Life In The Time Of Pandemic

A historian at one of the nearby universities wrote an article this week suggesting that we all keep diaries of this unprecedented time.

Write it all down.

Life In The Time Of Pandemic, I guess.

Where has he been? Pandemic 2020 is going to be the most documented event in the history of mankind. (Peoplekind.)

Where were you when the wash-your-hands edict came? When the don’t-touch-your-face came? When the toilet-paper-hysteria came? When the ban on gatherings of 1,000 … 500 … 50 … 10 came? When today came? I know. Twitter and Facebook and Instagram told me.

There seems to be an ever-increasing number of cat photos on my feeds. Just to break up the latest round of bad news, I guess. So, doing my part, here’s Zuzu …

(I am not gloating because extroverts are freaking out about this stay-at-home thing. But, I admit, there is a smug-but-not-gloating satisfaction. Now you know how it is for an introvert like me when I’m feeling pressured to go to one of your big parties. Different thing. Same gnawing discomfort.)

“Hey! What’s Going On? Where’d Everybody Go?”

I had a dream last night that I went online and this site was gone. WordPress was gone. The Baseball Bloggess was gone.

Just like baseball. Gone.

A week ago, that would have been just a weird dream. Last night it woke me up. Week ago, weird dream. Last night, nightmare.

A Week Ago, This Was My Happy Place.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Central Virginia – sunshine’y, in the 60s. We should have been at the University of Virginia baseball game. Instead, I was learning how to order “to-go” groceries – including a lifetime supply of jalapeño peppers – from an app.

Lifetime supply? Is that a pandemic’s lifetime? Or, a real lifetime? Or, is that now the same thing?

The woman who brought the groceries to our car – keeping an appropriate distance – told us that a couple drove down from Baltimore because they heard that our grocery store – 125 miles away – had toilet paper. By the time they arrived, it was gone.

A five-hour round trip for … nothing.

We unloaded our groceries, including the lifetime supply of jalapeños, on the porch and disinfected things with a wipe before we brought them into the house.

Because that’s what we have been told to do.

(Do you think those people from Baltimore stopped at the Rest Area on I-66 and emptied all the toilet paper dispensers as they drove back home? Or, do you think someone else got there first?)

Even This Little Tree That’s Blooming Along Our Pasture Fence Line Looks Sad And Alone. 

Mark Shields and David Brooks were on PBS NewsHour last Friday discussing leadership in the time of crisis. It’s worth a watch, although much has changed since then. Every day feels like a month … a year.

 

Here’s the thing that stayed with me …

David Brooks said he tried to find out more about how people coped with the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, but very little was available:

“It left no trace on the national culture.”

He determined that little is available because people didn’t document it.

Because they were ashamed of how they behaved. Especially once the fear set in.

Leaving no trace is not an option today. We’re writing it all down. We’re filming it. We’re documenting every single second of it.

A hundred years from now, what are people going to think of us?

This Is Not My “Happy Place”

I shut everything down.

When things shut down around me in the past few days, I knew that mitigating a fast-spreading virus like COVID-19 would mean more than just shuttering all sports, museums, concerts, and big things.

It meant even little businesses like mine should shut down, too.

So, I closed my Yoga studio, cancelled my massage clients. And, here I sit.

Because, isn’t this what it means to “do your part”?

But, if the bars and restaurants and movie theaters are still open and people are still going, am I just wasting my time?

As I said to some of my clients, “I don’t want to see you on Monday and then have to call you on Wednesday and say, ‘Hey! Guess what I just tested positive for?’”

If closing is the right thing to do, why do I feel so terrible about this?

OK, that helped to say all that.

Now that you’ve kindly read through my “stress dump,” we, of course, need to get to the nut of things …

This virus has taken away baseball. It has taken away sports. It has taken away my “Happy Place.” Maybe your “Happy Place,” too.

I have no back-up “Happy Place.”

On Tuesday afternoon – playing hooky – I sat in the stands at the University of Virginia’s Davenport Field in our luxurious new season seats that look straight through home plate and right down the third-base line.

©The Baseball Bloggess

Freshman Max Cotier, on third and thinking about maybe, just maybe, stealing home. He didn’t steal, but he did score. (See, I told you … great seats!)

Virginia beat UMass-Lowell on Tuesday afternoon 24-5.

When it seemed clear that the game would be a major blow-out … and, you know, blow-outs and batting around in multiple innings can take some time (ultimately, three hours and 32 minutes) … we thought about leaving. It was getting late. Continue reading