AndyO Blog

Sunday, March 14, 2021

One year of COVID-19 lockdown

A year ago this week, we entered the lockdown of the pandemic, a time when the world stopped. While there were attempts to reopen, the toll would turn out to enormous: over 500k people in the US lost their lives to this virus. 

For me, someone who could do their job from home, it became like a real-life version of the film, Groundhog Day, where every day felt the same with small differences. I was lucky to be able to do this, but it also contributed to a sense of agoraphobia—only venturing out when absolutely required. The grocery store, pharmacy, gas station. And Brenda ended up doing most of that. 

Later we we rediscovered Amazon Fresh, and even Brenda didn’t go out as much.

Adding to the uncertainty and craziness, we had a President, his administration, and enablers spinning a false narrative about the virus, preying on those who didn’t have a grasp on basic science or how viruses worked. I can’t say that I understand the complex science of viruses, but I know enough to understand this was a novel coronavirus. This meant we’d never seen it before, even if there had been similar viruses in the past, like MERS and SARS. What made COVID-19 unique was that it could transmit when people showed no symptoms, and it was airborne.

The other issue was there were no therapeutics that were effective. People had to be put on ventilators, and a lot of the time this meant they weren’t coming back. 

Aside from the continuous bad news, it was also a year of noticing the small things that we don’t always pay attention to. As I worked in the dining room, I watched hummingbirds buzzing by the window, and soon had multiple feeders out for them. I’d watch as one would often guard the food source all day, aggressively chasing others away. 

My cat’s daily routine became a kind of fascination. In the mornings she slept on the couch, the afternoons in our bedroom, and at night she yowled outside Drew’s room, begging to be let in. She seemed to grow more social overall.

Getting takeout after a month was a welcome change, although Brenda always made amazing food—from scratch or from Blue Apron. After a while we got tired of Blue Apron, too. 

When I went out to drive somewhere, I was always surprised by the number of people walking around. Parks were always filled with socially distant crowds. But it made sense, with not a lot of places to go.

A large snowstorm in February in Seattle broke the Groundhog Day effect. Suddenly, we had a rare blast of snow that went on for days. It felt like something had changed, even if it was just the weather turning icy. 

I know we have a long way to go, but I can also see light at the end of the tunnel.

posted by AndyO @ 10:06 PM   0 comments