Back to Normal?

Not totally back to “normal” and probably never will be, but I’m throwing in the towel on naming the weeks. I put “Week Ten” but that is seriously depressing, so…nope! What have we learned in the past ten weeks? Several things.

1) Wearing masks suck. Until I put a pipe cleaner in the bridge, my glasses would fog up. My genius Louisiana sister is the one who suggested that. And it works, but when you wash them, they slide out of position, no matter how you try to secure them. Probably because I’m not the best seamstress in the world. My mom could break the code. I ordered nose bridges, of which I now have about a bazillion, and they work like a charm. But nothing keeps you from sweating behind the mask. So…wearing masks suck, no matter how well made they are.

2) People are strange. Didn’t take a virus for me to realize that, but they’ve taken it to whole new heights. We don’t have the problem here, because “they” made masks mandatory in San Antonio, but in some places, you’re shamed for not wearing a mask. Of course, you’re also shamed for wearing one, so you’re in a no-win situation. What’s amazing is all the videos we’re seeing people make. You can tell America is bored because there’s been a serious uptick in stupid videos.

3) We went to H-E-B yesterday, and I made several observations. People prefer “I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter” over other margarines. How do I know that? Because you can’t buy a big tub of my favorite margarine. You can other brands, but evidently other people have discovered what I know. It’s the best. Charmin? H-E-B shelves were packed with all kinds of toilet paper, but Charmin was in the shortest supply, as were Viva paper towels. People may be strange, but they have good taste in paper products. There was a limit on how much beef you could buy. No limit on pork or chicken, which was a real blessing, since that’s my preferred choices for meat. My advice? Go to any grocery store, look at the shelves to see what is missing, and you’ll know which brand to start hoarding before this happens again.

4) If you’re retired, self-quarantine is pretty much like any other day. But! Knowing you can’t go someplace you wouldn’t have gone a month ago is distressing. As a kid, if our parents told us we couldn’t do something, that immediately made it something we had to do. What the government should be doing is telling us to go out in large groups, not wear a mask, and stand as close as possible to someone who’s sneezing and coughing. We’d stay home, wear a mask in our house, and segregate ourselves from our family. The government could learn a lot from our mothers.

5) No matter how much you like to cook, having to do it every day also sucks. I can’t imagine how horrendously sucky it would be if I had to wear a mask while cooking. Ed took pity on me and helped, by buying me a box of See’s candy. Yes, he could cook dinner, but driving for takeout is more his forte. That’s become a challenge lately, because a stray cat decided his truck is the perfect location for her kitten. Thank goodness we have two vehicles. Now that we’re back in the occasional takeout mode, we’ve also discovered that restaurants are a little challenged in their takeout orders. I don’t think we’ve gotten one perfectly correct yet. I’m blaming the masks all the employees are wearing. They’re hot and their brains are getting fried.

6) Before I go on a trivia game show, I need to learn about rappers and take a course in pop culture. Since I spend a lot of time on the Game Show Network, I’ve realized how deficient I am in that area. Give me a literature, historical, or classical music question and I’ll be all over the answer. Ask me a question about rap music and I’m gonna need a lifeline. And it won’t be Ed. He’s for geography, science fiction, or weather questions.

7) 2020 will be the year that generated new words/phrases for dictionaries. Social distancing. How many times pre-2020 did you say that? Novel coronavirus. That sounds like something you catch from a book. There are quite a few new terms in our vocabulary. My favorite? Self-quarantine. Definition? Retirement.

My biggest fear? Just about the time all of America goes fully back to “open for business” we’ll have another wave flood the nation. I was pleased to hear Trump say he wouldn’t shut the country down again. I think we can (hopefully) do two things at once…stay safe and open. For some small businesses, they won’t reopen. We don’t need any more “For Sale” signs littering the landscape.

Bottom line. We’re coming out of the woods but there may be a bear hiding behind a tree, just waiting to attack us. Or possibly steal our picnic basket, depending on what park you’re in. At any rate, don’t get too complacent. Take the lessons we’ve learned from Pandemic One and apply them to Pandemic Two, because I’m concerned we might need them again. But please don’t close our churches because they’re not “essential” when liquor stores are. A bunch of sober Christians weathering the storm would be so much better than a bunch of drunk atheists. Right?

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