The other day while walking into Fred Meyer, I noticed a blue facemask blown all up into the grocery store’s landscaping. Perhaps it fell out of someone’s pocket I thought.
A few days later I saw a cotton child-sized facemask directly outside the Haggens Grocery entrance. About nine months ago this was a hot commodity! Now it has been walked over, carts rolled over it, and well there it is. Yes, there it is and here we are—THE END OF THE PANDEMIC.
Beginning July 1st in Washington State masks are optional. It appears many have already thrown them to the wind, literally. Once again, as with every stage of the pandemic, I hear a variety of opinions. A few friends have said they will wear a mask in the winter to protect against the flu, others have said they will begin to wear one to work if they feel a cold coming on. When I walk around the neighborhood trails the maskless masses wave at each other passing by, friendly-like, smiling. No more dramatic 6-foot radius walk-arounds with the “stay the ‘eff away from me you diseased carrying mo-fo” side glance. The defensive posturing is a thing of the past; I’m placing that back in my toolbox for when I need to walk to my car after 10 pm on Railroad Ave. Another acquaintance of mine shared a foreboding prediction–the 2020-2021 pandemic was just a warm-up for what is coming next! I mean, in my social circles, people are all over the place! How is it in your world? Hope things are calming down a bit.
This is a graph I stumbled upon way back in our pandemic-innocence of June 2020. I shared it a few times on my platforms.
It illustrates the mental health of an emergency worker responding to a disaster over the course of a year and a half. This is the “normal” curve of the ups and downs MENTALLY. Although I am not a nurse on the front lines, I do have an essential job. I work as a Family Housing Coordinator for shelter and transitional housing. I worked every day from 2019 until about April of 2021. Now I get Fridays off which I am very thankful for.
I’m not embarrassed to say my pandemic journey followed this graph right to the letter. The lowest point “Disillusionment” hit me about August 2020. My general communication weaknesses, spelling and pronunciation, were magnified. It was hard to explain to people why I couldn’t type or speak a complete sentence or how I didn’t catch it before I sent the text/email. I became lethargic at home, watching many movies, and lost myself in the joys of building in creative mode on Minecraft. (I still like Minecraft) …It was foggy & frustrating.
Reconstruction is next. Yep. Right around the corner. President Biden must have read my blogs because he was like, “What a great idea! I like the sound of that Reconstruction…the strengthening of infrastructure across the NATION, for the nation…? hmmmm. …Someone get me a pen–”
What will the personal reconstruction and strengthening of YOUR infrastructure look like? I’m working on exercise and budgeting my money. Also, I met with the poetry discussion group IN PERSON last weekend and noticed I was talking like an email or as if I was giving a presentation on zoom. Something got lost over the last 15 months of social distancing. I think we’ll all find those skills again.
Sending you good thoughts today. You’re doing the best you can with what ya got. You got this!
Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. -Shannon