Tag Archives: Covid-19

Creative Juice #227

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Creative Juice #227

Topics serious and entertaining:

Pandemic Playlist

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Norm Frampton of the popular blog Norm 2.0 recently tweeted:

If 2020 had a soundtrack I’m pretty sure it would be some ominous sounding Gregorian Chants.

I think he’s on to something.

I’ve put together a playlist inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. In Norm’s honor, let’s start out with some ominous Gregorian chant.

The next selection poses the question we’ve all been asking for the last seven months.

What’s Going On?

One of the dreaded symptoms: Fever

Covid-19 prevention strategies:

Self-quarantine

Wash your hands

Mask up

Social distancing

Remember that Covid-19 can be fatal. Danse Macabre (Dance of Death):

In memory of our loved ones who have passed away during the pandemic. Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings

Now it’s your turn. What songs would you include in your own personal pandemic playlist? Share in the comments below.

Things I’m Missing Because of the Pandemic

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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?

Pandemic Silver Lining

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Pandemic Silver Lining

I don’t like to be inconvenienced. It makes me grouchy.

When the first pandemic warnings came out, it felt like overreaction to me. So there’s a virus. Too bad.

When my supermarket-stocker son told me his store sold more in two days than they’d sold from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I was mystified. Why were people buying up all the paper products and canned foods?

One by one, all my weekly activities that I love got canceled: hand bell choir, church choir, folk dancing, bible study, Sunday worship, the quilting ministry, symphony concerts. Even the folk dance festival that I helped put together got canceled. I got grouchier.

My husband went into the hospital on March 11 for spinal surgery. He’d been struggling with vertigo for many months and tried a number of different treatments, but his dizziness and falls persisted. He had spinal stenosis, and surgery was his last option. The night before he asked me, “Is this elective surgery?” I didn’t know how to answer; his quality of life was so bleak. I decided that if his surgery was deemed not necessary, the hospital would have to tell us so.

Unfortunately, Greg hasn’t yet bounced back as expected. As of this writing, he’s been transferred to a skilled nursing facility. The last time I was allowed to visit him was March 20. As hard as that is on me, I suspect it’s even harder on him and our grown children who haven’t seen him since before the surgery. But as an older person with a compromised immune system, he’s probably in the safest possible place.

My older son just learned that the restaurant where he’s worked for 17 years has closed for good. I panicked when I heard that, but he’s already strategizing his job hunt.

I’m not telling you all my problems to elicit sympathy for me. Everyone has had to make sacrifices during this time. I know that most people have it worse than I do.

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My real reason for writing this is to tell you what I’ve observed.

Members of every group I belong to have called me or texted me to ask how I’m doing or if there’s anything I need. Not just my children and my friends, but also my pastors and ministry leaders. Not just once, but multiple times. My son’s restaurant, before it closed, cooked food and gave it away for free. People are going out of their way to help others and anticipate needs. I went to the fabric store for some thread, and people were there picking up materials to make medical masks for the hospitals.

It just so happens that I have everything I need. My house is well stocked. But not being forgotten touches me deeply when so many people are struggling. It even makes me less grouchy.

Thank you for all you do in your communities. And if you need help, just ask.

Creative Juice #183

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Creative Juice #183

Beauty is truth, truth beauty ~John Keats