw a photo recently of a bunch of folks at an event there and the event selfies were reminiscent of “let them eat cake” a la Marie Antoinette. Not trying to be mean. But people in clubs aren’t immortal.

Organizations Philadelphians have not heard from include the Orpheus Club. We belong and did not attend the March event because of coronavirus, and they have a spring concert at the Kimmel Center which I am somewhat surprised has not been postponed or canceled. Their events are quite popular and well, how do you practice social distancing at a large, crowded event? The short answer is you can’t. Orpheus we will still love you if you have to postpone the spring concert.

Now another organization which has NOT canceled which people are talking about is the Devon Horse Show. So many other equine spring events like Winterthur’s Point to Point has been canceled. Even the Grand National in England has been cancelled. But Devon Horse Show remains silent. Devon is a HUGE event, which makes it exactly a big kind of risk, doesn’t it? What are the show organizers thinking?

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non life-sustaining businesses to shut down. So it’s going to get more quiet. And yes this virus is going to cause and is causing an economic hit. I have thought a lot of the supposed bubbling economy was smoke and mirrors for a couple of years, so hopefully we will come out of this battered and not broken.

But the thing is this: we are exactly and precisely in a situation beyond our control. As in we can only control ourselves. So we need to step up. We can be selfish or we can be smart and compassionate. Now is the time to pay it forward. Even little things like just calling a friend to say hi. Checking in on neighbors.

To get through this we need to keep the home fires burning and just stay the hell home. And we need to keep our kids home and the older ones need to learn about social distancing. I think the idiots who had to go on spring break need to be quarantined somewhere and sent home if healthy.

Now it’s not all horrible. Some beautiful things have happened. Music floating over rooftops in Italy and other European countries, musicians playing from home via social media platforms, and more. And we have to give a shout out to our grocery stores who are really stepping up their games. Now if people would just buy what they need and resist the urge to hoard.

Locally there are random acts of kindness abounding which makes my heart happy and gives us all hope. From people who keep chickens sharing eggs and more. Neighbors helping neighbors.

We live in a time where the biggest positive to come out of this is people are starting to remember what is important in this life. That’s a good thing. Look I’m not Pollyanna, I can be really negative and I had a sleepless night. Just like when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 I am choosing to do my best to remain positive. We have to choose hope. We have to not let the boogie men who appear in the middle of the night when we are sleepless not get the better of us.

Look, it won’t kill us if we stay home for a while. It might kill us if we don’t. Choose life. #staythefuckhome

Happy Friday. Be well.

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