Things I’m Missing Because of the Pandemic

Things I’m Missing Because of the Pandemic

First it was the scheduled activities that got canceled.
Sunday worship.
Church choir and hand bell choir rehearsals.
Weekly folk dancing.
Bible study. (Though it later continued on Zoom.)
Our Folk Dance Festival.
Writers’ groups. (Though we met several times on Zoom.)
My 50th high school reunion.

Then it was unscheduled activities.
Visits from our children became less frequent and no longer ended with hugs.
Hikes ended because parks closed.
Mani pedis. Because, strictly speaking, they are not necessities.
Retail therapy. Because dressing rooms are closed. And, frankly, I don’t need anything.
Haircuts. Although I had one a couple of weeks ago, because my quarantine hair was so stringy I was tempted to chop it off myself—and we all know how badly that would have ended.

crowd of people

The worst part of staying home was that on March 11, when Covid-19 was just beginning to heat up, my husband, Greg, had surgery, a discectomy and fusion from C3-C6 that was supposed to correct spinal stenosis and relieve his years-long bouts of vertigo. He was told it was a simple operation, and he would spend one night—two, max—in the hospital.

He didn’t snap back.

He couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t stand. Nurses asked me how long he’d had dementia. I told them he didn’t. They fed him through a tube in his nose, which he pulled out twice.

On March 20, the hospital called me and told me he’d developed aspiration pneumonia and had been moved to the ICU. My younger son and I went to see him—ventilated, unconscious. We held his hand and spoke to him for three hours.

The next day the hospital closed its doors to visitors, but Greg was moved out of ICU.

A week later, the doctors inserted a feeding tube into his stomach, and he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility, where he remained for nine weeks. He’d contracted metabolic encephalopathy, a serious brain infection that messed up his blood and brain chemistry.

For ten weeks, we couldn’t visit him. That was the worst part of the pandemic for me.

empty bed

Surprisingly, all those weeks that I was alone in my house, I wasn’t lonely. I missed Greg and I was sure Greg would recover quicker if we could just be together, but aside from being worried about him, I was content being by myself. I guess I really am an introvert. Now that Greg is home, we’re happy staying home together.

Sometimes Greg asks me if I’m looking forward to my activities resuming, and I have to say I’m not. I’ve gotten used to the relaxed pace of being home, and the thought of being out three nights a week seems unnecessarily stressful.

Now it’s your turn. How are you holding up? Are you anxious for things to get back to normal? What do you miss from life before Covid? What insights have you gained from doing without?

8 responses »

  1. You’ve had quite a ride and managed well. I’m doing well, and like you, have found I don’t miss going and doing as much as I did at first. I like being home. I almost resent anyone or anything that pulls me out. The only thing I truly miss is being able to hug my children and grandchildren. I can see them from a safe social distance, but I miss having those little ones in my arms. I look forward to our big family gatherings resuming some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My ride during these past months has been filled with peace. My faith and writing keep me in the middle of life’s road, but I miss many routines placed on hold: attending church in person, eating out, and traveling. My scheduled trip to see family in Montana has been postponed indefinitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea, thanks for posting the update on Greg. I knew he had problems after the surgery and had rehab but didn’t know the updates. Glad he is finally home and on the mend.
    This pandemic and staying home I would be doing anyway but now I’m not even going to the market, haven’t had a haircut. Did finally have to go have outpatient surgery on my lower discs ’cause of the pain but I tripped 5 days later onto my side and heard crunch. I know I hurt my ribs and arm but no way would I go to the hospital having COPD. Now my ribs feel better but breathing and my back has gotten worse. And 2 nights ago one of our Shih tzus died in our arms, he couldn’t make it ’till yesterday for his vet appt. So I hopefully have to say I hope doesn’t worse for us.


  4. I’m doing fairly well. My brother and sister-in-law have had a few outdoor barbecues which have been great for socializing and connecting. In August i’ve been working for the Census at events in public (at train stations, grocery stores and banks). We wear masks and have been fine interacting with lots of different people.

    I go to church in person about once a month. The church nearest my house hasn’t reopened and doesn’t do online. I watched St. John Cantius’ mass online and it’s done so beautifully. I drive downtown for their mass. I do miss walking to church in 15 minutes.

    I read a good book on healthcare and a lot of what your husband experienced is common. The book is Getting the Best Care by Margaret Fitzpatrick. I think everyone who is going to age, i.e. all of us, should read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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