Later that night, I jotted down in my diary, Coronavirus fears still running high. Target was sold out of a lot o stuff.
I didn't know it that day, but Michael and Anna were the last people I saw, socially, before the world ended. And so I thought it rather fitting that they would be the first people I would see, socially, when I emerged back into this new world. Which is what I did today. Today was 40th birthday, and I had originally intended to spend this day with an intimate group of family and friends in Cincinnati, and goddammit, I didn't want this day to be a total wash. So when Michael and Anna reached out to see if they'd be able to do a drive-by today, I thought, Fuck it. To my surprise and relief, the spike that so many models had predicted has not yet happened. And so, we concocted a plan for a picnic. Just me and Michael and Anna and Miles, outside, on picnic blankets in the shade at Bryan Park, giving each other plenty of space. And it was absolutely a joy to be with them--these dear friends who have been family to me for a very long time. We didn't get near each other, we didn't hug, I wasn't able to hold Miles--almost three months older, and bigger, and changed, so changed! This is the "new normal"--the necessary normal, the normal that I am trying to make work for me.
Which makes me think--it's now time to bring this volume of The Plague Diaries to its close, on the day when I "broke quarantine" and began to resume life in its altered form. Next week, I start back to work in the library building. And while we'll be following all sorts of protocols of social distancing and PPE, the fact remains that my risk vector will go up significantly once this part of my life starts back up. It doesn't mean that I'll be going to get-togethers, or demanding pedicures, or hopping on planes to see my family and friends. But it does mean that I will have to take cautious, calculated risks in order to start rejoining the world in its altered form. Or, as I laughingly told Middle Sister earlier today, "time to resume my usual, voluntary social isolation.
If there's another lockdown/quarantine, I'll probably start "Volume 2" of the Plague Diaries, but I will be very surprised if this will happen. Because, of course, #'murica. But regardless, I will definitely try to post more regularly here, whether or not it's about Life During COVID-19. Posting on here regularly--it's been one of the only 2020 goals I've really been able to follow through on. And really, it's been something I've been meaning to be better at for years, and now, finally, it's happened.
All it took was a pandemic.