Now that the year 2020 has been officially retired, I have reflected back to what I learned during the first few months of the pandemic with its lock-downs, shelter in place orders and social distancing requirements. (Some of which still remain).
I learned the importance of participating in social gatherings and that spending time with friends and family is necessary for my mental health. Thank goodness for the genius technology that allows apps like Zoom and FaceTime to exist. If it weren't for them, I would not have seen my children or grandchildren's faces in over a year. They live in Texas and Arizona, so quick visits are not possible with the various travel restrictions and quarantine rules. I long for the days when we can again travel freely, stay safely in hotels or with family members, and not endanger ourselves or others. As a diversion, our friends in different cities have arranged to have regular 5:00 pm zoom meetings where we share stories, laughs, play games and drink large quantities of wine. It's the next best thing to “in person" visits.
I also learned the importance of keeping up with regular doctor's appointments. For instance, I was afraid to venture out to the dentist. Allowing a hygienist to lean over my face at close range and invade my mouth with shiny metal tools, seemed like an unnecessary and foolish risk. Now that I have deemed it safe to visit my dentist, I am stuck with the consequences of my six-month long neglect...a broken crown and other minor dental issues. In addition, many of my friends have skipped their annual physicals, mammograms, cardiologist appointments, and necessary blood tests to monitor their various ongoing conditions. People silently suffered from a number of medical problems because they were afraid to go to a hospital or call 911 for help. Now that we have learned more about how the Covid virus spreads, and have the necessary personal protective equipment, I hope everyone will feel comfortable taking responsibility for their own health and seeking medical advice when needed.
On a more frivolous note, I learned the importance and absolute pleasure of binge-watching television shows. Starting in March 2020, I have watched more television shows than I had in the previous few years put together. The shows and their characters became like my friends and I eagerly played one episode after another, sometimes for hours on end (only pausing for bathroom and Diet Coke breaks). When a series finished, I was honestly bereft, and immediately began searching the guide feature on the remote for another. I only considered shows that had multiple seasons, so the luxury of the binge could last for days, if not weeks. The subject matters varied, but my enthusiasm for bingeing never did. I happily enjoyed dozens of shows. Here is a partial list of some that my husband and I truly loved. If you haven't seen them, you are in or a treat...Mad Men, The Heart Guy, Everwood, Red Oaks, Bosch, The Palace, Heartland and our very favorite, A Place To Call Home. If you've found others, please share them with me.
Until my next inspiration...ciao.