OYL April 14

The COVID memes last year were cracking me up.

A year on from this time last year, some things are so different and some things are hanging on, refusing to change and give us our lives back. One Year Later: I look at old posts from my COVID journal.

May 4, 2020. Apparently it is being suggested that we should be willing to sacrifice our lives for the economy. The NYT reported, “Dan Patrick, Texas’s 70-year-old lieutenant governor, said recently, ‘There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country for my children and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.’” It reminds me of Animal Farm. Today the US Supreme Court will hear a case via conference call for the first time. Since all the TV personalities are doing shows from their homes, I get to see them in pajamas, with their kids and spouses, and animals. I’ve seen lots of dogs and cats. It’s also interesting to note how well they deal with it, and compare them. Stephen Colbert seems outstandingly relaxed to be doing his show from home. Seth Meyers is not.

May 5. I finally thought of a way I can do something! I am going to put out a special edition of the Cherokee newsletter. I went through our mailing list and found all the Cherokee creators I could find. I emailed them explaining that I wanted to create a bonus issue to keep our community close to each other, and asked for contributions. I really have high hopes that I can get enough to make a full newsletter for May, in addition to the one coming up in June. I took my third online quiz for my archaeology class today. It went the smoothest of all. I’m finally getting the hang of this online school stuff. I have a fun project today to practice typology. I have to gather a collection of things in my house. Tara suggested dragons!!

What a boon it was for me to conceive of a way to help people. It was a gift. You know, I have heard counselors or motivational speakers say things like the best way to get out of depression is to help others. I got to see an example of that because once I began working on the special edition of the newsletter, I felt actual happiness and excitement that was missing from my every day life because of pandemic fears. Our Cherokee newsletter has a mailing list of over 200 people and is one way to connect our dispersed community with ties to the Mt. Hood Cherokee group based in Portland, Oregon. My idea was that while everyone was forced to stay at home, they might like more communication than usual.

2 Towns Ciderhouse is a local brewery in central Oregon. This is the product I used to know them by. I like the apple and raspberry rose ciders, the pineapple not so much.
Like many aware and responsible companies around the world, 2 Towns Ciderhouse re-purposed their factories to produce hand sanitizer, which was in more demand than the cider. (I don’t see why. I prefer the cider – sanitize from the inside out! ha ha)

May 6. Life is more calm with Tara staying at the house this week. Having another person here helps me to feel more calm, which is an unexpected thing because I didn’t realize I wasn’t calm. I now have something to compromise about, whereas before I was just trying to maintain exactly what I wanted to match my own high standards for myself. Does that make sense? Anyway, the house is a mess, as it always is when Tara comes in and spreads their detritus in every direction, and I’m just letting it go because it feels good to have to accept another person.

With T here I’m not as caught up on the news. But I catch a few stories here and there. Now we have murder hornets (Asian Giant Hornets) coming in from…Japan? Turns out some countries in Africa are actually doing way better than many places because they are so used to epidemics, like HIV/AIDS, malaria, ebola, that their infrastructure is already in place. There’s another lesson the world can learn: have this stuff in place. An interesting study showed that women leaders seem to be doing better with the pandemic than men leaders. Scientists who study such things said women are more likely to lead collaboratively, listen to others, and take advice. That’s the ideal leadership style in a crisis. Kim Jong Un finally showed up after being missing for 3 weeks. Apparently the virus level in meat packing plants is extraordinarily high. There are stories about all these breakdowns in the food supply chain (well all supply chains actually), which is supposed to lead to a food shortage soon. What I’m seeing is not a lack of food, but a lack of distribution. Farmers are pouring milk onto their crops to see if that does anything vs. throw the milk away. Acres of fruits are left rotting on the ground in one place, and people are starving in another place. Many locations are opening up again; Italy, Hong Kong, Georgia. I’m very curious to see how it goes.

Remember all these crazy news stories? Pouring milk on fields? It just sounds devastating. And here I skipped a whole week in my journal. This pattern continued for awhile, as I wrote more often when I was thinking more about the pandemic. This week last year, possibly because Tara was at the house, I had other, better things to think about. 🙂

May 14. I’m noticing small things but I’m sure I’m going to forget it all when it’s over. It is hard to remember all the tiny details and write it down in my journal. Late night show hosts are in casual clothes and goof around and get up and run after the dog. TV peoples’ hair is growing out. The people they interview are SO casual. Robert DiNiro and Cate Blanchett are just hanging out and being very real. Cate brought her daughter in to say hi. I got the sense that at this point it’s just not worth upholding the pretenses, and we the public are being allowed a look in. I wondered if we will go back right away. Will the famous people instantly switch back to austere aloofness and will the audiences switch back to blind hero-worship? Not everyone will. This, what we have right now, is better.

I notice these behaviors in myself. For example, when I went on the cemetery date with Jeff and I didn’t even wear makeup. No makeup on a first date! I have another first date tomorrow with a guy named Dan, and I’m considering pulling my hair back into a ponytail and no makeup again. (although I did pluck my unibrow and OHMYGOD no one told me how hairy my face was. What the heck. I had to mow my nose hairs and trim my moustache and everything.)

Another thing I’m noticing is how everyone interviewed can expect unwanted noises and less than ideal recording conditions. I listen now and voices might go digitally scrambled for a second, and there is no public service announcement saying, “We’re sorry for any inconvenience,” because it’s just yeah…a regular day. A woman was interviewed about the economic implications of the reduction in sectors adding new jobs, and I can hear voices in the background, some banging, and she doesn’t hesitate, and host Kai Ryssdal doesn’t say a thing. It’s because everybody is doing all their work from home. And that introduces real life into our pretense of professional perfection. We’re all expecting and forgiving it.

Masks are slowly becoming normal. I went into Office Depot and 100% of customers and employees were in masks. I complimented one of the employees on her colorful mask and we chatted about masks a little and never said, “Whoah, can you believe everyone’s wearing masks?” …which is something we would have said a month ago. Glasses with masks are SO annoying because they fog up. At first when I wore my mask I felt perpetually on the verge of suffocation. I wasn’t, I was only trying to deal with the sensation of having something over my mouth. I’m absolutely used to it now.

Oooooh, May 14 was a good entry. Look at all those things I remembered to write down. Especially the insight into the private worlds of previously unavailable public figures. The pandemic is an equalizer in multiple ways.

11 thoughts on “OYL April 14

  1. Ha! You see, in some cases we are so similar too. I vividly remember stars and their offspring and dogs as a highlight of the pandemic, and always will. The daughter and dog of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, the singer of Tears for Fears singing beautifully with his daughter, the daughter of Rod Stewart and their dog (I wasn’t sure if she was daughter or wife. Sorry, Rod, but you know.), Annie Lennox singing with her daughter! I felt so much love for them. Who were your favourites and whose pets?

    Never heard of milk being poured on crops! 😮 Were there any results? How did they get this brilliant idea instead of getting it delivered to the needy?

    I’m glad to see that you were happy to have company. And I wish you a continuously happy anty body. 😀

    1. I wish I had noted the famous people more specifically, so I would remember. But today I don’t remember them all so can’t say who I was delighted with more. I would have loved to see Annie Lennox – I adore her. Oh, I should have been more clear about the milk. It was either throw it down the drain or try to get some kind of good out of it by putting it on their crops. The supply chain was broken down and the dairy farmers were unable to get their milk delivered anywhere – needy or not. It sat, and sat, until it expired. They had no choice and were very upset about it. Possibly there were local scale deliveries to the needy, but I didn’t hear of any.

    1. Interesting that in May 2020 I write in my journal that I am getting used to wearing a mask. In May 2021 the US CDC says if we’re vaccinated we don’t have to wear masks anymore, and I’m not sure I can just stop wearing a mask. It will have to be gradual. How quickly we humans form habits.

  2. I really enjoyed how the media responded from their homes and supported efforts to reduce the spread of Covid, Crystal. I looked back at my journal and came across this entry on May 15 that I included on a post:

    “Peggy was frightened and I was angry. “Asshole!” went flashing through my mind. I was sorry I didn’t have my black cowboy hat along so I could slap it on my head and pretend to shoot him back.

    Peggy and I were shopping at Home Depot a couple of days ago, buying what I needed to make a gate for our shrub garden. We had worn our face masks while we shopped and then worn them back to the truck while we were loading our purchases into the back. A man in his 60s was parked next to us and digging through his car trunk. It was stuffed to the brim and looked like it hadn’t been cleaned or organized in 10 years. He spotted us and quickly started digging through his mess and came up with a black sweatshirt. He held it over his nose and mouth and pretended to shoot us.

    But I didn’t have my hat and wouldn’t have done it anyway. For all I knew, he had an AR 15 in his trunk and would have pulled it out and killed both of us. It’s a terrible and probably irrational fear, but men marching around with military-grade, semi-automatic weapons and screaming is scary. And they mean to scare us, to bully us, to intimidate us.”

    Eventually, our are stopped fretting over masks and most people wore them like it was natural. –Curt

    1. Curt, I remember your post when you wrote this. It was alarming and I can only imagine how your hearts were pounding. That was before the world got much more threatening and filled with tension, and that was seriously threatening. Argh. What a sad sad world when we are threatened by each other. My assumption is that this man was threatened by you in your masks, or he wouldn’t have had a reason to react, by threatening you back. I am so sorry you had to experience this. What a rough year it has been for us all. heh heh. I also realize that when I say “year” I sort of mean March 2020 through now. In my mind it’s still the same experience.

      1. At least irritating. Maybe he was just having fun. He was grinning. Could have been he was pretending we were outlaws. Scary world indeed. Sadly it’s been that way all of our lives. Today’s extremism seems to be much worse, however, thanks to DT. And then to pile the pandemic on top of that…

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