I suppose I am a Stay At Home expert now: I have had a Zoom happy hour and I have mask envy.
Yesterday afternoon, they closed all the remaining beaches. Fortunately, I had gotten up early and spent an hour in the morning at Sunset Beach, where I found a plastic bottle colonized by mussels* and a piece of sea glass that looks as if it has been melted. Hopefully it is not from Fukushima and wildly radioactive although, given that we just seem to keep sliding into the the most unlikely timeline, it probably is. Harvey tried to eat it for some god only knows ridiculous dog reason but I got to him in time and brought the piece of glass home to radiate slowly on the windowsill.
Then in the afternoon I found out about the beaches. This was just as I was madly cleaning the house for the Zoom happy hour with my friends in Asheville. ZOOM! It went really well! i got kicked off halfway through because my internet is chancy but I got back on and it was just so lovely to see all their faces. They all looked great. I, on the other hand, look like Jabba the Hutt in a blue gray wig on Zoom. Every time we have a Zoom meeting – and we have at least two a day at work, at 9:30 and 4:30, which has nothing to do with them checking up on us and making sure we’re working, no, nothing at all – I have a sudden startled moment of cringe when I see my giant face on the screen. My GOD my NECK! Or, uh, what used to be my neck. When I had a neck. Actually though I like the zoom meetings. I like seeing my coworkers and pretending I’m being just as productive at home as I am at work.
I’m trying but it’s hard. On one of the nonprofit facebook groups I belong to someone said, remember, you’re not really working from home. You’re experiencing a pandemic, an unparalleled disaster in world history or at least in living memory, and you’re trying to work through it. It’s okay if you can’t focus. That was good to know because boy howdy, I cannot focus. First of all it’s tough at home because it’s too easy to go, oh hey! I should really mop the kitchen floor real quick! And make soup! Possibly also bread and while I’m at it, I need to sort those papers. And second because, ya know, PANDEMIC. Here we are. We are in the middle of a fucking pandemic. It is so insane that it makes me stop, just stop and freeze and stare into space. That is usually when my son will emerge blinking from his room and say, PANDEMIC. COVID-19! What are we going to do?
I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do except what we are doing, which is wear soft pants and eat too many pretzel crisps.
I have a hierarchy of soft pants now. There are pants that I can wear outside and pants I cannot.
OK, I know, standards have changed but I’m still not wearing my sheep print pajama pants to the supermarket no matter how comfy they are. I have worn them on morning dog walks around the neighborhood but every time I seem to end up also wearing my purple plaid warm waterproof jacket and about halfway through the work I become uneasily aware that that’s a lot of purple pattern. And to think I wondered why that jacket was so cheap. I have two pairs of purple soft pants as well and the same goes for them. I’m not ready yet to be Purple Lady. Soon, no doubt, soon I’ll be purple lady and have a small dog in an old stroller plus some other accoutrements too depressing to think about. But for now I am still only half purple and I have two large dogs and okay, yes, i do talk to the neighborhood deer. Good morning, deer! I say, Hello! They seem to appreciate it.
Today I had to go to the supermarket again – it is where my pharmacy is and I had to get a new supply of loaded needles to stick into my much abused belly fat. I’ve gotten much better at stabbing myself with needles but fortunately I will not need this skill for much longer: I got approved for a big pharma plan for poor people and I will be getting a 3 month supply of blood thinner in the mail on Monday. Whoo hoo! I am grateful that such programs exist BUT allow me to point out that if we had fucking national health care like a civilized real country I would not have had to spend hours on the phone over the last week begging and proving that I was poor but HEY we can’t have that! ARGH. Anyway, i was at the supermarket, and there were quite a few people actually wearing masks now. Some of them were quite fashionable cute masks and I am jealous. I tried that no sew tutorial mask thing that I have been plugging and found that, alas, it doesn’t really work well – it hurts my ears and still fogs up my glasses. Sigh. There is still no rice or flour or yeast or plain seltzer in cans. The cat litter is suddenly all gone, like the entire cat litter aisle is empty, which is very strange. The cashiers and bag people are still unmasked and ungloved. They are spraying the carts with disinfectant as they come in now.
I also had to go to the vet. Harvey (who has his own Instagram account now because why not) woke me up this morning freaking out about his ears. He wouldn’t let me look at them and while I tried to put some enzyme ear cleaner in, it didn’t go well, so I called the vet. Vet appointments, along with everything else in the world, are different now. Now you drive into their parking lot and call them and tell them you’re there. Then they call you back and get you to explain why you are there in detail. Then a vet tech (a perky vet tech; why are they always so perky?) comes out in a mask and gloves and you open the car door while they stand 6 feet away. They bring their own leash and clip it to your dog’s harness and then they take your dog inside. You wait in your car. Then they call you and if your dog is like Harvey, they tell you that he will not let them look in his ear, which, if you are me, will cause you to wonder just why the fuck, then, am I here? Are you people not the experts at looking into dogs’ ears? Even Harvey’s? But you are friendly and polite and anyway, the upshot is that they think he has an ear infection so they gave him a one dose big antibiotic in his ear and sent him on home with me. If it isn’t better in a few days he will have to go back and be sedated this time so they can look in his ear. About an hour later they called to get my credit card number so I could give them $105 which COINCIDENTALLY is almost EXACTLY as much as I got back from the state of Oregon this morning so goodbye, tax return and Fortuna, oh somewhat mean spirited goddess, why?
I have rambled on! Let me just close by sharing this extremely depressing clip and reminding all of us that this is probably the time for a socialist revolution in this country or, at the very least, MEDICARE FOR ALL RIGHT THE HELL NOW, ALONG WITH WORKER PROTECTIONS FOR EVERYONE. I don’t really want to eat the rich – I’m vegetarian, and anyway ew, have you SEEN the rich? Unappetizing. – but I do want them taxed at a level that will support the USA entering the 21st century in a sane, kind, sustainable way that cares for all its citizens and not just the 1%. This, comrades, is the time to achieve that. Solidarity!
* mussels really like plastic bottles. I don’t know what that’s all about but I have found a lot of them now. Also these are weird looking mussels and I suspect they might be the evil zebra mussels or some other kind of mussel we probably shouldn’t have around here.