We dipped our toes into a non-locked down world. We went to a store. Not just any store but the biggest, roomiest, most social distance friendly store there is. We also went when we knew it would be as close to dead as it gets.
Two years ago today I finished up my work day and put my work-issued desktop computer (it was a little tiny guy) into my backpack and drove home to begin the new experience known as the Covid-19 Lock Down.
Friday March 13, 2020. A day that (for me at least) will live in infamy.
Things are getting back to normal. Much too quickly for my taste, but they are. I’m taking Harry back to school today. Two years ago it would have been the other way around. We had people in the house this week. Two years ago that would have been unheard of. We went into two stores over the last week. Two years ago we were trying to find ways to stop needing to go into stores.
The Covid-19 numbers are still way too high for my taste but they seem to be coming down, or at least leveling off. The word on the street is there is a new strain of Omicron coming. Hopefully not.
I don’t want to have to keep doing this for another year, but when am I going to feel comfortable going back to pre-lock down lifestyle? I don’t know… maybe never. How bad does that suck?
This could probably go under the Stir Crazy Files. It seems like I talk about taking the garbage barrels out to the street way too often for comfort. I’m going to do it again, but I think the reason I do it is because it’s something that happens outside of the house. It’s as close to outside social interaction as the pandemic lets me have. How pathetic is that?
Anyway, I had to take the barrels to the street this morning. I woke up around 6:00am and I was going to get out of bed and take care of it, but I checked the weather and it was six degrees out. How about we wait and see if it warms up at all first, m’kay? I rolled over and went back to sleep.
I got up an hour later and did my full morning routine. A few months ago the trash pick up was getting here at 7:00am and I had to make sure everything was out before the sun came up. Now they are showing up mid-afternoon so I have a little breathing room. Someday it will bite me on the ass, but for today I took advantage of it.
My plan to wait and see if the air warmed up was successful. It was all the way up to eight degrees. I put on my winter coat, sighing in frustration. Then I was just about to step outside when I paused and put on a pair of gloves. Do you know what that felt like to a New Englander with 50 years of winters behind him? It felt like I was admitting defeat. I only had to walk to the side of the house, drag two barrels to the street and then come back. I need a jacket and gloves for that? What a wuss. Winter has beaten me today and I am not happy about it.
In my defense though, when I came back inside the house my glasses immediately fogged up enough that I couldn’t see. I feel like that was my spec’s way of telling me that the coat and gloves were a smart move. Thanks, spectacles.
On a totally unrelated note. I have a song stuck in my head. It’s from the movie The Hangover. I have no idea why it’s stuck in my head. How did it get there? Jen heard me singing it to myself and now she has it stuck in her head too.
We’re the three best friends that anybody could have:
I’m in the office today. I’m not terribly happy about it but I’ll live. The commute was better than most days pre-Covid, but given that I’ve only made this drive a few times over the last two years it was infuriating. I drove about 200 yards before I hit traffic. It was just a school bus, but it was still traffic. The highways were slow and annoying. Again, not quite pre-pandemic, but definitely bad enough to imply that the pandemic is over… even though it’s not.
There is no one sitting at any desk near me. I think the closest person is probably 30 yards away. Much more than six feet. I am plenty Covid/Omicron safe at my desk, but I will still need to go to the bathroom and the kitchen and such. I feel good about my elevator skills. I expertly avoided having anyone in the car with me as I went up to the third floor. My people avoidance skills are still very sharp in that respect.
My desk is still here. It’s nice and clean and all. My keyboard is shit compared to the one I use at home. My monitor is double shit compared to the one I use at home too. Oh well. It’s just going to average out to one day each week. I can survive that. Sure, I would prefer not to be here, after nearly two years of only working at home.
Funny, remember back in March of 2020 when all of my posts were how working at home was abnormal and how I had to get used to everything being different? Deja-Vu, right?
I missed an important anniversary yesterday. I was all focused on Covid itself and I missed an important date that is mainly important because of Covid.
Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the last time Lizardfish played together. It was Greg’s birthday party. We played a couple of sets and it went really well (except for the untimely death of a snare drum head, RIP). We took a couple of weeks off after the show, like we usually do, then Jen, Harry, and I went to Florida for a week, and by the time we got back Covid was a thing and the country was starting to shut down.
We haven’t played since.
Every time I start thinking I might be okay with trying to get together, something Covid related happens that screws it up. We were talking about maybe having a play in December. I wasn’t really good with that, but maybe early January? Nope. Omicron. Crud.
Maybe… things seem to be calming down around here. Maybe March? Ugh. I miss playing for real. I miss my band.
My personal Covid-aversary is March 13th. As I’ve written 1000000000000000 times before, Friday the 13th of March in 2020 was the day the company I work for told us not to come back to the office. That’s all well and good, but wasn’t it February 2020 when Covid starting taking over the news? Jen, Harry, and I went to Disney World at the end of the month and we were aware of Covid but it wasn’t really thought to be widespread in the US yet, if it was there at all. Jen remembers seeing people in the airport while we were traveling home who were wearing masks. That was the first we’d seen of any of that.
So the question then is, when do we declare that Covid in the US is two years old? I really don’t know. Is this the first month of year three or the 12th month of year two? Does it matter? No.
Today is also the day that the company I work for is implementing the return to the office plan again. The plan involves going into the office 20% of each pay period. In February that amounts to four days, or about once per week. We put this plan into place over the summer. It started in July, I think. It lasted about two months and then they closed the buildings again. It was supposed to come back on January 17th but Omicron. Technically it did come back on 1/17 but they told us they would give us until today if we were worried about the new variant. I absolutely took advantage of that. I haven’t decided what my in-the-office schedule will look like this month. I have a little bit of sick time on Thursday so that day’s out. I hear rumors about more snow on Friday, so that day’s out. I could go tomorrow but I don’t think I am mentally ready for that yet. We’ll see.
So Covid is still a thing and it’s been two years or so and there is no sign of things clearing up. Thanks to that Omicron putz it’s actually been worse for the last couple of months. So what does it all mean? I haven’t a clue, but I am really seriously sick of it all. Lock down continues to suck.
When the pandemic started I declared that I was still going to get up at the same time each workday morning that I did before the company sent us home. That means I would have to be up and ready to go out the door by 7:30am.
I stuck to that for a while but eventually the snooze bar started getting pressed an extra time or two. Today I got out of bed at 7:00am. Last week there was a 7:15 and a nearly 7:30. Soooo. Nope, not sticking to that particular lock down promise to myself.
Today is the day that my company is trying to reopen the buildings. This is their second attempt. The first was last summer. We’re going hybrid so we are only supposed to be going into the office a small percentage of the time. Last week they gave us the option of delaying our come back to February 1st if we were worried about Omicron. Am I worried about Omicron? You bet your viral ass I am. So I won’t be going back today.
Still, with the hybrid return on its way I should really try to start getting out of bed earlier again. It would be the smart move. I should really do it. Will I do it? No, probably not.